Fukuoka has many local vegetable markets and shops, offering an alternative to the big name supermarkets’ vegetable section. In recent times, these independent shops have become more and more popular amongst local consumers. But why choose a smaller, independent shop over your local supermarket’s vegetable section? This month we investigate Fukuoka’s veggie shops and offer alternatives to chain supermarkets. Whether you’re after shops with organic vegetables, want to buy direct from farmers, or are looking for unusual vegetables not available in supermarkets – we hope this guide will help you find the freshest veggies!
Natural Food Store “Farm”
Address: 2-18-1 Kego, Chuo-ku
Open: 1F Shop: Week Days 9:30~20:00, Sun. & Hol. 9:30~17:30, Closed: Irregular; 2F Restaurant: 11:30~16:30 (L. O. 15:30), Closed: Sun. & Hol.
Inside the unique A-frame structure of “Farm” you’ll find traditional fresh produce and hand-made food, using additive-free ingredients and accredited organic vegetables from Kumamoto, Fukuoka and Saga. The first floor could be described as a supermarket for the health-conscious. A wide but carefully chosen selection of foods, both fresh and packaged, along with “healthy” household goods and sundries are on display. The second floor restaurant serves up pure, healthy home-style food like kettle-boiled rice, natural yeast bread and seasonal vegetable lunch sets under a high ceiling. Organic grain breads are baked on the spot at the adjacent bakery. Farm also offers a weekly vegetable home delivery service – sign up online for your delivery of 8 kinds of JAS-certified organic vegetables. The selection changes weekly so check online in advance or call to see what this week’s delivery holds.
Fresh and cheap fruit ‘n veg that come from a market in Yanagawa and various other farms. The owner runs a popular blog introducing new products – ask him for his recommendations for eating the veggies and you’ll pick up some new ideas. Mansaiya also stocks Japanese black beef direct from a farm whose owners also run a yakiniku restaurant (and serve Mansaiya vegetables there too!) Don’t miss the witty and funny comments written on the price cards!
Address: 1F THE SHOPS 1-12-56 Daimyo, Chuo-ku
Open: 11:30 ~ 21:00
With a superb central Daimyo/Tenjin location, this fruit and vegetable stand is popular amongst locals as well as foreign tourists, who regularly stop by to get fruit to take back to their hotel rooms. The shop has a good selection of fruits and vegetables. They also serve up a menu of fresh fruit and veggie items – seasonal smoothies, fruit juices, cocktails and treats like hot sweet potatoes with butter and ice cream in Winter and fresh baby potatoes fried in butter in Spring. The super friendly owner “Dairi” enjoys introducing fruit and vegetables to the young crowd in Daimyo. He also speaks some English and loves to help foreigners – so don’t be shy!
Address: 1F Kinashi Building, 8-13 Tsunabamachi, Hakata-ku
Open: Mon., Thu. 14:00 ~ 18:30 *approx.
Closed: Tue., Wed., Fri. ~ Sun.
This vendor is only open on Mondays and Thursdays in the parking lot of a Korean restaurant in Tsunabamachi, Hakata. The produce you’ll find here comes direct from a agrochemical-free organic farm. Along with their super fresh vegetables you’ll find fresh eggs from Koga City, homemade pickled vegetables (nukazuke), and natural yeast bread. This shop delivers vegetables to many restaurants and kindergartens every day. The owner is friendly too!
Address: 882 Kawatsuki, Itoshima
Open: 10:00 ~ 17:30
Closed: 2nd and 4th Tue.
This renovated early Showa-era building was once a soy sauce factory, but these days serves as a hub of organic vegetables in Itoshima. You’ll find a great selection of pesticide-free organic vegetables, pesticide-reduced vegetables and natural farming vegetables – chosen for their health benefits and taste. Often, interesting seasonal items such as cinnamon leaves or wild plants are on sale. Stay for a cup of organic coffee at the cafe, or a lunch set (with non-peservative ingredients) (¥1,300) inside the building.
Address: 5-19-1 Hirao, Chuo-ku
Open: 24 hours
This organic supermarket in Hirao is open 24-hours a day – so your veggie cravings will never go unsatisfied! Makii’s produce comes from local farms (some of which they own) in Miyaura, Nishi-ku and the Shobu area in Fujimachi, Saga. They stock pesticide-free and fertilizer-free produce, along with bentou and other ready-to-eat meals, cakes and natural yeast breads, all of which made without artificial additives and preservatives. Makii was one of the pioneers of organic food stores in Fukuoka and is definitely worth a visit!
Address: 2-12-10 Daimyo, Chuo-ku
Open: 9:00 ~ 19:00
Closed: Sun., Hol.
This popular Fukuoka-based chain of shops is known for its good value for the money and its unique name (kaibutsu, monster in Japanese). The vegetables here come from agricultural co-ops, so the prices are cheap. Check out their Akasaka location – just across the street from the subway exit – or elsewhere in Arado, Takeshita, Kego or Takamiya. Look for the yellow sign!
JA Itoshima Farmers Market, Ito Sai-Sai
Address: 567 Hatae, Itoshima
Open: 9:00 ~ 18:00
Closed: New year’s holidays
At 1,268㎡ in area and with 1,200 farmers bringing their produce to sell daily, Ito Sai-Sai is one of Kyushu’s largest farmers’ markets. The market is managed by JA Itoshima with the goal to sell Itoshima’s bounty of agricultural products freshly and cheaply. Go on a weekend and get lost in the bustle of the popular market while selecting from the huge range of seasonal vegetables, fruits, fish, meat and flowers. Ready-to-eat handmade meals, sweets and bread available too. Buyers for restaurants shop here too, so you know the quality is up to scratch!
Address: 13-6 Chikkouhonmachi, Hakata-ku
Open: Weekdays 10:00~20:00, Sat., Sun. & Hol. 9:00~20:00
This huge 660㎡ market inside of Bayside Place is best known for its fresh seafood from Genkai Nada (try the sashimi or bento!) but a good selection of meat, fruits, vegetables, local seasonings, sweets, snacks, sake can be found here too. The veggies are all locally sourced.
Tanaka Vegetable shop
Address: 2-6-3 Haruyoshi, Chuo-ku
Closed: Sun. & Hol.
Located inside Yanagibashi Rengo (the market fondly known as Hakata’s Kitchen) Tanaka Vegetable Shop is frequented by chefs buying produce on behalf of local restaurants. Specialties here include vegetables sold before their peak season and other rare veggies from all over Japan – such as 2m long Japanese yam, or fresh baby corn used at top restaurants. Tourists from overseas are known to buy large quantities of local fruits and vegetables here – such as Fukuoka’s amaou strawberries – and the owner speaks English too!
Nishijin Wheeled Cart Stalls
Address: 4 Nishijin Sawara-ku
Open: 13:00 ~ until sold out
Closed: Most are closed on Sun.
A symbol of the Nishijin Shotengai, merchants wheel in their old-style carts, loaded full of vegetables, fruit, flowers, plants and seafood set up down the shopping strip from around 1pm on weekdays. In the past, there were around 100 of these carts, now there are only twelve or so, but they don’t fail to create a lively market atmosphere! The fresh produce comes from local farmers and fishermen in Nokonoshima, Sawara-ku and Nishi-ku areas, and some of the merchants are also growers themselves. Ask the merchants for their expert advice on how to cook and eat the vegetables.
Address: 1213-2 Nuyama, Fukutsu
Open: Sat. & Sun. 12:00~17:00
If you’re looking for fresh, organic Italian vegetables in Fukuoka, look no further! This shop is managed by Silvio Carannante (read our interview with him here) an Italian resident of Fukuoka and former cook. The beautiful natural surroundings make it a great place for a weekend drive. You’ll find organic, chemical-free Italian vegetables, vegetables and rice from nearby farms, natural yeast bread, macrobiotic eggs, butter, and sugar free sweets. The keyword here is “healthy”. You can also order direct from their online shop (e.g. Italian vegetable/pasta set ¥3,240)
より大きな地図で Vegetable Guide を表示
Originally published in Fukuoka Now Magazine (fn185, May. 2014)