Bisei Town and its Marketplace

Bisei Town a farming town rich in culture and food

By Judith Mikami    - 3 min read

Bisei Town is a small mountaintop community about 30 minutes from my home. People drive here from the larger towns and cities for a number of reasons. One is to visit the observatory which offers perfect star gazing viewing at nights because there is no brightness from street lights due to there being very few streets here. The other popular reason to visit is because of the products produced.

Over the years I have spent time in Bisei town for both work and time with my family. Every time this small town never fails to disappoint. The first time I went here was for work. The school I was working at brought the students here for three days as a team building exercise and for the young students to learn skills like map reading, learn about the local history of this area and experience some of the crafts still practiced in this area.

When you are in a camp type of situation something always seems to hit me and cravings for less than healthy food overtake your every thought. This is when I was told about the local marketplace. Of course we were to visit with all the students, as whenever you travel in Japan buying gifts for family and friends is a must do. I wasn’t sure what to expect at this marketplace but when we arrived I quickly followed the students as I was sure they would direct me to where some sweets could be purchased. And yes they did, they went straight to the place where Bisei ice-cream was being sold. I quickly bought a milk soft cream and then found a seat to sit and enjoy eating it. Bisei is known for a great tasting dairy products and over the years I have enjoyed eating them all from milk, yoghurt, butter, milk candy, soft cream and their recent addition of custard pudding. You can also buy organically farmed meat, vegetables and fruit. For those of us who live in the bigger cities, organic often has a higher price tag but this is why in the weekends you will find this marketplace filled with people who drove to get farm fresh goods and the price would be considered dirt cheap.

It might seem strange to find this story on a tourist site but if you are anything like me when I travel I want to go to places where the locals hang out, shop and dine. I want for you to experience the real taste of the area and if you are lucky get to strike up a conversation with people to learn more about the country you are in. This for sure will happen if you decide to visit Bisei Town because to come here you will probably have to stay over.

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Judith Mikami

Judith Mikami @judith.mikami

Hi, I’m Judith Mikami originally from Auckland, New Zealand. I came to Japan about twenty years ago to experience a culture and country very different from my homeland. Like many who have ventured to Japan I fell in love with the people, culture and places and before I knew it I would meet my husband. I have lived only in Okayama Prefecture and call this area my home away from home.

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