A few times a year, the grounds surrounding the main gate to the Ikegami Honmonji temple complex play host to a small farmers’ market. At least a dozen vendors set up their tents at the base of the steep stairs that run up to the main hall, offering food and crafts from around the nation.
Though small in scale, visitors can still find a surprising number of goods on offer. Seasonal vegetables are trucked in from neighboring prefectures, meaning shoppers can load their bags with Yamanashi fruits, fresh vegetables from Chiba and even apple butter from Nagano. A stall selling shincha (new tea) from Kumamoto Prefecture also had a donation box set up for those who may still be inclined to support the ongoing relief efforts in Kyushu.
Some of the offerings also included nonperishable products. A local potter and a jeweler displayed their respective wares – many listed at incredibly reasonable prices – while a local spa even offered on-site massages. For kids, a stand just outside the gate beckoned with balloons and other colorful diversions.
The market generally takes place on a Sunday from 7am-11am. While the event is not officially cancelled in the case of inclement weather, many vendors often choose not to display their goods in the rain.