Save yen, shop at market
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- Japan is an exotic combination of beautiful landscapes, awe-inspiring traditions and an enticing culture. Unfortunately, the prices in this country aren't as pretty to look at.
To combat those pricey shopping malls and grocery stores, every month, Misawa hosts a produce market called the 9th Day Market at the Miss Veedol Dome, across the street from the Miss Veedol Plaza near McDonald, three times a month.
This market gathers vendors who sell fresh produce directly from local farmers, rice field workers and fishermen. In Misawa, it is called the 9th Day Market because it rolls into town on three separate days a month that end in nine.
Because the fruit, vegetables and fish come straight from local farmers and fishermen, the produce is fresher than what you may find in a grocery store.
"In America, that would mean it's more expensive. But, in Japan, it's actually cheaper," said Taneichi.
At the market you can get apples for approximately 300 yen, fish for about 2,000 yen or strawberries for around 400 yen.
"If that's not cheap enough for you, and you're comfortable with Japanese money and the language, you can haggle for a lower price," said Taneichi.
Even better, vendors allow consumers to taste test the produce before each purchase. This is a perk that isn't offered in Japanese stores. So, if you do not recognize the produce being displayed, uncertain if you would like the taste or are just looking for a light snack to hold you over till lunch, ask for a free sample.
Fruit, vegetables and fish are not the only things sold at the farmers market. Off to the side or in the back, kitchenware, various household items, clothes, shoes, used kimonos and other wares can be found there as well.
"The market is a great way to save money," said Taneichi. "So if you're looking to have a fun experience while shopping in a local area for cheap produce, clothing and wares, you should go to Miss Veedol Dome. The next 9th Day Farmers Market is scheduled for Feb. 9."
For more information on the market or Misawa events contact Miyuki Taneichi in the Airman and Family Readiness Center at 226-4735.