When it comes to shopping, what is the first image that comes to mind? Department store? Shopping mall? Or outlet?
This time, I’m going to introduce you to three great markets in Sendai show you just why you must pay them a visit! Then I will show you some must-buy items!
Date Uma Market
The market on our list is 伊達美味マーケット(Date-uma Market) which opens along Ichibancho Sun-mall shopping street in downtown Sendai. Sadly the market is not held on a fixed date, but you can check the schedule on the market’s homepage.
At Date-uma Market you can generally find fresh-vegetable stalls, bakery stalls, and bento lunch-boxes. Each time the market opens the participating vendors change. If you want to check whether your favorite shop is open, just check the home page before you head into town. But I do recommend having a good peruse along the market – you will undoubtedly find some great surprises. For example, vegetables are great quality and quite low price, rare breads made from whole grain flour and rice flour (whole grain bread is rare in Sendai!). Not to mention those traditional Japanese foods like pickled carrots, cucumber and other side dishes. On a hot summer’s afternoon, it’s fun to walk along and try all the samples of seaweeds or pickled vegetables, or just browsing the stalls under the shade of the arcade is a great way to relax. To get there, take the subway to Aoba-Ichibancho Station, and you’ll see the market as soon as you step into the arcade.
Mori no market
If you have car, or you love shopping in traditional markets and buying local food and ingredients, I highly recommend you to visit 仙台杜の市場(Sendai Mori no ichiba). It is located uptown of Sendai City. But no worries about getting there even if you don’t have access to a car – jump on the subway to 卸町 (Oroshi-machi) station. It is about 20 minutes from Sendai station, and the cost is only 250 yen. After you arrive at Oroshi-machi station, your market paradise is just a 15 minute walk away!! Though it is a traditional market, it is a little different from the traditional markets I am used to in Taiwan. In Taiwan, almost all traditional markets are exposed under the hot sun><. But here you can enjoy shopping in comfort under the cool air conditioner! I think it is a wonderful experience.
There are two entrances to the market. After you walk in, you can see some stalls selling bento lunch boxes, fresh seafood and fruits and vegetables. Sometimes the owner will give you a discount. I think the main reason why I love traditional market is that you can always find special food, which you will never see in a supermarket. For example, I seldom see Japanese store selling Chinese spinach (空心菜), which is very common ingredient in a Taiwanese supermarket. But I found it in Mori-no-market!
Besides various ingredients for cooking, there are also several restaurants. When you feel tired after a long time shopping, just take a rest and have some sushi or sashimi-don or juicy beef-tongue there. Or just buying some fresh bread from the bakery and sipping a coffee is another good choice!
So, what is the must-buy item for summer at Morino market? It’s たまご舎(Tamago-ya)KitchenCafe. All of the items of the cafe menu are made from fresh eggs from nearby Zao. They have everything from omelete-rice and pasta to icecream and delicious cream-puffs!! It is the absolute best thing on a hot summer day~
Sendai Station Market
If you are just staying in downtown Sendai for a while and don’t have a huge amount of time to check-out these markets, you can also check-out the events held in the main hall of Sendai Station. Every week, there are a lot of great events promoting products from all around the six prefectures of Tohoku, and sometimes even further around Japan! You might be able to purchase cheese from Hokkaido, Apple pie from Aomori, and of course local food from around Miyagi. Sadly, it is hard to get event information online because the event is always held by a different organisation. Looking on the bright side, it kind of feels like a treasure hunt and you never know – you just might find that beloved item you’ve been looking for!
Don’t have any plans for the weekend? Sick of wandering around the shopping arcades of Sendai? Then you should definitely visit these markets – I promise that you will have great time and make some surprising discoveries!
伊達美味マーケット (Date uma market)
杜の市場(Mori no market)
Hours: 9:00～19:00 (Restaurants: 11:00～19:00)