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LastUpDate: November 13, 2013
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Hakata Culture vol.81


Visiting Hakata's Markets

Visiting Hakata’s Markets image

The best place to sample local cuisine is at the fresh food markets, and one of the most famous markets in Fukuoka is Yanagibashi Market. Located next to the Nakagawa River, Yanagibashi is known colloquially as "Hakata's Kitchen" and offers a wide variety of fresh food. There are specialty shops for all kinds of foods―from seafood, meat, fruits and vegetables to mentaiko, dried goods, tea and sweets―some of which you won't find in your local supermarket. The market is always bustling, and it is a popular destination for restaurant owners and homemakers alike.


The precursor to Yanagibashi Market was an independent fishmonger who used a two-wheeled cart to haul his wares from the fish market in Ohama (now the site of the Fukuoka City Central Wholesale Market) in the early days of the Showa Era. In time, several more shops moved into the area, giving rise to the market in its current form. One attraction of the vibrant market is the cacophony of shop owners' sales pitches. Many people born and bred in Hakata still choose to shop at the market because they can procure unique local ingredients there.


Another recommended stop is the Nagahama Seafood Market. Handling roughly 300 kinds of seafood, including fresh fish from all over Kyushu, it is one of the biggest seafood markets in Japan. Seafood landed at the adjacent fishing port is auctioned off every morning and hauled to destinations near and far. The market also serves to promote fish consumption: There are fish restaurants open to the general public and classes on the proper way to eat fish.


The second Saturday of every month is community appreciation day at Nagahama Seafood Market, and parts of the market typically reserved for vendors and other authorized personnel are opened to the public. On these days, anyone is welcome to stop by and buy their fish wholesale. Meanwhile, Yanagibashi Market holds the Umakamon Festival every year on the first Sunday of November. An annual customer appreciation event, the festival features auctions of luxury foods, food stalls and much more. 



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博多の食を楽しむ市場めぐり

 地域の食文化を感じたければ市場に行くのがいちばん。博多で市場といえば、有名なのが柳橋連合市場です。那珂川のたもとにあるこの市場は、通称「博多の台所」と呼ばれ、生鮮食料品が豊富なことでは定評があります。鮮魚や食肉、青果はもちろん、明太子、乾物、お茶、お菓子などの専門店があり、一般のスーパーでは手に入らないような品物も。飲食店などの業者はもちろん、一般家庭の主婦も買い物に訪れ、いつも大変な賑わいです。

 柳橋連合市場の前身は、昭和初期に大浜の魚市場から仕入れた魚を大八車に乗せて販売していた個人商店。その後、周辺にいろいろな商店が集まり始め、市場として拡大していきました。商店主たちの威勢のいい売り声も魅力のひとつで、活気に満ちあふれています。博多独自の食材も多く手に入るので、買い物はここで、という博多っ子も多くいます。

 もうひとつのおすすめは長浜鮮魚市場。九州各地から新鮮な魚が集まり、約300種を取り扱う全国でも有数の鮮魚市場なのです。毎日朝早くからセリが行われ、ここで水揚げされた魚介類は新鮮なまま各地へ運ばれていきます。一般客が利用できる魚料理のレストラン、魚を美味しく食べるための料理教室なども開催され、魚の普及にも努めています。

 長浜鮮魚市場では、毎月第2土曜日を「市民感謝デー」として市場の一部を一般に開放しています。普段は鮮魚店などの専門業者しか入れませんが、この日は誰でも市場で直接買い物ができるのです。また、柳橋連合市場では、毎年11月の第1日曜日に「うまかもん祭り」を開催しています。年に一度の大感謝祭で、高級食材のオークションや屋台コーナーなど盛りだくさんの内容です。