By Kenji Chida
If you happen to be anywhere near Kurashiki in Okayama prefecture on the third Sunday of the month, don't miss the amazing morning market. The Kurashiki morning market is held on the third Sunday of the month and it is conveniently located in the shopping arcade right across from Kurashiki station. You can't miss it, make a left when you walk out of the station, walk next to the Tenmaya department store and cross the big street. The entrance of the shopping arcade will be on the right just down the stairs.
There is something for everyone at the market: seasonal fresh produce, arts and crafts and plenty of food. In the middle of the market, there is some sort of open air food court where it is possible to eat all kinds of street food ranging from ramen to fried chicken. If you want to start the morning with a coffee, head to the Kurashiki Coffee Kan booth where you can drink a great cup of freshly hand dripped coffee. Kurashiki Coffee Kan is a well known coffee shop right in the heart of the old Bikan area. One of my favorites is the "renkon" or lotus root croquette. You better go early because these get sold out quick. If you feel like eating delicious meat, you can try a brochette of Chiya beef which comes from the Niimi area of Okayama prefecture. If you want to get a taste of the Inland sea which is not too far from Kurashiki, you could try the rice with octopus. Some of my favorites have included deep fried baby octopus, butaman and sausages. It advisable to go to the market on an empty stomach since there is so many different kinds of food available.
A visit to the Kurashiki morning market is also the perfect way to discover Kurashiki and the old Bikan area which is just a couple of minutes away by foot. There is always some entertainment offered for free; children's choir, traditional music or theater, it changes every month.
Kurashiki is rarely this lively and busy, so come to the Kurashiki morning market and find out for yourself which food stall is the best and maybe buy some nice vegetables or fruits.
The market is held between 8AM to 11AM.
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