Olive Garden Market

Food, shopping and fun

By Kenji Chida    - 2 min read

Nippon Olive's Olive Garden Market offers one more reason to visit Ushimado. Held one Sunday a month from 10 am to 4 pm, the market has continued to gain momentum since its creation at the beginning of 2013. On my first visit I was happy to see that so many people have put the Olive Garden on their Sunday schedule.

The market is set up in the open space next to the Olive Garden's shopping pavilion. Stalls are arranged along the north side of the wonderfully manicured field. Umbrella shaded tables and chairs are available for those who would like to sit down and enjoy some refreshments.

The stall keepers sell a variety of hand-crafted goods. One stall that caught my eye sold blown glass produced by physically or mentally challenged workers at a local social welfare center. It seemed to suit the Mediterranean style atmosphere.

Other stalls feature handmade wood crafts and decorative items for the home. One in particular had these exquisite bird houses with painted roofs. There was also a food stall showcasing the food from the popular Tereya Café in Ushimado.

Other food choices include the mobile food vans that seem to mark the entrance to the market. The pink and white one sells takoyaki or octopus dumplings and the yellow and brown one sells stone baked pizza. Although the market opens at 10, it’s a good idea to allow some time for the food vendors to prepare. People were lining up when I was there but the pizza wasn’t quite ready yet. Of course the pavilion shop is open and sells delicious locally and nationally known snacks.

Getting there is fairly easy by public transport. From Okayama Station you can take the Ako line to Saidaiji. Once there you can take one of two buses to Ushimado. In Ushimado you can walk or take a taxi to the Olive Garden. If you take a taxi you will have to walk back down into town when you leave unless you feel comfortable calling for a pick up.

The Olive Garden Market is worth a visit for a little shopping, good food, friendly people and a sunny environment.

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Kenji Chida

Kenji Chida @kenji.chida

I was born and raised in Baltimore City, Maryland in the USA after which I moved to New York City at the age of 21. I lived, studied and worked in New York for five years then moved to Okayama in 1998 at the age of 26. After living in Japan for 5 years I decided to try to naturalize. I was granted Japanese citizenship at the age of 33. I am interested in education, political philosophy, and Japanese society. I enjoy playing softball with my kids, driving and motorcycles. I can't say I enjoy running but I often join local 5k races. I want more people from abroad to come to Japan for a visit and I hope that some portion of that group decides to stay. Japan is for everyone!

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