The discovery of the year so far has been the Noumaru Market in Soja. I was taken completely by surprise because it didn’t look like much more than a supermarket storefront from the outside but when I walked through the doors I was blown away with all that was available.
I fancy myself as having a green thumb so I was impressed by the variety of seeds and seedlings for sale. The ambitious gardener could even try growing a mango tree in Japan! I might actually try that one day. It might work if you had some sort of green house.
The garden section contained the best collection of ornaments, figurines and statues that I have ever seen in Okayama. That is saying a lot because Japan is full of home centers that sell stuff like that but nothing on this scale. There were huge terracotta vases like something out of one of those movies about ancient Rome. There were brilliant alabaster statues of angels in classic poses.
As the Nou in Noumaru means farm, as you might expect, there was plenty of reasonably priced fresh produce. I bought some of my personal favorites with the confidence of knowing that they were locally grown.
There was a food court with a good selection of ready to eat food. I rewarded myself with a nice ice cream cone. There was seating available in what are normally used as greenhouses, which I thought was a nice added touch.
The next time I go back I think it is going to be hard not walk out with an angel statue for my garden. I’ve wanted one since I saw the one at another great place in Okayama, namely,Takehisa Yumeji’s birthplace in Oku Town, Setouchi City.