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“Obachans aplenty”

Morning Market in Wajima
Ranked #3 of 51 things to do in Wajima
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
300 reviews
124 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“Obachans aplenty”
Reviewed 30 May 2014

Not busy when we went and not as evocative as we'd thought it might be. But plenty of obachans squatting next to a few bags of pickled produce to give some authentic "atmosphere" for tourists.

Visited April 2014
Thank zchug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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228 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Level 6 Contributor
295 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
“Authentic market for local and very few tourists”
Reviewed 24 May 2014

I like markets that cater to locals, and it believe this one does. Mostly fish, dried, fresh, packaged, laquerware, which ranges from cheap to very expensive, many packaged food products, and a variety of all kinds of other goods. Lots of sampling, and everyone was friendly.

Visited May 2014
2 Thank tomshiff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orange, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
266 reviews
199 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 198 helpful votes
“Nationally Famous”
Reviewed 6 November 2013

This morning market is nationally famous and one of the top tourist attractions of Noto Peninsula. We wanted to see a busy and lively morning market, but it didn't meet our expectation. If you are interested in buying fresh seafood from the sea around the city, it may be worth visiting. Otherwise, you can skip it.

Visited July 2013
Thank misocutlet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toyama, Japan
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“An Attractive Area”
Reviewed 1 October 2013

For people living in Wajima, the morning market, whitch dates back to more than a thousand year ago, is an integral part of their daily life. There is always a convivial atmoshere here and there. Why not join in their life? You can buy vegetables fresh from the locals' home gardens and various fish caught early in the morning. Of course, you must not forget to buy Wajima-nuri cups or chopsticks, which are the traditional handicrafts. One of my favorite local foods is "egara manju", a rice cake with bean paste inside and yellow-dyed rice out side. There is one thing I want to add. Last time I went there seven years ago, there were more vendors. I just hope the scale of the market expands, or at least remains the same.
On the way there, there is an aquarium in Noto. When you enter the aquarium, you fell as if you are walking in the sea. You can see beautiful sea animals. I especially recommend you to see a whale shark. I couldn't take my eyes off that when I saw it for the first time. Also, You can touch star fish, dolphins, and sharks! You will have a good time there if you like sea animals. The morning market is being held in the morning, so you should go to the aquarium after you buy special products.

Visited September 2013
1 Thank TCFL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“See the market and notice how the modernity has changed people’s life-style.”
Reviewed 3 May 2012

This place is very interesting for people who are willing to reflect on the changing societal fabric and life-style in Japan, but not for tourists with shopping in mind. Lacquer wares and semi-dried fish have long been the mainstay of the goods traded in this market. However, they are no longer the mainstay of contemporary living scenery in Japan. That being said, the market had a good “raison-de-être” in the past. Today, the market functions more as a tourist attraction than an essential facility for the area’s livelihood.
Wajima has been the principal township in the northern part of Noto Peninsular, which has a very limited arable land but surrounded by the sea with abundant marine life. The “thousand”terraced rice paddies of Shirayone, another tourist spot a short distance away from the market, is a very scenic reminder of this scarcity of arable land. Dried or semi-dried fish is also the product of its distinctive geography. The time required to bring the fish caught in the nearby sea to inland markets has made such processing necessary. Also, such processing is said to enhance the taste of fish, when lightly grilled just before eating. In other words, not every fish caught in Japan is eaten raw as sashimi
The scarcity of arable land also led people to develop other means for livelihood, and lacquer work and paper making are two such means that have highly developed in the area. They use the wild plants that grow in the wild as material, and long and snow-covered winter has provided ample time for laborious work to manufacture sophisticated products. However, such labor-intensive nature of production simply priced out the genuine products from the ordinary people or life in Japan today. The majority of the products sold in this morning market are only fit for touristy souvenirs.
The local government is nonetheless serious about the preservation of this traditional market for tourism. The market and its adjacent area have been renovated and made into an attractive tourist zone. Railway access is possible and ample car parking space is provided. However, such development is not demand-driven, but policy-driven. In other words, tourism offers the only prospect for the area’s viability, just as so many local governments in the peripheral regions have done to various degrees of success. For such tourism development, the distance from major urban centers remains the major obstacle. In my humble opinion, it would be better to have a long-term plan and strategy for developing the region with holiday resorts, as it is endowed with beautiful coastal sceneries and beaches, as well as hospitable people and culture.

Visited April 2012
2 Thank kobekko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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