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World of Herbs: Happy More Market, “the Kitchen” for Local Ginowan Residents
post : 2021.02.25 07:00
Take a step inside and you’ll be greeted with a cheerful, “Hi! Irrashai (welcome)!” This is “The World of Herbs: Happy More Market,” located in Ginowan City. It’s nicknamed “the kitchen for the locals” for its great selection of fresh, seasonal vegetables.
The biggest attraction about Happy More Market is the freshly harvested vegetables delivered to the market by farmers in the vicinity♡
There are various types of vegetables and herbs offered here that you won’t often see in other parts of Japan, like green papayas and the Okawakame or Madeira vine which is highly nutritious. During the winter season, celery, tomatoes, zucchinis and other great selections of summer vegetables are available since they’re in season in Okinawa.
Happy More Market has over 500 contracted farmers who bring in their vegetables to line the shelves inside. Originally, Happy More Market began as a group to support small-scale farmers. Nowadays, their contracted farmers range from large-scale farmers to grandmas and grandpas who work on their small farm fields.
“Happy More Market started by asking the local grandmas and grandpas who work on their small fields, growing vegetables for their families and grandchildren, to share a little bit with us, like neighbors sharing their vegetables. These elderly farmers grow the vegetables for their grandkids, so they don’t use pesticides and chemical fertilizers,” says the manager of the market, Okawa-san.
On the price tags, you’ll see little dots marked with different colors. These indicate how the vegetable was grown. The red dots signify that there were no pesticides nor chemical fertilizers used, and the green dots show that only a small amount of pesticides were used.
Dragon Smoothie (Left) & Happy Smoothie (Right)
The smoothies offered at Happy More Market contain fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables grown by local farmers with great care, the herbs procured from the Happy More Market garden, and their house-made enzymes. Since long ago, Okinawans enjoyed a healthy diet where various herbs were part of their everyday lives. At Happy More, they wanted the younger generations to be more familiar with such herbs, so they offer these smoothies and dishes using made with healthy herbs. These smoothies are very delicious and super popular with kids! I also discovered their “Special Herbal Smoothie”, a wonderful selection for the more experienced drinkers, too! It contained their house-made enzymes, amaranths, Indian Gynura bicolor leaves, and several other vegetables.
You can also enjoy meals at Happy More Market. Their Green Curry, shown above, came with ground chicken, and big chunks of local celery that are in season. The spicy kick that came with the sweetness from the coconut milk was so delicious. They also offer their popular, Happy Curry, which is made with 30 varieties of fruits and vegetables, and also other curries that are only available during the season.
You can also purchase their fruits and vegetables through their online shopping site, and their delivery charge is the same across the country, so it’s convenient to arrange shipments for yourself or as a gift for friends and family in other parts of Japan. When you’re at Happy More Market and you come across an unfamiliar fruit or vegetable that you’d like to try at home, don’t hesitate to ask the staff how you can enjoy them or cook them. They’ll teach you the unique, Okinawan ways of preparing them♪ Happy More Market is a laid-back establishment with the distinctive atmosphere of Uchina (Okinawa) Time, and with very few tourists that come by, it’s definitely off the beaten track. It’s a relaxing yet cheerful place, a place where you can truly enjoy the everyday scenes of Okinawa.
Yakuso (Herbal) World, Happy More Market
Address: 1-247-1, Shimashi, Ginowan City, Okinawa
Hours: 10:00 to 18:00
Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Akari Matsumura