Apr 16, 2010

Business Re-Opening in Spring (Part 2): Murakko Bussankan

Driving on from Tazawako Heart Herb ...

My next destination is Murakko Bussankan in Nishiki Area.

Murakko Bussankan is another store that had a celebratory event after the winter closure. They had a festival called Bakkya Matsuri, Butterbur Sprout Festival. But by the time I got there, it was already past noon. Too bad, all the prepared Bakkya dishes were gone, but instead I enjoyed talking to the staffs and the customers enjoying their lunch. I overheard a conversation between people asking one another where they were from. Some had unfamiliar accents, so I believe they were from different parts of Tohoku.

The entrance

The packages are labeled with a name and contact information of its producer. It has become a common preaution taken by many co-op style markets in Japan, but it just shows how much the providers care about the consumers. Plus, it would make you feel like cherishing it so much more when you see a familar name on the label.

The packaged Bakkya, Butterbur Sprout.

Azami (C. japonicum DC) is commonly enjoyed in local cuisine.

I found other kinds of wild delicacies too, all prepared and ready to be cooked! The prices are so  reasonable, considering all the preparations you need to take before cooking them by yourself.

Local people enjoying the lunch combinations! Help yourself with a piece of dried mochi roasted on the irori fireplace.
In Autumn, they have Saimyo-ji Chestnut instead.

Get a pack of Iburi-Gakko here! They are radishes smoked and picked by hands of local ladies.

Handwoven baskets.

This small store is so much more informative and you can take a better peek at the lives of local people. The staffs are very friendly and hospitable, so you should talk to them!

Up on the wall I found a poster of up-coming events. Special events are planned on every third Sundays.

The Event schedule of 2010:
Bakkya (Butterbur Sprout) Matsuri---April 18th
Sansai Matsuri (Wild Vegetables) Festival--- May 16th
Takenoko (Bamboo Shoots) Festival--- June
Mizu (E. Umbellatum) Festival--- July 18th
Natsu Matsuri (Summer Festival)---August 14th
Kinoko Matsuri (Mushroom Festival)--- September 19th
Shukaku Kansha Sai (Thanksgiving Festival)---October 17th
Attaka Nabe Matsuri (Hot Pot Festival)--- November 21st

The back of the building still remains inches of snow. In summer, you can have a short walk here. The store is located right in front of the gate to Katamae-Yama Shinrin Koen (Katamae-Yama Forest Park). You can strech your walk to the park, where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the lake. The park is also a popular camp grounds with cottages and bungalows. If you are camping there, this is the closest grocery store. The business is open 9:00-17:00.

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