Gero Onsen Morning Market
While your itinerary for Gero Onsen may be dominated by hot spring visits, the town has plenty more activities to keep its visitors occupied when they’re not neck-deep in steamy natural waters. Every morning from March through November the Ideyu Market takes place along a pretty street that offers a backdrop of endless greenery to one side and the must-visit centuries-old thatched houses of Gero Onsen Gassho-mura to the other. Whether you’re window shopping or on the lookout for souvenirs to take home, this morning market is sure to inject a bit of energy back into your otherwise quiescent trip.
After most probably spending the previous evening lazing around in the abundant hot springs of Gero Onsen, there’s nothing like an early rise the next morning to get you back on your feet. With most stalls set up from 8am and running til midday, taking a trip to the bustling Ideyu Market is a great way to discover a more animated side of the town while mingling with the locals. As well as offering a huge variety of produce, the most unusual advantage of the market is its fair prices which are sometimes even cheaper than the supermarkets making this the place to go for affordable gifts and Japanese goodies.
Gero Onsen’s positioning among the Hida Mountains in the centre of Gifu Prefecture is to thank for much of the local produce you can get your hands on at Ideyu Market. The climate of the region helps to produce unique vegetables including the delicious, local red turnips most commonly found in their pickled form, as well as the indescribably tender Hida wagyu beef. There is no shortage of food samples and snacks to graze on as you wander around the market meaning you can skip the hotel breakfast and fill up on sticky sweet manju, salty sour pickles, and the market’s all-time favourite homemade tomato juice. For something to take home, don’t miss the classic Gero Onsen blueberry jam, as well as locally produced miso, pickles, and sake.
Running since the year 2000, Ideyu Market has expanded in more recent years to sell modern furniture that is crafted from old hinoki cypress trees from the Hida region. Simple but sturdy tables, chairs, and even pizza boards are found in shops up and down the market street dotted between stores offering rustic pieces of locally crafted pottery and smaller gifts. For those visiting between mid-July and the end of August you can catch the Ideyu Yoichi, the nighttime version of the market which offers an exciting atmosphere perfect for a summer’s night stroll.