Wajima Morning Market Returns Home After 6 Months; to Be Held Daily for Time Being

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The Wajima Morning Market is held on Wednesday in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, returning to its home city for the first time since it was hit by the Jan. 1 quake.

WAJIMA, Ishikawa — The Wajima Morning Market, whose grounds in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, suffered a massive fire in the Noto Peninsula Earthquake, returned Wednesday to the city for the first time since the Jan. 1 quake.

Visitors flocked to the commercial facility where the market was being held, and where sellers’ cries echoed throughout the venue.

When the fire hit the market’s old venue along the city’s Asaichi-dori avenue, many members of the market’s cooperative had to evacuate outside the city. Some members formed the so-called Wajima Asaichi Caravan, traveling nationwide to hold the market at 14 locations since March. From June, about half the members returned to Wajima, preparing to hold the market in the city.

On Wednesday, the market was held at Wai Plaza Wajima, about one kilometer south of Asaichi-dori. Sixteen stalls capped with the market’s signature orange were arranged in a U-shape. While there were about 100 vendors before the earthquake, only about 40 were at the day’s market. Customers began streaming in at 9 a.m. to chat with the sellers for the first time in six months.

An 80-year-old vendor said she has been visiting temporary housing every Saturday for door-to-door sales.

“The morning market really has got to be held in Wajima,” she said. “I can’t wait to return to Asaichi-dori, where I was selling rain or shine.”

According to the cooperative, the market is being held every day for the time being.