Veg Stands Cabbage
Veg Stands Cabbage

CONTRIBUTED BY CAYLN PAQUIN

Here in Okinawa, we don’t have as many drive-through businesses as in the US, especially when it comes to fast food restaurants. Not that we need them because aren’t we all trying to eat healthier? So for a change, why not a different kind of drive-through… well almost a drive-through for healthy foods we should have more of – VEGETABLES.

Veg Stand Front
Veg Stand Front

Have you ever notice any vegetable stands by the side of the roads you travel? Every morning when I drive my son to school down route 29, I pass these simple veggie stands. If you look around them, you’ll see a little farm or plantation close by, if not right behind them. I am pretty sure the vegetables are organic even without any fancy bags or stickers or signs. These farmers put out their harvest every morning in bags or cling wraps. The variety and quantity depends on what they collect that morning but they are FRESH as fresh can be. 

Veg Stands Front 2
Veg Stands Front 2

Why do I call it a drive-through? Well, I often see people pull up right by the stands. So the day I decided to stop and look at them up close, I actually got to drive up to 2 of them and left my car running while I checked them out. I didn’t have much yen with me so I had to restrain myself from buying too much that morning. The vegetables were clean-looking and packaged neatly. Since then, I stopped once when a seller was putting out her produce. She smiled at me and said something in Japanese. I smiled back and said sorry I don’t understand in Japanese and since she didn’t have garlic out like I saw the week before, I said thank you and waved good bye.

Veg Stands 2
Veg Stands 2

The farmers or sellers were not at any of the stands I went to on my first visit but behold, at every stand, there is a pad-locked box chained to the stand. Every stand has 100 yen signs on them which mean every packaged produce is 100 yen each. One of them even has a sign in English saying there are surveillance cameras. I chose a cabbage at one stand and a bag of eggplants at another, put 100 yen each in their lock-box, took some pictures and left with my goods.

So if you past these stands often, check out what they have before you go to the grocery stores. You might change what you are going to put at the dinner table when you see those fresh vegetables.

Payment: Exact change in yen recommended.

4 COMMENTS

  1. These veggie stands are ALL OVER the island. You just have to keep an eye out because they are sometimes small and abandoned looking. Usually near farms but if you ever been up to Okuma you might have noticed big stand just on the side of the road. Whenever they harvest is when there is produce. No harvest that day…no produce that day. BUT they might be in business the next day..so always be on the lookout.

  2. Cayln,
    Could you please put down a better description as to where these are located? I would love to swing by from time to time. Thanks for the article.

    • Brian, I wrote this before typhoon Songda. The last veggie stand in the pic was almost gone and I haven’t seen it repaired yet. I’m not sure if it’s due to the typhoon destroying most of the crops or it’s just been too hot that their little land has not been producing much. These are all on route 29 when you get off the expressway #3 to go to Foster. From the exit, you turn left and drive for about 6 km and these stands are along the way but I heard there are lots of them at other streets. Maybe someone who read this can add the locations, too.

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