It’s very sweet and rich in taste! Let’s eat Terajima eggplant in Higashi-mukojima!

Do you know what Edo-vegetables are?
Most of the vegetables currently sold in Tokyo are delivered from other prefectures.
Edo-vegetables are specific vegetables from the Edo period and are still planted and harvested in the present day Tokyo area.
Sadly, some of them no longer exist, but 42 different kinds are still planted and harvested and are certified as Edo-vegetables.
I will introduce an Edo period vegetable called the Terajima eggplant.


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The Terajima eggplant
The Terajima eggplant

The history of the Terajima eggplant

The Terajima eggplant was first planted in the Sumida area of Tokyo in the 1650’s.
The Tokugawa shogunate had eggplant fields around the Mokubo temple, which was under their direct control.
The eggplants spread to the Terajima village around that time and people started to call them Terajima eggplants.
The Terajima eggplants became extinct for a short period of time, because of the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923.
However, they were revived by experts and Terashima locals.

Let’s eat Terajima eggplant in Higashi-mukojima!

Buckwheat noodles with Terajima eggplant
Buckwheat noodles with Terajima eggplant

The Terajima eggplant has an egg shape and is smaller than common eggplants.
It has a firm texture and sweet taste. Raw Terajima eggplant smells like a green apple. It is used for making sweets, as well as in meals.
Terajima eggplants are typically deep-fried and stir-fried, because cooking them with oil makes them much sweeter.
In spite of its delicious taste, many people (except the locals) rarely see the Terajima eggplant at supermarkets.
I recommend going to Higashi-mukojima for delicious dishes that use the Terajima eggplant at 22 various restaurants. You can enjoy curry, buckwheat noodles, and Japanese confectionery that use Terajima eggplant.

You can also buy the Terajima eggplant at a local greengrocer in Higashi-mukojima.
Please try cooking them in a special dish at home.

Daiki seika sells Terajima eggplants on the Higashi-mukojima-ekimae shopping street.
Daiki seika sells Terajima eggplants on the Higashi-mukojima-ekimae shopping street.

The harvest season for the Terajima eggplant is from around early June to around late October. However, the time they arrive in stores changes depending on the climate of each year. The shops may also not be able to provide them depending on certain situations.

Daiki seika

  • Address:5-13-16 Higashi-mukojima, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
  • Opening hours:10:00am-7:00pm
  • Closing dates:Sunday
  • Telephone:03-3612-3264

The Ohagi with Terajima eggplant is very popular

Sakamoto senbei is loved by local people.
Sakamoto senbei is loved by local people.

Sakamoto senbei is a rice cracker specialty shop and is a two-minute walk from Higashimukojima station. This shop was established in 1932. They make delicious rice crackers and sweets from their ‘heart and soul’ for their customers.

Ohagi with the Terajima eggplant.
Ohagi with the Terajima eggplant.

They sell Ohagi with the Terajima eggplant on Saturdays during the summer season (sale period changes depending on the availability of the Terajima eggplant).
Ohagi is a Japanese sweet made of a sticky rice ball covered with red bean paste. The specialty of this sweet is that it contains a Terajima eggplant compote. The local people look forward to this Ohagi every summer.

The rice dumplings and Sekihan, glutinous rice steamed with redbeans, sold every Saturday are popular products too.

Sakamoto senbei

  • Address:5-8-3 Higashimukojima, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
  • Opening hours:9:00am-8:00pm
  • Telephone:03-3611-2275
  • Websitehttp://sakasen.jp/  (Japanese text only)

Let’s find the Terajima eggplant at the Mukojima-Hyakkaen Garden!

Mukojima-Hyakkaen Gardens
Mukojima-Hyakkaen Gardens

Terajima nasu_7

The Mukojima-Hyakkaen Garden was built at the end of the Edo period in 1804. The Garden specifically collects and exhibits plants from the Edo period.

Terajima eggplants can be seen near the trellis of Akebia trees in the garden. Isn’t it amazing that we are able to observe this historical plant, growing in the garden?

Terajima nasu_8
Terajima nasu_9

There are so many different types of greenery, so visitors can enjoy blooming flowers throughout the year. The chrysanthemum exhibition is held until 20th November.

Mukojima-Hyakkaen Gardens

  • Address:3-18-3 Higashimukojima, Sumida-ku, Tokyo
  • Opening hours:9:00am-5:00pm(Last entry is at 4:30pm)
  • Closing dates:29th December to 3rd January every year
  • Telephone:03-3611-8705
  • Websitehttp://teien.tokyo-park.or.jp/en/mukojima/

Offering the Terajima eggplant to the world!

Terajima Nasunosuke is the mascot character for the Terajima eggplant.
Terajima Nasunosuke is the mascot character for the Terajima eggplant.

People are very friendly in Higashi-mukojima. I was touched by the kind local people.
The people who live in Higashi-mukojima have been trying to promote the Terajima eggplant throughout Japan and the world.

Please visit Higashi-mukojima and eat the Terajima eggplant dishes there!

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AUTHOR

yumoka

yumoka

Writer

I have experience studying abroad in Germany and traveled 17 countries before. Love Korean food, Love Astronaut, Love Croatia. I will send everyone exciting information of Japan! Enjoy it!

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