Buying vegetables (A)
There are five or six supermarkets within easy walking distance. I prefer Y's Mart, which is between my home and Minowa Station, but I will also go to Olympic, which is larger and has a second floor that sells household items. Niku no Hanamasa is where I go if I'm walking back from Asakusa. But there's also a supermarket near Minowa Station and one in Nihonzutsumi and one above Iriya. And maybe a few more that I'm not remember or haven't come across.
There are two shōtengai within easy walking distance--more if we include less formally organized shopping streets because there are about ten in the same circle I've drawn on the map but they tend to be mostly shuttered. Irohakai is a short walk away. From Edward Fowler’s San'ya Blues: Laboring Life in Contemporary Tokyo:
The Iroha (“A-B-C”) is a roofed arcade running nearly a quarter mile from the western edge of Nihonzutsumi northeast into the heart of San'ya just shy of Old Streetcar Boulevard. It competes with two other commercial areas, the Asahi Shōtengai, a shop-lined street (with metal awnings on the shop fronts but no roof) located a five minute walk to the southeast; and Minowa Joyful (near Minowabashi Station), a venerable but well-kept arcade located a fifteen-minute walk to the northwest. Unlike Asahi Street, the Iroha Arcade is not open to automobile traffic, and unlike the Minowa Arcade … it is not fed by any commuter train…. It is patronized by day laborer and permanent resident alike, as well as by shoppers from farther afield.
There's a vegetable shop at the side of the shōtengai closest to the Minowa Station side. The proprietor sells organic vegetables that come mostly from local farms (within Tokyo or from Saitama and Chiba and Kanagawa, and sometimes Gunma or Shizuoka). Above the vegetables, there are handwritten notes as to their provenance.
I sometimes stop by just to have a look, match the vegetables to my calendar of monthly seasonal vegetables, pick up a bag of greens and weigh it in my hands.The vegetables have dirt on them.
I bought a daikon there today. I washed it in the sink at home and it left a fine layer of sand in the basin. I bought a bag of mustard greens that concealed somewhere inside of the bundle two tiny white worms with black heads.