Any passionfruit lovers out there?
Though you can find tropical/specialty fruits at UNAGI-YA fruits market in Takezono (near Terashima drugstore and Kasumi), I just wanted to inform you of some passionfruit on sale now (100yen each…they just starting selling them today and will continue until the inventory runs out, I think – they look really beautiful with shiny firm purple/red skin!) at Yao-kane supermarket. If you want to go, hurry and go now because inventory often changes. I was also thrilled to find white asparagus there recently.
That particular shop is a typical friendly local supermarket selling mostly regional produce at prices often lower than typical major supermarkets. The seafood there is QUITE fresh (my housewife friends all praised the quality of the seafood there) and the man behind the counter is happy to clean the fish for you. Special fish at the moment: saba (mackerel) and sama (saury)…saury is best eaten salted and grilled while mackerel is really tasty simmered in sweet miso sauce and ginger! Assorted sashimi fish packs are reasonable and fresh there too.
How to find the place: Go SOUTH on NISHI-odori…turn right (West) on the Andersen Bakery/Doho Park road…and you can see the supermarket just one block down. The place is easy to miss but often you can see tons of cars parked along both sides of the street, mostly customers!
UPDATE: I was told that “tonari no yasai” shop (along Nishi-odori…near Onogawa area and the Coco’s around there) also sells passionfruit. Apparently someone is growing passionfruit in Tsukuba these days, hoping it will spark a demand for it.
INFO: Passionfruit is tasty when cut open and eaten as is…though it is INCREDIBLY sour. Many people choose to open it up, put the insides of the fruit into a glass, mix it up with some water and sugar for a tasty passionfruit juice cocktail. Orange juice can be used instead of sugar, too.