The Knives

As soon as Mr C and I heard about Aritsugu, in Nishiki Market, Kyoto, we were hooked. The only thing stopping us going on a retail rampage was that they are cash only. This was more of an issue than I was expecting in Japan – a lot of folks just don’t take cards.

Aritsugu sell knives. Not just any old knives, but very, very sharp and fine knives. They’ve been selling them for nearly 500 years. They’re actually one of two or 3 knife sellers in the area that I spotted, but they sure do look the part.IMG_7906

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Avoca Market

Avoca Market made me happy. Where else on the Central Coast can you expect a Mermaid’s Kiss?


It’s a crafts and lovely things market more than a food market, though there are plenty of places to eat, and just about all of them looked very nice indeed. Not your run of the mill burger joints, anyway. I hadn’t even planned to write about it, but the stalls looked so pretty in the Autumn sunshine (it was bunting central) that I just couldn’t help myself. We did buy some lovely purple and green kale from an organic stall towards the car park end, as well as some fantastic smelling wood smoked garlic (she did a smoked sea salt and herb mix as well, but oh! the scent of that garlic!), but mostly we wandered about and admired the crafty things.


Smoked garlic – goes well with kale crisps!

So: this post is a bit light on words but full of pictures instead. There must be 150 stalls so there was no way I could snap everything, but I’ve selected a few which should give you an idea of the happy vibe of the place.

The first thing we noticed was the music floating over the field from the Lizotte’s stage. We ambled toward it and came across this little urchin, all on her own – not really playing anything but making a fortune by dint of being gorgeous:


Lizotte’s are a local music bar/restaurant and these guys were on stage rockin’ it while we were there:


If you have better eyes than me you might be able to make out the artist name from the board…


Another band were taking up a far corner too:


I did splash out on one of these gorgeous picnic rugs – not that I need one, but look! So pretty! And machine washable too. See for more details. 


Was also super tempted by a shell wall hanging, made by a lady who collects them from local beaches from Newcastle to Sydney:


I did buy a couple of cute little bowls from Paisleys (, thought I’d use them for salt and pepper when I have those mythical dinner parties…:


The owners of this stall, whilst happy for me to take photos (I always ask unless it would be obtrusive to do so), scarpered out of the way of this shot, which was a shame as they were both lovely! Great edgey jewellery too. I’m a bit over the skulls thing myself but it’s still very popular, and their stall was beautifully laid out:


I was seriously ready for some food by the time I got halfway round, especially as Mr C and I had had words over how much the house would benefit from some lovely stripey bunting. (Couldn’t persuade him but bought some anyway). Very very tempted by the Porkwich roll, but I was determined to stick to my wheat free day, so I plumped for the rice paper rolls, which, whilst small, were delicately flavoured with sesame oil and resplendent with Vietnamese herbs. Their scattered seating and rare shade was also most welcome!:


Mr C went for the lamb kebab arrangement from Mediterranean Grill. He liked it, anyway. Coffee looked good from fat Poppy:


Cupcakes to go with that coffee?


On our way back to the car we trawled the other side of the market and admired the chillout area run by wicked fruit (choccie dipped fruits and smoothies). Families sprawled over their lunches:


It’s also possible to have your fortune read by angels. Not an offer one gets too often I expect. I didn’t partake.


If body art is your preference, there’s henna tatooing too:


There were vintage stalls aplenty for homewares, art prints, cards and clothes, re-purposed goods – some super chairs:


printschairs card

These I think are unrelated to the market but made me smile anyway:


And finally – that Mermaid’s Kiss I promised:


Mermaid’s Kiss and Octopus Garden seemed to be next to each other, selling lovely hanging plants.

Avoca Markets

9am – 2pm
4th Sunday Monthly

Heazlett Park Foreshore Avoca Beach NSW 2251