The Incredible Ichiba Kouji: Japanese Market in the heart of Cheshire

Dunham-on-the-Hill near Frodsham is an idyllic little village, and twice a month their Boshaw community Centre houses a Japanese Market with crafts, cooking lessons and authentic Japanese grub. I came across the market randomly through Facebook and my friend who was planning a visit there to get some inspiration to a street festival event they are planning. They said they’d drive, I said I’d tag along. Great deal, for me.



The bi-monthly, family friendly market (Ichiba Kouji) plays host to the Anglo-Japanese community with the intention to meet new and existing friends, relax and socialise. They promise authentic Japanese food, fresh farm produce and cooking lessons amongst other things.

Sounded pretty full on.



I don’t know what I expected, but I was still surprised.

On arrival I found myself fiddling with these adorable handcrafted woollen figurines, silk purses, origami, green tea cakes and tarts and homemade noodles and sushi. All kinds of authentic Japanese trinkets and even a selection of comics, all in the original language obviously. My Japanese isn’t as fluent as it used to be (I am joking, obviously, I don’t speak a word of Japanese) so I contended to looking over the images. I remember some of the protagonists from Saturday morning cartoons. Anyway, they were fab.



But what really stood out was the food they served. Cooked in the little kitchen of the community centre the ladies crafted some pretty authentic sounding dishes from dumplings to handcrafted noodles and tempura prawns and sushi. The kitchen was insanely busy with everyone wanting a piece of what they were offering but the food was totally worth the wait. It looked beautiful and tasted beautiful and I would have gone back for seconds if I didn’t have to concentrate on taking photos as well as stuffing my face.



It felt like I was whisked to a different continent far away without leaving Cheshire, in a community centre of a picturesque English village. Fancy that!

The Japanese Market is hosted the second and fourth Sunday of every month from 11am until 3pm.


Have you visited he Ichiba Kouji market before? Tell me all about it in the comments!