The friendly maron-man
Nishikimarket is a fresh food market in the heart of Kyoto. At this moment a major touristic attraction, but when we visited on December 31st, 2014, it was crowded by locals, doing their shopping for "oshogatsu" - new year. Here I took this picture (left) of "the friendly maron-man" - smilingly handing out a bag of freshly roasted chestnuts to his client. In autumn and winter chestnuts are a popular delicacy. They are called in Japanese "kuri" but also "maron" after the French word "marron".
This picture is on canvas in our living room, and I always say that when we visit Kyoto again I wil go to Nishikimarket, find the guy and give it to him. Never been back, though. It's been almost 5 years now, so I often think that he may not be even working there anymore. But guess what! 24kitchen (food and cooking channel) featured Japan in a series at the beginning of this year and we watched it recently online. And look who was on television? Just for a second, but unmistakably our friendly maron-man! Really happy to see him, alive and kicking, still smiling, still roasting chestnuts at Nishikimarket.