The Sakura Ebi Gate just outside Yui JR Station!
The sakura ebi/cherry shrimps catching season was finally opened on April 6th with some delay!
Sakura ebi and Shirasu Shop
Son Thursday April 7th I went to Yui to see the fishermen leave on their second day of fishing.
I came a bit too early (14:00) but nonetheless took my time and observe things at ease.
Once you get off at Yui JR Station, get out and turn left. You will see the Sakura Ebi Gate opening the way to the harbor and the Eastern part of the Village.
The street is actually called Yui Sakura Ebi Street/由比桜えび通り!
The entrance to the harbor is almost concealed. Make sure you don’t miss it!
Not easy to notice as the entrance is under the railway track!
Mind you head!
What’s that map under the sign saying to look out for earthquakes and tsunamis?
Four destinations. The ships will run there in shifts and teams. Each group is assigned 8 bags of ice.
All ships leaving port at 5:30 p.m. sharp.
They will be catching sakura ebi between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. before being back at around 10:00 a.m.
Ships still at anchor and nobody to be seen around…
This gave me chance to have a closer look!
The ship’s name means “Great Luck”!
Yui is not all about sakura ebi.
Having plenty of time on hand I took a stroll through the Village.
A beautiful little Japanese cake shop!
But we know what that shop sells!
They also catch all kinds of fish in the Suruga Bay. A lot are dried to become succulent himono/干物!
Yui is also famous for its citruses.
Most of those vegetables are locally grown!
When I came back around 4:00 p.m. the fishermen started arriving.
Boarding the ships.
One shipman on each boat will sprinkle different part with salt and Japanese sake every day for good luck!
This is all team work and the fishermen enjoy sharing a word before leaving. The only time of the day they can really socialize!
Official visit from the city hall. The fishermen are not really bothered…
I knew you were going to ask: these are the toilets!
All ships are powered by Yanmar Diesel engines.
This is night only fishing when the sakura ebi come up from the deep. Plenty of lights needed!
Antennae and flashing lights for mutual recognition.
Very powerful lights!
The next morning each catch will be weighed on named scales.
The actual sales will take place there.
I’m planning to witness those soon!
The crews (6 to each ship) are slowly getting ready.
The grilles protecting the propellers are hoisted up.
Each ship is equipped with a stove and chimney to heat water for hot drinks on cold and long nights!
Starting putting on protective gear.
The pilots are all the veterans of each team. These two are 75 years old!
Big wheels for such fine nets!
Not all ships are equipped with nets. Instead they have syphons for an easy and careful haul of the shrimps. Don’t forget all is done in teams!
Almost 5:30 p.m.!
Here they go!
Good luck guys, and great catch to you all!
Next, I will pay them a visit in the morning!
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2 thoughts on “Sakura Ebi/Cherry Shrimps: Catching Season Opened in Yui!”
Yui is one of my favorite towns in Shizuoka, and I plan to bring some Tokyo friends down there to enjoy the day. Thanks for the fishing boat info. Did not know that. Yui is a great day trip from out of Tokyo. While I am not much of a sakuraebi fan, myself (shitsurei…) the local vegetables and fish are more than enough to haul back to the home kitchen. Extremely picturesque walk to the Hokusai Museum, too. Highly recommended.
Totally agree! LOL