Shizuoka Seafood: Heda Fishmarket in Izu Peninsula!

Although a small village, not even a city as it is part of enlarged Numazu City, Heda in the north west of Izu Peninsula is nonetheless a major shipping harbor in Shizuoka Prefecture with more than 1,400 years of officially-recorded history!
It is the only place where for example you still can see live Takaashigani/高足蟹/Japanese spider crab, the largest crab in the world!

Yesterday I had the occasion to visit the Heda Fishermen Cooperative Direct Sales Fishmarket/戸田漁協直売所.
It is not big as more than 95% of the fish and seafood caught in Suruga Bay by the fishing boats of Heda will at once been dispatched far and away (especially Tokyo!). But at least that little establishment gives you an idea of what beauties are caught in the vicinity!

Let’s have a good look at what we have here…

Enormous te-naga ebi/手長海老/Scampi/Gambas!

Megisu/目鱚/a variety of sillago found in very deep sea, a specialty of the region!

Aka ika/赤烏賊/Red squids caught overnight! I actually saw the boats coming back home!

Madai/真鯛/True Seabreams!

Kawahagi/カワハギ/Threadsail Filefish/Leatherjackets, a most underestimated delicacy!

Budai/ブダイ/Calotomus japonicus (Valenciennes) and Kasago/カサゴ/False kelpfish; Marbled rockfish (smaller one)!

Ridiculously low prices for such fresh beauties!

Warasa/ワラサ/Young Japanese Amberjack!

Kinmedai/金目鯛/Spledid Alfonsino, a top-class fish on Tokyo tables!

More warasa at ridiculous prices!

Takahasigani/高足蟹/Japanese Spider Crab! A small one, although it already reaches almost a meter from leg tip to leg tip!

Sazae/サザエ/Turbo shells! Another expensive delicacy on Tokyo tables!

Live Iseebi/伊勢海老/Spiny lobsters!

Izu Peninsula is celebrated for its extravagant salt: Ida Shio/井田塩 gathered in Ida near Heda!

Top-class nori/のり/seaweed!

Izu Peninsula produces half of all sun-dried fish and seafood/Himono/干物 in Japan!
Aji no Himono/鯵の干物/Dried Horse Mackerel!

Kinmedai Himono from Heda! Again ridiculously low-priced!

Saba Himono from Heda/鯖/Mackerel!

And this is only one of many reasons to visit Heda!

Access: Go down at Mishima JR Station, take the local train/Izu hakone Line to Shyuzenji at the local station just beside the Mishima Station Entrance (30 minutes, 510 yen). Take a bus from Shyuzenji Station to Heda, terminal No 6 (54 minutes, 1,000 yen)

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Izu Peninsula: Strolling through Shuzenji Hot Springs Resort

If you have the chance to visit Shuzenji in Izu Peninsula, Shizuoka Prefecture, one of the oldest hot springs resort in Japan whose history has been traced back more than 1,400 years, even a single day return trip would make it worthwhile! There are lots of things to see, experience and taste there! I make a point to pay it a visit at least twice a year at different seasons!
The access is very easy: Change lines and Station at Mishima City, it is only 510 yen and 30 minutes away!
Yesterday I only had a couple of hours to enjoy the place on my way back to Shizuoka City, but I managed to take some pictures just to share a small glimpse of the village (it used to be a city!)!

Many traditional houses along the river, be they private abodes or restaurants or shops!

A beautiful stream bisects the site into two distinctive halves!

Leaves are finally starting to change colors!

Take a stroll across the large bamboo grove park…

and take a peek at old houses though the bamboo trees…

Keep your eyes open and you will surely discover calligraphic designs to emulate!

Talking of design, who might have thought of a car for a cafe ensign? Beautiful cafe, incidentally!

A sight rapidly disappearing in Japan, but there are still at least three of these doll rifle shooting stands in Shuzenji!

You are bound to discover some beautiful noren/暖簾/shop entrance curtains! This one is at the entrance of a busy soba restaurant!

Shuzenji is also a paradise for antiques and collectors!

Restaurants are still built and re-built in the traditional way!

Simplicity made beautiful in a noren!

What’s left hanging in front of this big electric fan?

Squids!
The Izu Peninsula produces half of the whole Japanese sun-dried seafood/himono/干物 in Japan!

There are plenty of mysterious lanes, streets, passages and stairs to explore!

This “tower” is the actual entrance to a public (for a fee) hot springs bath!

This public and free foot hot spring bath in the middle of the river has a 1,400 year-long history!

A welcome dip for my tired feet!

The best way to finish the day: a cold beer in one of the many cute cafes!

Hoping to meet you somewhere else very soon!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Bryan Baird’s Newsletter (2011/10/28): Celebration of the Life of a Country Girl

Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin
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Celebration of the Life of a Country Girl

Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

For many Japan craft beer enthusiasts, an annual autumn rite of passage is the release of a deliciously down-to-earth Baird Beer: Country Girl Kabocha Ale. Country Girl marks her 10th annual debut on Friday, October 28.

My mother, Sally Eshelman Baird, is the ‘country girl’ who inspired this earthy and elegant ale. Born and raised in pumpkin country in central Ohio, Sally embodied all of the great Midwestern virtues: modesty, honesty, earthy elegance and simple sophistication. She was the most earnestly forthright and candid person I have ever known. I remember during her final visit to Japan in 2005 to help us celebrate the opening of our new brewery, she opined to me while sipping a Baird Beer at our Fishmarket Taproom: “I’m not sure how much I really like Baird Beer, but I sure do like and appreciate the hard work and integrity that goes into it.”

I think she was proud of our efforts. She passed away on August 30, 2011 at the age of seventy-six. A son’s profound and eternal love for his mother is the spirit which has imbued the brewing of Country Girl Kabocha Ale over the past decade. That spirit is deeply manifest in this 2011 goodbye batch.

*Country Girl Kabocha Ale 2011 (ABV 6.2%):

Kabocha is a Japanese pumpkin-like squash the taste of which is elegantly sweet. The kabocha we use is grown in the Heda garden of our carpenter-partner-friend, Nagakura-san. We first cook it in order to gelatinize it, then we add it to our mash where the enzymes from the malt help to further break it down into simple fermentable sugars. Several characterful varieties of malted barley produce a hearty wort that when married to the kabocha yields a flavor partnership of great depth and balance. After fermentation, re-fermentation and conditioning, the result is an earthy, rustic beer that manages to deliver an extraordinarily sophisticated yet subtle complexity of flavor. It is, to many resident beer enthusiasts, the flavor of fall in Japan!

Country Girl Kabocha Ale 2011 begins pouring from the taps of our Taproom pubs beginning Friday, October 28. It also will be served at other fine Baird Beer retailing pubs and restaurants in Japan beginning the same day. Bottles (633 ml) can be purchased direct from our brewery E-shop and through the family of Baird Beer retailing liquor shops in Japan.

Cheers!

Bryan Baird

Baird Brewing Company
Numazu, Japan
HOMEPAGE

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery