Category Archives: 由比

Railway Stations in Shizuoka Prefecture 3: Yui JR Station and Vicinity

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Some stations, even larger ones, are better left alone, but one should give at least one chance to any you venture to get off as there is always a chance that such a station and its vicinity contain enough helpful information, especially in a touristic spot.

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Yui is such a station along the Tokaido Railway Line about 20 minutes from Shizuoka JR Station in the east direction and found between Okitsu and Kambara Stations.
After all Yui has always been an important stage along the various routes coursing Japan between Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto as superbly described in many ukiyo-e/woodblock prints.
So, although the railway station is tiny, keep your eyes open (and don’t forget you can espy Mount Fuji from the overhead tracks bridge!)!

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I know a lot of stations which don’t bother, but you will find a window display of the local products typical of Yui.
Bear in mind that Yui was a city of its own before being recently merged with Shizuoka City and Shimizu Ku!

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Ogura Co. specializes in processed sakura ebi/cherry shrimps and fish!

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Yui Cannery Co. is famous all over Japan for its “White Ship” olive oil tuna cans!

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Inaba Co is another big tuna cannery!

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Kakusa Co specializes in processed fish products, especially dry and liquid fish dashi/soup stock!

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The Yui Cake (Japanese cakes) Association is also featuring their products!

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With all that fish around Yui is home to high end brand of dog and cat food producers!

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Yui is also home of famous kamaboko/steamed fish paste and kuro hanpen/black sardine fish paste cakes, the latter found only in Shizuoka Prefecture as demonstrated by the Yui Kamaboko Makers Association!

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Next time you visit Yui buy some in the many shops along Sakura Ebi Street as an unusual souvenir! Great with sake or beer!

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The small but renown Hiroshige Museum hang their posters inside to inform all-comers of their events!
A must visit in Yui!

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Yui might be small but you will gratified to discover that most signs are bi-lingual (sometimes with funny renditions!)!

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A must take picture: the Sakura Ebi Portal at the the entrance of Sakura Ebi Street!
The contraption was only moved there recently!

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You will find the double Yui Emblem of Sakura Ebi and Mount Fuji everywhere, so keep your eyes open for some interesting shots!

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You will find big signs hung by local establishments but like in any touristic spots big signs do not always guarantee the best of quality. To take with a pinch of salt! After all there is plenty around!

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Past the exit on your right you will find this first map board. Have a look at it even if you do not understand Japanese as more bilingual boards are near!

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It will give you a first idea of what to look for!

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Tokai Nature Trail bilingual board! Take your time to consult it!

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Take good note!

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You must take a look at Village Head Koike’s Mansion on Tokaido (meaning “Village Head/Chief’s Mansion along the Tokaido route. Free entrance) that I will talk about in an article soon to be posted and the Museum of Light, one of the only three lighting (candles and so on) museums in Japan! (entry 500 yen including coffee and an oral and manual demonstration!)!

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The Yui Edo Period Lodging Stations Guide Board!

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Take your time and read it!

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And don’t forget the sakura ebi & Mount Fuji emblems, they are everywhere, even on manhole covers!

FOR MORE REPORTS ON YUI AND SAKURA EBI do consult the following reports:

Sakura Ebi/Cherry Shrimps: Catching Season Opened in Yui!
Sakura Ebi/Cherry Shrimps Catching in Yui. Still Hard Work!”
Japanese Crustacean Species 7: Sakura Shrimp-Sakura Ebi-桜海老
O Taiko Festival at Toyosumi Shrine in Yui, Shizuoka City on the New Year!
Manhole Covers in Shizuoka Prefecture 14: Yui, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

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Sushi: Suruga Bay Sushi Set at Ginta in Yui, Shizuoka City!

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Service: Friendly and great explanations!
Facilities and equipment: old
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: Suruga Bay sashimi and sushi! Sakura ebi!

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“Me-Ichi Dai/メイチダイ”, a very rare seabream caught in Suruga Bay! It goes by the Latin name of Gymnocranius griseus (Temminck and Schlegel)! You would have to pay thousands for it in Tokyo! One of the best seabreams in Japan!

For all its derelict appearance (and it is actually old in all senses of the term!) Ginta in Yui just in front of Suruga Bay regularly appears on magazines and TV.
The reason is simple enough: this is a rare place, albeit cheap by sushi restaurant standards, which serves mainly local fish and seafood caught in Suruga Bay/駿河湾, and more precisely in a smaller bay called Kurasawa Bay/倉沢湾!
These are the richest bays in Japan when it comes to varieties, even including deep-sea fish which also appear as sashimi on plates in Numazu city for example!

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Sakura ebi emblem on a small bridge crossing one of the many streams running into the sea!

Mr. Hara is a story himself: being the son of a sakura ebi/cherry shrimp fisherman, he was destined to sail in his father’s feet, but he had one little problem… he suffered from chronic seasickness! There was only path left to him: opening a sushi restaurant!

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But his superior knowledge of the local fish and fishermen gave him the inestimable advantage over all sushi restaurants in the Prefecture that he had first catch and first choice whenever he wanted!
He didn’t have to serve fancy sushi or sashimi but keeping things simple served him perfectly. People would come from very far indeed for only one of his three specialties: aji/鯵/Kurasawa Bay Horse mackerel sushi nigiri plate, full course sakura ebi/桜海老 set (in season only for a mere 3,000 ywn!) and the 8 local fish sushi nigiri set for the ridiculous price of 1,800 yen/18 US $/13 Euros!
The other day I opted for the 8 local sushi nigiri set (I always do, actually!).
The set details allways appears on a notice on the board and served in the same order, a simple and great way ro introduce the fish offered!

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The 8 local fish and seafood nigiri set!

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Hirame/平目/Sole-Grouper!

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Tachiuo/太刀魚/Scabbard fish served with momiji oroshi (grated daikon and chili pepper) and ponzu! topping

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Yagara/ヤガラ/Trumpet fish served in konbujine style (marinated in seaweed)!

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Fugu/河豚/Globefish (don’t worry, a non-poisonous variety!) served with momiji oroshi, leek and ponzu topping!

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Kurasawa Bay Aji/鯵/Horse Mackerel!

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Ishidai/石鯛/Striped Beakfish-Barred Knifejaw!

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Kurodai/黒鯛/Japanese Black Porgy!

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Sakura Ebi/桜海老/Cherry Shrimps served in gunkan-style nigiri!
Note the glossy shell skin and the many red dots, a sure sign of super freshness!

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And sakura ebi miso soup to finish it all!

GINTA
421-3111 Shizuoka City, Shimizu Ku, Yui, Konjuku, 165 (Get off at Yui JR Station, turn right, a few minutes walk)
Tel.: 0543-75-3004
Business hours: 11:00~23:00 (but better call beforehand!)
Closed on Tuesdays

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

Sakura Ebi/Cherry Shrimps Catching in Yui. Still Hard Work!

Large painting of a sakura shrimp at the Yui Harbor Fisheries Association Building in Yui, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City

Yui fishermen will tell you that life has become a lot easier with the advent of technology including motorised boats, radar, radio, machine-cotrolled nets and syphons, but they agree it is still a toil to go out every evening during the two seasons in Spring and Autumn.
Now, how hard was it not so long ago?

pulling the nets by hand!

Now, if you stroll along the street running along the shore of Yui, you will discover some vending machines adorned with copies of all paintings on the life of Yui Cherry Shrimps Fishermen which will give you a good idea of the hard toil local fishermen had to go through!

Pulling up the nets full of sakura shrimp.
It has always been a team work!

Pulling the boats to shore by hand!

Unloading the baskets full of Cherry shrimps.
The fishermen used to spend half of the night separating the shrimps from small fish.
Only ten years they started syphoning up the shrimps directly from the nets inti the the boxes.
A lot of damage to the quality as they dropped baskets inside the nets and shoveled their contents into boxes.
Now the job is far more efficiently done with very little damage.

Every morning after the cheery shrimps had been sorted out the fishermen had to auction their catch.
Now it is all taken care of by the Association and fishermen can hit the sack after midnight!

in the old days, fishermen gathered around food and drink before sleeping in daytime!
Now, they can sleep between midnight and noon!

Now the habor is completely walled in and the ships do not have to pulled upshore everyday except during the off seasons when they are being scrapped and repaired.

And now the Association is taking care of allotting the departure times and destinations everyday!

If you happen to be in Yui make a point to visit the new Yui Harbor fisheries Association Building where you will discover some interesting photographs!

It is located the new part of the harbor!

People there are shy but I’m sure you will find an old hand willing to relate old times!
All these pictures were taken back in 1963!

Pulling the boats upshore!

Unloading the Cherry shrimps!

Boats coming back to harbor!

Unloading the catch!

Blood, sweat and tears!

Traditional Fisherman’s gear!
Now they wear what they want under waterproof overalls and boots!

The beavhes have now been replaced with a safe harbor!

But for all the great improvements my old samurai friend will be the first to tell you this is still bleedin’ hard work!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Sakura Shrimps Fisherman in Yui: Hiroki Kubota-窪田弘毅!

A samurai of old? Hiroki Kubota-窪田弘毅!

The cherry shrimps spring catching season will be finished in three weeks before being resumed in late fall.
So yesterday, 23rd of May, it was high time I went looking for an old friend working half of the year as a cherry shrimps fisherman in Yui, Shimizu ku, Shizuoka City!

The cherry shrimps entry gate!

Although Yui has lately been incorporated into Shizuoka City it is still a bit far from the center of Shizuoka City, 5 stations away along the Tokaido Railway Line.
Once you get off Yui Station turn immediately to the right where you will see the Cherry Shrimps Gate at the entrance of Cherry Shrimps Street!

Have a look at the map conveniently set up near the station entrance!

Looking at the pictures you will discover there is lot to see in this little fishing village!

Now, be a bit nosy and you will find copies of old pictures on vending machines!

A fisherman’s life was really hard toil not so long ago, but they already knew how to enjoy themselves!

If you do not miss the entrance to the small (but nationally-known!) harbour past under the railway track you will notice this signboard!

It features a map of Suruga Bay between Omaezaki and the Izu Peninsula.
Every two days the departure time is clearly indicated, varying between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.!
The ships will be back between 10:30 and 12:00 p.m. depending upon the catch.

The ships, all owned by the Yui Cherry Shrimps fishermen Association are divided into four groups with a new destination every two days as well as a different departing order!

You will find two kinds of fishing ships inside Yui harbor:
The smaller cherry shrimps boats.

And the larger differently-equipped shirasu/sardine whiting boats.
The season and departing times are different for those and they do belong to another Association.

A grand view of the highly protected harbour from its land’s end!

The shirasu boats and private vessels are moored at the end of the harbor.

The Yui Harbor Fishermen Association building where the morning auctions are conducted! I will report there as early as 6:30 a.m. for my next interview!

The exit to the sea under the Tomei Expressway!

A view of the harbour from the sea’s end!

Both quays are dotted with accesses to fuel from where the ships can pump in their individual needs directly!

Ice is brought in bags in small trucks.

I finally found my man: Hiroki Kubota-窪田弘毅!
Hiroki is now a very young 43-year old samurai figure.
After graduating from Tokai University in Yokohama 23 years ago he decided to come back home and work as a cherry shrimp fisherman in Yui half of the year and spend the rest of the year abroad, Bali these days, to enjoy his passion: surfing!
He actually lost half of his right thumb this year in a surfing accident and still wears a plaster around his right hand and wrist!

It doesn’t matter how long you have been in the business, but you still have to go through a lot of very important chores such as oiling the machinery!

Checking the nets!

A last check to ensure the good unfurling of the nets!

Hiroki’s ship: Dai Ichi Wakamiya Maru!
Dai Ichi stands for “First” as the ships always work in teams of two with six crew on each ship!
“Maru” means “Ship”!

This little box is the privies!
They didn’t have it a long time ago!
The ships have been equipped with siphons only ten years ago to haul the shrimps from the nets held between ships!
The work had to be done with large baskets, ropes and pulleys before.
Hiroki assured me that the fishing has definitely become easier on the body!

Each ship is equipped with a stove constantly burning as the nights are cold at sea!
Hiroki’s crew mates, all great lads, invited to join me in the near future! I’m definitely tempted although the Dragon at home will probably disagree!

Checking one’s wet suit and personal belongings for a last time.

Waiting for the official start always announced over a loudspeaker.
Fishing is done only in the evenings of Spring and Fall when the shrimps rise from their usual depth under 200 metres to up to 50 metres below surface.
In Spring fishing is concentrated in the eastern half of the bay whereas in the fall it will be done in the Central part of the Suruga bay.

Still some time left to share a joke and a rumor!

Some mooring lines are already loosened and taken away.

Some of the crews are already putting on their fishing wet suits. Hiroki does seem to need his yet…

What may such men laugh about at such a time?

Our samurai does seem to be an old hand!

Getting the ice ready in the proper place!

Putting some of the protective buoys back aboard.

All ships are equipped with powerful radio and radar!

A last call to the girlfriend?

The last ships leaving!
Hiroki’s was one of the last that day as his ship would work in the nearby sea!

Hiroki’s ship leaving at last!

Speeding away!

Good luck guys, and have a good catch!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Japanese Gastronomy: Sushi & Sashimi – Eat Local!

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Saurel pike/Aji from Suruga Bay, Shizuoka Prefecture

Very few people will disagree with the notion that Japan is the ideal place to discover and savour sushi and sashimi in the whole world. Nevertheless, there are a few rules of the thumb to respect, even in this gastronomic paradise.
The overriding rule is that you should try and eat only local fish or seafood.
Tsukiji might be considered a sushi paradise by Tokyoites (it has or will be moved to another location), but the cheap prices enjoyed by tourists cannot conceal the reality: the fish and seafood are “imported” from all over Japan and beyond!
More than often, Edomae (Tokyo) sushi is nothing but a clever way to “dress up” ingredients to lure officionados (and customers) into believing they are eating top quality sushi (with the consequent prices).
Now, if you have the chance and time to explore Japan beyond Tokyo, you will discover an unfathomable treasure trove of gastronomic pleasure and knowledge!
After all, this country is a vast archipelago stretched across greatly different seas and climates, making for a diversity difficult to equal.
So, even if you cannot possibly explore all the shores of this nation, make a point to learn about the food available wherever you choose to stay.
The same goes for residents, not only for their own sake, but for that of their visitors and friends!

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Sushi set with fish all caught in Suruga Bay, Shizuoka Prefecture

You also ought to do some homework. Sushi chefs worthy of their salt will be only too happy to answer questions to genuinely interested customers and come up with revelations of their own.
As an example to illustrate the need for some basic knowledge, in Hokkaido “oyakodon” (“parent and child”) is not cooked chicken and omelette on a bowl of rice, but raw salmon and its roe spread on top the same bowl of rice!
Likewise, the same fish will more than often be sold under a myriad of names.
Many morsels will not be found anywhere else suc as “sakura ebi/cherry shrimps” and fresh”shirasu/sardine whiting” in Shizuoka Prefecture.
Sashimi in most cases has to be perfectly fresh as typified by “kubiore saba” in Yakushima Island where fishermen break the neck (“kubiore”) of mackerels (“saba”) to preserve their quality upon catching. The same fish will be served within a few hours, or less, on the local tables.
On the other hand, tuna sashimi is best consumed first thawed and then ripened for a few days in a refrigerator.
In Hokkaido, large shrimps, especially “botan ebi” will be served only raw, whereas “kuruma ebi” will be first boiled in other regions.

If you ask for “tataki”, make sure it means the whole fish, especially “aji/mackerel pike” that will be served finely cut as tartare atop the dressed fish. And if the fish is really fresh such small and medium fish will have their bones and heads served deep-fried for a beautiful crispy snack!

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Flying Fish/Tobiuo sashimi from Yakushima Island

On the other hand, sushi follows different rules.
Fish and seafood placed on “donburi” (bowl) are usually of the freshly brought variety but fish served as nigiri is prepared in a different way.
The greatest sushi (and this cannot be done in Tsukiji!) are made with fish which has been gutted and cleaned live within seconds, then dressed into strips/fillets left to mature in a refrigerator on clean cloth/kitchen paper. This can be done only with fish caught locally!
The same obviously goes with shellfish and other marine ceatures: One cannot sample better “uni/sea urchin” away from Hokkaido or sakura ebi from Shizuoka.

Vegan and vegetarians, upon finding a restaurant willing to satisfy their priorities should also ask for food grown locally, a search easier than one might think at first as there are many non-meat eaters in this mainly Buddhist country.
The same vegetables will make for the perfect combination when associated with local fish!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India
Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, 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,
Susan at Arkonlite, 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

Sakura Ebi/Cherry Shrimps: Catching Season Opened in Yui!

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.
Organic oranges!

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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