With Spring comes the season for a specialty found in Shizuoka Prefecture only!
“Sakura Ebi” or Sakura shrimp is a vey small (maximum 5 cm) crustacean caught in the Suruga Bay of Shizuoka Prefecture. Most of ships are anchored in Yui City (part of Shizuka City city) and Fujikawa Harbours.
The shrimps are caught in special net baskets. They are then siphoned through special “tubes” with the baskets kept just above the water. Later all sea creatures inadvently caught in the nets are released alive back into the sea! Who said the Jpanese are not environment-conscious?
Moreover, for the first time in Japan, the Association of Cherry Shrimps Fishermen decided in 1965 to strictly limit their yearly total catch to preserve stocks. A salutary initiative long before normal citizens became aware of conservation and environment!
According to long traditions they are put on the market immediately for auction.
Many fishermen open their own sushi restaurants, bars and often their catches of the night until early in the afternoon before taking a well-earned sleep.
For people who prefer them as sushi, the gunkan style is the most appreciated!
Most French and Italian Restaurants in Shizuoka City and around will serve them in quiches!
Another popular way to eat them is of course as a tempura called kaki-age, either with fresh sakura ebi in season or frozen/dried ones.
Fishermen use to dry their catch for sale and export until the government had the great idea to run an expressway just along the harbour!
The shrimps are now dried along nearby Fujikawa River at the foot of Mount Fuji, creating large quaint rose expanses in the most useen for locations!