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Here’s Saki, from Local Travel Partners !
If we talk about fish market in Japan, you would probably think of Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo first ?
But each port town has its own fish market and the one in Shimizu is renowned not only in Shizuoka, but also in whole Japan : it is called Kashi no Ichi -「河岸の市」.
First, let us have a glimpse of the Shimizu port, which have the biggest tuna landing in Japan ! Half of the tuna consumed in Japan is caught here.
Shimizu Port is famous for being one of the three most beautiful ports in Japan. The location is without doubt one of the best : on good day, you can see the Mount Fuji on your left ; you can also go to the Miho Pine tree grove, not far from there. The port has a long history as well. During the Edo period, from the moment Ieyasu TOKUGAWA located in Sumpu castle, it prospered as a military base.
The Miho peninsula playing the role of breakwater, it brought tranquility inside the bay. Thanks to this, the port gradually increased trade, and contributed to the regional development as an important port.
On the picture above, you can see the cold storage for tuna behind the fishing boat. If you wish to visit the big freezer, it is also possible !
Here is a french family that visited the tuna cold storage ! You can have a look at big tuna and learn how the factory process from the moment the big fish land to the moment it is sold.
We can organize a tour with a guide in english or french. We will also arrange with the person in charge at the tuna factory. Feel free to contact us, at Local travel partners, if you are interested !
We arrived by water bus. The ride was refreshing ! The water bus dropped us at the entrance of the market, from the sea side. The access from the land side is also very easy. The market is located between the Shimizu JR train station and the port.
The Kashi no Ichi fish market has seen the light of day by the will of the wholesalers who wanted anyone to be able to eat fresh and delicious fish more easily. It is the ”local kitchen” of Shimizu port, a lot of tourists comes by but mainly the local population ! You know like me that where local goes, is the place to be 😉
We were there on week day, during the Obon holiday and the place was crowded with people. There is actually more than one millions visitors per year ! It is also popular as the Shimizu fish market is the first facility in Japan where wholesaler sells directly their products.
The Kashi no Ichi is made of two buildings : the Ichiba-Kan -いちば館- and the Maguro-Kan -まぐろ館-. The Ichiba-Kan, litteraly the market pavilion, is obviously where the heart of the market is. There is 20 stores inside, all very lively, as you would imagine a fish market !
Here is one of the entrance to the Ichiba-kan of the Kashi no Ichi.
Inside the vibrant market, you will find fresh seafood -from tuna to nearby sea seashells- carefully chosen by each shops owner, to fresh handmade tofu or vegetables !
Everything you find there is at a very advantageous price !
You can also eat raw oyster on the spot ! Have it with soy sauce or lemon, your choice. They are really big ! Impressive…
After the market, we headed towards the other building the Maguro-kan !
This building is the gathering of all the restaurants ! You have a total of 15 restaurants inside on 2 floors, all of them serving fresh seafood. Quite difficult to decide on one…
We had a look at each menu, exposed outside the restaurant. If we could, we would have gone to each one of them !
While strolling, we came across a small game center, specializing in fish ! You can try the UFO catcher and try to get a tuna or spiny lobster toy… An original souvenir from Kashi no Ichi ?
We finally went to the Kishiya -岸家-, that serves Shimizu port fisherman meals !
You will recognize the Kishiya with the golden dolphin above the entrance, and the aquarium at the entrance !
Being on the seaside, you also have a good view of the port !
While we were looking at the fishermen boats comings and goings inside the port, our order arrived !
We chose the boat lunch set on the menu, for the variety of seafood ! Here we have some Shizuoka‘s specialty : raw shirasu -raw whitebaits- and sakura ebi – cherry shrimps-, with other tuna or scallop sashimi. It is served with a bowl of rice, miso soup and some tsukemono -japanese pickles-. It was very good ! It really tastes different when it is fresh like this.
Sashimi is one way to eat fish in Japan, but if you’re a bit reluctant you can choose from the menu some fried fish ! It looked nice and crispy !
Challenge at the end… 🙂
Have you ever pay attention to the kanji characters used to name each fish ? They all have the same bushu 部首, or radical. And here, it is the radical of the fish 魚, naturally. You can see below ; the left side of all kanjis are the same ! Easy to remember ?
Here is an exhaustive list of the seafood name ! You might see this on the tea cup when you go to a sushi restaurant !
Try to find this one at the kashi no ichi with the signification for each kanjis 😀
If you come to Shizuoka, why not see the inside of a lively fish market at Kashi no Ichi ! Have an insight of the life of a Shizuokan, who can’t go without seafood. Try some of those raw, either sashimi or sushi, boiled or fried. Fishermen know the best how to to cook those blessing of the sea !
- From the Shimizu JR station, it is a 7 minutes walk. Take the south exit and go down the road.
- By car, from Tomei express way, exit at Shimizu IC.
- By water bus, from Shimizu Minato, where all cruise ship stops, or from Miho Pine grove.