Enjoying Seafood at Kassen Shintoku
In the small harbour of Hashitate, facing the sea, sits the Kassen Shintoku fish shop-restaurant which has been a town institution since 1985. Here you can buy the fresh fish of the day, caught in the rich waters of the Sea of Japan.
It is with a big smile that Mr. Yuya receives us in his shop. Here we are in the fish centre of Hashitate. A wide variety of fish and shellfish are on display. Customers flock here to buy the most beautiful specimens, brought in the day before.
Mr. Yuya sells and cooks seafood caught directly from his grandfather's boat. In the Yuya family, the sea has been the food resource for generations. The boat goes out to the sea at around 11pm, and doesn’t arrive back until the next day. If the fishing has been successful, the ships return at around 3-4pm. The fishing takes place in the surrounding waters. The products are sorted into groups according to species and size. In winter, more than 50 species can be caught on one trip. The sorting takes time, and the fish are then sold at auction.
Winter is the trawl fishing season, and the season for crustaceans- in particular for sweet shrimp and snow crab. These giant crabs, which are the pride of the Hokuriku region, are mostly caught at night.
In spring, the main products are sea bream and flatfish, known as hirame, which are eaten as sashimi. Net fishing is used, in order to catch horse mackerel and Japanese Spanish mackerel.
Late spring and into summer, is shellfish season. Turban shells and rock oysters are cooked and collected by hand, often while diving, and are eaten as sashimi. And in summer, it is the time for collecting seaweed such as mozoku.