When Japanese think of the big names in fishery products they think of places like Tsukijii, Kushiro, and Hachinohe. Very little, however, is ever mentioned about Choushi fisheries, which is located at the northern tip of Chiba, on the Pacific Ocean side.
The day I decided to go there it was on a comfortable Monday morning at 9a.m. This time I didn’t have to worry about waking up at the crack of down, like when I went to Tsukijii back in Tokyo. I took my time after checking-out of the hotel and headed down to watch these sage fishermen auction off their fresh morning catches.
These are tuna and the white labels are the identification markers.
They cut the tails in order to measure the meat and fat content.
These three fish are called Bonito or Katsuo.
Here’s a look at the lineup for the auction
There is just nothing like standing in a fish market like this where literally hundreds of thousands of pounds of fish lay on wet pavement. Even now I am craving more sashimi. The taste of freshly sliced bonito and tuna that’s no more than a few hours old is the best.
As a general rule of thumb, I like to order an ice cold beer first in order to clear the throat hole. Then I back that up by ordering some good quality nihonshu, if possible a junmai ginjo.
The auction is usually open Mon. thru Fri. from 6am to 9am. Getting here on foot will take about 25 minutes – the walk is good exercise. There are also plenty of buses that head to the general vicinity of the fishing ports.
Having access to great fish markets, great sake and fantastic onsen along with delicious Jukujo is heaven for me, and yes, I even included a temple on this trip.