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David @ Tokyo

Perspective from Japan on whaling and whale meat, a spot of gourmet news, and monthly updates of whale meat stockpile statistics



Bargain whale meat popular in Ishinomaki

A year-end festival held last month in Ishinomaki, Miyagi, was covered in a report at www.sanriku-kahoku.com. My best-effort translation follows:
Reinvigorating the city centre - 2006.12.17
"Ishinomaki marugoto Festa" seasonal speciality products - until today

The "Ishinomaki marugoto festival", an event involving sales of the Ishinomaki region's specialty products began on the 16th, with Ishinomaki city centre's Aitopia turned into a "pedestrian paradise". 38 shops participated in the event, selling seasonal fish, seafood and agricultural products at bargain prices. The event continues until the 17th (from 10:00 - 15:00).

The event had been operated by the Ishinomaki agriculture cooperative until last year as the "Ishinomaki products festival", but the name and location of the event have been changed with the aim of reinvigorating the city centre. The first day of the event saw fortunes turn for the better, with the town centre bustling in a manner reminiscent of the 1960's.

Enjoying popularity was whale meat. 240 kilograms were prepared, and selling for 2,300 yen per 900 grams, sold out in just 40 minutes. Also popular were roasted goby for use in Zooni, pollack and oysters for use in nabe, fresh onions, and yams.

As of the end of October, Ishinomaki was one of the top whale meat stockpile locations in Japan, with 571 tonnes in frozen storage (the 240 kilograms on sale here is relatively insignificant).

Earlier in the year, the neighbouring town of Onagawa also saw strong sales at a whale distribution where prices were even lower. On that occasion perhaps as much as 6 tonnes of meat were available for sale.


Also over the New Year's holiday, apparently whale meat was popular at the other end of the country in Nagasaki as well (Japanese articles here and here).

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