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May 20, 2017 - Trip to Kadogawa in Miyazaki-ken [Iorigawa Port]
We arrived bright and early for the daily fish auction in Iorigawa. Boats were unloading at the dock into front of the auction hall and forklifts were delivering a steady stream of fish to the auction floor where they were weighed, labeled, and arranged on ice in shallow blue trays. Outside, fisherman who had already unloaded were hosing out their nets and putting their boats in order.
As auction time drew near the warehouse filled up with rows and rows of fish. Buyers milled around, examining the catch and chatting with friends. Though anyone can come to the auction and bid on fish, most of the buyers there were from fish shops, restaurants or grocery stores. This could have been their second auction of the morning-the Kadogawa Port auction is about an hour earlier than the one in Iorigawa so that buyers can attend both. Though everyone was hurrying to get the fish laid out in time the atmosphere was pretty relaxed and there seemed to be a lot of laughter, especially as more and more buyers arrived. The auction proceeds in chronological order down the aisles of fish. Buyers write their bids on slips of paper and hand them to the auction manager who announces the winning bid. The paper with the buyer’s name and is put on the fish so that when it’s time to pack up everyone knows who bought what. That day there was a lot of katsuo (skipjack tuna), as well as hamo (daggertooth pike conger), squid, shrimp, and smaller fish such as sardines.
We watched the auction for about fifteen minutes before heading into the Iorigawa Fisherman’s Cooperative building next door for a special treat-fresh katsuo sashimi! The head of the cooperative expertly removed the head, fins, tail, and skin before slicing the meat into bitesize strips. There was a lot of blood and guts but watching him gracefully take apart the fish with a giant knife was hypnotizing. Because the fish was so fresh there was no smell at all-only melt-in-your-mouth goodness. We attacked the giant platter of fresh sashimi with our chopsticks and soy sauce. It was delicious!
video is here!→https://youtu.be/zriLn5qgV7s https://youtu.be/M7sj35fMfNQ https://youtu.be/1ObAeoZdY-0