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May 20, 2017 - Trip to Kadogawa in Miyazaki-ken [Mizunagasuisan Factory]
After observing (and eating) the fresh fish at the morning auction we headed to Mizunagasuisan to learn about the fish drying process. The factory and store are located on Route 10 just south of the Isuzu River-stop in to pick up a variety of local products such as vegetables, frozen foods, snacks, and, of course, dried fish.
Mizunagasuisan processes many kinds of fish, but on the day of our visit they were drying mackerel. Workers were transferring fresh fish from large bins to the conveyer belt-five or six fish were skewered through the head with a rod and the rods were then slipped onto the belt which took them through a washing station. On the other side they were collected, dipped once more in water, and then hung on wooden drying frames that could be stacked six deep. The towers of fish are then wheeled into the drying room where they sit in front of large fans for about 48 hours, after which they are packaged and ready for market.