June 22, 2015
By Arisa Hirano and Erina Okamoto
Where do you buy fish when you want to buy it? I think you go to the supermarket. However you can get very fresh fish in Kyoto. My favorite place to buy fresh fish is in Maizuru.
In Maizuru, there is fishing harbor. It is called the Tore-tore center. Tore-tore means catch lots of fish. It’s on the north side of Kyoto and the Sea of Japan. It is said that it is the biggest fishery center in the Sea of Japan. It was set up in 2002.
It conducts business from 9 am ~ 5 pm. It takes 2 and a half hour by car from Kyoto city. If you take a train, you should get on a JR train and get off at Nishimaizuru station. 5 fisher branch shops and 13 shops are in the center. Fish are very fresh and cheap. Not only do they sell fish, but also shellfish, shrimp, octopus, seaweed and souvenir.
If you are hungry, you can eat the seafood that you bought then and there. Frist, the store staff cut and broils it for you. Second, there is food court. You can eat raw seafood on top rice and miso-soup (bean paste soup) with shellfish. Third, you can eat seafood tempura (seafood dipped in batter and deep-fried). You cannot eat fresh seafood like that in any other place. In the Tore-tore center, you can hear fisherman’s lively voices. If you ask questions about the seafood, they’ll answer you, like how to cook and eat the delicious seafood.
Why is the fish sold in toretore center so delicious? I’ll tell you the secret.
First of all, I’ll explain the distribution channel of fish that are sold in the grocery store or the supermarket. Each fishing market and fishermen’s association harvest fish. Then, they send the fish to the central markets in Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe. It usually takes one to two days to arrive because it is transported from a long distance. Then, the fish are set up. After that, they are sent to supermarkets, department stores and fresh fish stores. They can’t keep up fresh fish because it takes time. At Toretore, the speed is different. Fisherman harvest fish in Wakasa bay or Tango peninsula.
After that, it’s sent to Maizuru market in fishermen’s association in Kyoto. Then, they are sent to the Toretore center. The time required is only ten minutes! Fresh fish are sold in the Toretore center immediately. Freshness is completely different. It is said that the price of auction is decided depending on six points. They are, the kind of fish, the freshness, the quantity of fish, whether the fish have plenty of fat or not, whether the fish have flabby muscles or not and, the fishing ground. The fish that are sold in the Toretore center meet these requirements.
Therefore these fish have a high price. However, the Toretore center sells fish at moderate price. For example, they sold Atka mackerel which has plenty of fat in 800yen and 5 pieces of flounders for 1200yen. Also, there are a lot of processed seaweeds. For example, salted fish guts, octopus with green horseradish paste, fish minced and steamed, and a kind of brown algae. They are good accompanying dish with rice
One of the Toretore center’s charming points is that we can eat fresh fish and seafood there. Many of stores at the Toretore center provide the services that broil them in front of us. When we went there, some old men asked to broil Atka mackerel and they ate it with rice and miso soup. It smelled so good. We chose seafood plate. We had calamari, scallops, octopus, and shrimp. Surprisingly, the price of the plate was only 1000 yen. Is it good bargain? They are really crunchy and tasty. The sauce which on them was also good. It was wonderful because we can enjoy eating some different things.
Furthermore, we tried to eat a giant pacific oyster. We usually eat it steamed or broil, but we ate it raw. They were very fresh, so it’s no problem. We were impressed with the giant pacific oyster’s size. It’s no exaggeration to say that the size was three times as large as the usual one. Therefore, it was substantial and satisfying. We ate it with squeezed a lemon, and it was really delicious. We recommend eating it when you have chance to go to toretore center.
We made a lot of discoveries in the Toretore center. If you are interested in the Toretore center after reading our article, why don’t you go there?
Web site: http://www.toretore.org/
Address : 〒624-0946 905, Shimofukui, Maizurushi, Kyto