Take an afternoon tour of a fish auction!


Experience an authentic fish auction at Shinminato fisherman’s wharf

At the Shinminato fisherman’s wharf in Imizu, the local fisherman’s association holds afternoon auctions at 1 p.m. daily. Toyama is one of only a few locations in Japan where the general public is allowed to observe auctions; the midday auctions at Shinminato are an excellent chance to take advantage of this authentic experience! Morning auctions, which begin at 5:30 a.m., mostly feature fish caught using the fixed-net system, a traditional trademark of Toyama Bay. At afternoon auctions, on the other hand, bidders compete over shrimp, crabs and shellfish brought in by small fishing boats which use dragnets, basket traps and other fishing methods. Visitors can take in the auction from the deck on the 2nd floor, which is reserved exclusively for observers.

crabs and white shrimp

    Red snow crabs at auction                                                                              White shrimp

Look no further for a selection of delicacies unique to Toyama!

After observing the auction, make your way to the Shinminato Kittokito Market, where you can sample the catch of the day at Kitokito-tei. Recognized as one of the most beautiful bays in the world, Toyama Bay is well-known for high quality seafood. With fishing grounds located close to shore, the catch always arrives at the peak of freshness, and the faster it gets to your plate, the better it tastes!

Each season brings different Toyama specialties; here you will find some of the symbols of Toyama such as white shrimp, often called “the Jewel of Toyama Bay” and yellowtail, “the King of Toyama Bay”. You can also taste the mysterious bio-luminescent firefly squid, and other delicious treats such as red snow crab. Go for the full experience – see buyers compete at the lively auction, and taste Toyama’s famous seafood for yourself!

seafood sets

Shinminato Kittokito Market                   White shrimp sashimi set                      Imizu seafood set

*Observations are free of charge, but you must make a reservation by calling Shinminato Kittokito Market (assistance in Japanese language only, 0766-84-1233). Check in at the information counter by 12:45. Estimated time for observation is about 30 minutes. Be advised that cancellations may occur on days when fishing is impossible due to weather conditions. There is no observation on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Source article and pictures: Toyama Just Now  

*Consult the following pages for more information:

Midday auctions at Shinminato fishermen’s wharf

Shinminato Kittokito Ichiba (Japanese only)