Shizuoka—the only place in the world where you can eat sakura shrimp raw!
Sakura shrimp is a resource that can only be caught in Suruga Bay and Taiwan, and Shizuoka is the only place in the world where you can eat it raw.
Sakura shrimp from Suruga Bay is sweet!
Sakura shrimp possess illuminants on their body surface which make the shrimp sweeter and tastier (more umami) as the number of these illuminants increases. Sakura shrimp from Suruga Bay possess around 160 of these illuminants, whereas those from Taiwan possess only possess around 100. You can tell how sakura shrimp from Suruga Bay are sweeter by measuring their sugar concentration with a saccharimeter.
100% of sakura shrimp harvested in Japan are from Suruga Bay!
Shizuoka is the only place in Japan where sakura shrimp can be caught. Meltwater from Mt. Fuji, Japan’s highest peak, produces the clear streams of Fuji River, Oi River, and Abe River that flow into Suruga Bay, making it a suitable habitat for sakura shrimp. The sakura shrimp of Suruga Bay are raised on this meltwater and are characteristically large and sweet.
Sakura shrimp can be harvested twice a year!
The spring season opens at the end of March and continues until the beginning of June, and the fall season opens at the end of October and continues until the end of December. There is a moratorium on sakura shrimp harvesting outside these periods as conservation measure. Harvesting involves trawling with two boats from evening through nighttime. Only 120 boats in Japan which can be found only in two fishing ports of Yui and Oigawa in Shizuoka possess permits for sakura shrimp harvesting.
Sakura shrimp is rich in nutrients!
Sakura shrimp contains numerous nutrients such as glucosamine and astaxanthin. The shrimp can be eaten whole including the shell, head, and tail which are also rich in nutrients, so it is an ideal source of valuable nutrients.
An ample variety of sakura shrimp menu items!
Enjoy sakura shrimp in a diverse range of menu items such as the local specialties “raw and melt-in-your-mouth sakura shrimp” and “mixed vegetable and seafood tempura,” “Okiagari (eaten sukiyaki-style with green onions and tofu)” and “Odorigui (eating live shrimp while still moving)” traditionally eaten by fishermen, as well as in pasta and pizza.
The history of sakura shrimp is more than 120 years old!
The origin of sakura shrimp harvesting can be dated back to 1894, and has a 120 year long history. Shizuoka City has pursued research into its sanitary control and preservation methods to maximize the appeal of sakura shrimp, and in 1981 became the only shrimping center in the world where sakura shrimp can be eaten raw.
The annual “Yui Sakura Shrimp Festival” is enthusiastically received every year!
The “Yui Sakura Shrimp Festival” held on May 3 (public holiday) by the fisheries cooperative is one of Japan’s largest food festivals attended by approximately 70,000 people annually.
A grand pink-colored spectacle unfolds against the backdrop of Mt. Fuji!
An area roughly the size of two Tokyo Domes turns pink against the backdrop of Mt. Fuji. This sight can only be seen twice a year during the sakura shrimp harvesting seasons. This pink-colored spectacle is the only one of its kind in the world and unfolds against the backdrop of Mt. Fuji, a world cultural heritage.