Enjoy Himi Fish at an Inn Where You Can Enjoy the Day-to-Day Life of the Port Town at Your Table. ~A Toyama Trip with Delicious Seasonal Food <Himi Fishing Port Area Edition>~
Toyama Prefecture, facing the Sea of Japan. There are many port towns that have developed since ancient times along the coast, but the fish you can catch, the scenery you can see, and the culture that has been cultivated are different in each region.
The best way to learn about such a unique port town is to ask the people who live there. And this time, we were guided around the Himi area by Shinya and Natsumi Sasakura, a couple who run a small inn called "HOUSEHOLD'' on the beach in Himi.
Toyama Bay, also known as "Natural Fish Tank," is full of seafood that is in season from autumn to winter. Why not head out to the port town in search of seasonal flavors and experiences that can only be found here?
Signaling the arrival of winter in Toyama Bay with Brand fish “Himi Kanburi
When it comes to the typical taste of Toyama Bay in winter, it is definitely yellowtail. Around December every year, a thunder called "Buri-okoshi'' resounded, marking the fishing season is at its peak. Yellowtail that travels south from Hokkaido along Honshu is said to be at its firmest in fat when it reaches Toyama Bay, the halfway point.
Among them, the fish caught in the waters near Himi is a nationally famous brand of fish called "Himi Kanburi.'' Thanks to the combination of the topography of Toyama Bay, the fixed net fishing method that does not damage the fish, and the skill of the fishermen combine to create this fishery, Himi is able to catch a large amount of high-quality yellowtail. Furthermore, only yellowtail that meets certain conditions will be shipped as "Himi Kanburi.'' At Himi fishing port in winter, a wide variety of fish including "Himi Kanburi'' are landed, and is delivered fresh to local supermarkets, fishmongers, and restaurants.
You can watch the morning auction at Himi Fishing Port from the second-floor terrace of the Himi Fish Market, and you can get a glimpse of how the fish we usually eat is brought to the table.
Learn about the daily life of a port town through its rich food
Located less than 10 minute-walk from Himi Fishing Port, there is "HOUSEHOLD'' run by Shinya and Natsumi Sasakura, who are our guides this time. The concept of the inn is "a journey that starts from the "back door", rather than “front door”"
The two of them originally worked in Tokyo. After coming to Himi, he said, "I was moved by the daily life, including the food, the richness of nature, and the encounters with people." Sharing freshly caught fish and receiving vegetables from acquaintances is a casual part of everyday life here.
That's why, for our guests, we share everyday experiences that cannot be enjoyed through traditional sightseeing. When you come here, be sure to enjoy cooking in the kitchen for guests.
Cooking starts with getting the ingredients. Shopping tours where Shinya will accompany you to local supermarkets and fish shops are also popular. You can find fresh ingredients unique to this place, which is close to the sea and mountains.
In winter, it seems that there are many people who eat "Himi Kanburi" after all, but "Fish soup is very delicious and warms your body, so we recommend trying a variety of fish in a seafood hotpot," says Natsumi. Cooking here will help you feel the richness of this town even more.
The two say, "We want people to enjoy the closeness between those who travel and those who live there.'' We continued to learn about spots that will enrich your trip to Himi.
A local sushi restaurant where you can have a fun conversation with the chef
"Kamezushi" has been making Himi fish since its establishment in 1976. You can enjoy seasonal fish purchased every morning from Himi Fishing Port not only in sushi, but also in grilled dishes, simmered dishes, small dishes. The Sasakura couple often recommend this restaurant to their guests, and many people make their sushi debut here.
Even though it's counter sushi, there's no need to be fancy. There are no menus or price tags as they are market prices, but you can get full at a reasonable price. The best part is talking with the owner and locals behind the counter. So be sure to order "Omakase'' from the chef.
Beer, wine, and sake. Explore Himi's alcoholic beverages
"Himi is actually an irresistible place even for people who like alcohol,'' says Sasakura. There are notable producers of beer, wine, and sake.
"Beer Cafe Bloomin'' is located right across the river from "HOUSEHOLD'' and is a place that many people visit before or after dinner. This is a cafe with a small beer factory attached.
There are always 4 to 5 types of craft beer brewed in the in-house brewing room. Some of the craft beers are made with ingredients from Himi. Being able to drink while talking directly with the brewer is also unique to a microbrewery.
There is "SAYS FARM” on top of a hill a little far from town. Focusing on the winery attached to the vineyard, it is home to shops, restaurants, cafes, galleries, and more. The wine is produced in small quantities, all by hand, from cultivation to brewing to bottling, and has received high praise, including winning the gold medal at the Japan Wine Competition. Depending on the time of year, you may have a chance to purchase wines that are hard to find outside of the prefecture.
At the restaurant, we offer course-style dishes that mainly use ingredients from Toyama Prefecture. Of course, pair your food with wine. Mineral-rich wine that lets you feel the blessings of the sea, goes well with fish dishes.
For souvenirs, we recommend sake from "Takazawa Sake Brewery." This is a sake brewery that is particular about old-fashioned handcrafting and preserves the traditional "Funa-shibori" technique. You can enjoy the original taste of Japanese sake without any unpleasant tastes, even though it takes a lot of time and effort.
"Ariiso Akebono's" Junmai Daiginjo is a sake that is a nice size that is easy to take home and has the elegant flavor of rice and a full-bodied elegance. Be sure to get some original goods to commemorate your trip, such as T-shirts and hand towels with illustrations by Michihiro Hori, a manga artist from Toyama Prefecture who works on the packaging for Akebono's drinking comparison set.
*Information as of September 21, 2021. Due to the effects of the new coronavirus infection, changes in business days and hours are expected. For the latest information, please visit the official website or contact the facility directly.
*Prices include tax unless otherwise specified.
Representative of “HOUSEHOLD”. Born in Toyama Prefecture. After graduating from university, he is involved in the production of various advertising materials as an advertising director in Tokyo. In 2015, when he changed jobs to Himi City Hall, he moved to Himi City, Toyama Prefecture, and got married. After accidentally acquiring a building by the sea, he decided to renovate the entire building. In 2018, he launched "HOUSEHOLD,'' a complex of inns, galleries, and cafes.
Responsible for public relations, planning, cafe operations, and other operations for "HOUSEHOLD.'' Born in Ibaraki Prefecture. After graduating from university, she worked as an IT consultant and web service business planner in Tokyo, and moved to Himi City, Toyama Prefecture in 2015 when she got married. While doing freelance event planning and web production, she launched "HOUSEHOLD'' with her husband.
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