Fish, fish, and more fish…

Itoigawa is renowned for its fresh seafood, and if you visit the fish market, you will see why! Each day, the local fishing fleet unloads its catch here, ready for auction at 3 p.m. precisely. Crates and crates of fish of every shape, size, and colour imaginable line a vast warehouse, ready to be inspected by the buyers. You are sure to come across some kinds of fish that you have never seen before, such as deep-sea monkfish, a memorably ugly, slimy fish which is nevertheless one of the local specialties for its delicious taste…

Don't judge a fish by its skin... Anglerfish is delicious
Don’t judge a fish by its skin… Anglerfish is delicious
How many of these fish can you identify?!
How many of these fish can you identify?!

Only people wearing caps with numbers on, which denote the number of their permits, are allowed to bid in the auction, and permits cost around ¥10 million, making these some of the most expensive caps ever! However, taking photos is free!

Inspecting the catch. Once the auction starts, it moves very fast, so buyers need to check the fish beforehand.
Inspecting the catch. Once the auction starts, it moves very fast, so buyers need to check the fish beforehand.

If you do want to sample some of the catch, you can head along the road to where local women will ply you with crab’s legs in an attempt to sell you another of the local specialties, red snow crab, as well as dried fish and other delicacies.

How about some dried fish?
How about some dried fish?
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