Fukuoka is famous throughout Japan for serving tasty seafood. Equally renowned is the Fukuoka Municipal Fish Market. Established in 1955, the market handles upwards of 110,000 tons of seafood annually, making it the fifth largest in the country (researched in 2008). The city’s location on the Japan Sea enables the market to offer seafood caught throughout Japan, but there is also a substantial assortment of fish from China, South Korea, and other countries. The city’s fish market can offer such a maritime bounty because the area is both a production and consumption region supplying other parts of the country.
The different types of jobs people perform in the market are almost as varied as the seafood sold there. These include wholesalers in their white hats that auction the fish, the fishermen who bring them, fish merchants who buy the fish at auction, intermediate wholesalers in their red hats who sell to supermarkets, and traders in dark gray hats who buy the fish directly at auction.
People also work in the related businesses of restaurants and market fish stalls. The Fukuoka City government established and supervises and manages market transactions, and the people responsible for those functions wear green hats.
The auctions begin at 3:00 a.m. At around 4:00 a.m., the intermediate wholesalers split their purchases into small lots for sale to the direct purchasers, and delivery to mass merchandisers and eating and drinking places.
The best fish in the winter are mackerel, club mackerel, and Pacific mackerel. The yellowtail, which has different names depending on its growth stage, is indispensable for the New Year’s o-zoni dish. And don’t pass up the chance to try the gazami, a type of Japanese blue crab, or the pen shell shellfish if you come across them.
Diners can enjoy fresh seafood cuisine at the eight restaurants and shops specializing in Japanese food on the first floor of the market building. The Senza Gift Center in Nagahama is also a popular destination, and visitors can climb all 13 floors to reach the Observation Plaza with its splendid view of Hakata Bay. The Fukuoka City Central Wholesale Market and Fish Market. To apply for tours, call 092-711-6412
A public relations manager