Nakaminato (那珂湊) is well-known for its fresh seafood and serves as a hub for the sushi-goers in Ibaraki.
A wharf extends to the sea for the ferrying ships to anchor close to the cement platform. The fishes brought onshore are transported directly to the fish market, just a few feet away. Sights of haggling customers walking around freely in the fish market and bargaining for a good price is something you don’t get to see often in Japan.
What’s even more interesting is the fact that the sushi restaurants by the sea have a well hidden secret that no outsiders know of. News about illegal whaling activity carried out by the Japanese in Australian waters has been kicking up a storm lately. The Japanese media has always shunned publicity of the case, making it a vaporous myth. The menus inside the restaurants prove the environmentalists right. For only 300 yen, you can feast on whale meat (くじら/鯨).
The flesh is scarlet red and on it, wrinkly veins can be seen protruding in and out. Unlike most Sushi restaurants, the sushi served are topped with larger neta (ネタ) for its price, that’ll make your sushi experience in Japan even more pleasant. Yaki Salmon (焼きサーモン) sushi is really popular amongst the locals. The umami-laced juicy fats of the salmon fiddle the tastebuds flaringly so a trip to Nakaminato isn’t complete without it.
Besides eating out at Sushi restaurants, try your hands on Japanese skewered barbecued meat, the Kushiyaki (串焼き). Kushiyaki vendors are literally everywhere dominating the streets. The smell of barbecued seafood fills the air, attracting unsuspecting passers-by cunningly.
Nakaminato may seem like a small shabby seaside town, but don’t let its looks trick you. It’s definitely a good place for good sushi.