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Sanriku Seafood @ Kesennuma

Winter Activities in Sanriku Railway

Sanriku Seafood @ Kesennuma

The panoramic view of Kesennuma from Mt. Amba

From shark heart to sea squirts, Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture is blessed with treasures from the sea.

Kesennuma is a coastal city that is part of the Sanriku region of Japan (comprising Aomori, Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures) facing the Pacific Ocean, and its Port is known for its abundant variety of seafood, including some rare varieties that can only be found in that area. Here are some of the local catches to try.

Hoya (Sea squirt)

The hoya, or sea squirt, is a signature seafood from the Sanriku region.

A view of the insides of this mysterious meal!

This may look like a beating heart ripped out of some deep sea monster's chest, but it is actually a complete sea creature in itself - known as a sea squirt, or hoya in Japanese.

In fact, it is a delicacy found mainly in the Sanriku region of Japan and is also called the sea pineapple for its appearance. That said, the taste is anything but fruity and said to be sweet, salty, sour and sharp at the same time - or in other words, tasting of the sea itself.

Mouka no Hoshi (Shark heart)

Though shark-filled waters aren't usually considered a blessing, they are in Miyagi Prefecture, one of the few places in Japan where you can find shark sashimi, and where the most shark is hauled in Japan. The heart of the salmon shark, or Mouka Same, is finely sliced and eaten raw. Since raw shark can only be eaten when extremely fresh, it's no wonder that it has a very clean taste, with hardly any fishiness to it. Perhaps not a dish for the chicken-hearted, though!

Shark’s heart is a Miyagi delicacy, not for the faint-hearted

Manbo Sashimi (Sunfish)

The giant sunfish, seen more often in aquariums than fish markets, is sliced up and eaten as sashimi here. The flesh is white and firm and eaten with vinegar-flavored miso. The innards of the sunfish are also enjoyed as a summer delicacy for its crunchy texture.


4h 5min from Tokyo via Ichinoseki Station(JR Tohoku Shinkansen Line) to Kesennuma by Ofunato Line.

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