Translated by Hilary Keyes
Taste Tuna At Its Freshest! Misaki's Morning Market, Kanagawa
Written by 森山 あみか
The Misaki Morning Market, in Misaki, a town located in Miura, Kanagawa prefecture, is one of the best known and tastiest places to find fresh tuna and seafood in the Kanto area. Come and see all the regional delights this market has!
Misaki in Miura, Kanagawa Prefecture is a famous fishing port town known for its tuna. Thanks to its close proximity to Tokyo, it is also a very popular place to visit when you want to enjoy fresh tuna and other types of seafood. Every Sunday morning from 5:00-9:00 there is a lively morning market held in Misaki, with shops selling everything from fresh seafood, regional fruit and vegetables, and local cuisines. Not only can you shop for ingredients to cook for yourself, but you can also buy readymade dishes on the spot at any of these delicious and reasonably priced shops.
All of the shops open under tents like this. In addition to this tonjiru (pork miso soup) filled with Misaki-grown vegetables, you can also eat freshly caught and cooked sazae (turban shell) on the spot too.
Since Misaki is most famous for its tuna, you will also see plenty of people lined up for skewers of grilled toro (the fattiest part of the tuna) here too.
Lots of local vegetables. Even when it comes to daikon radishes, you will be amazed by the selection available; there are large and fresh Miura daikon, plus pungent daikon that goes well with soba noodles, and even beni daikon, the red pickled type.
But there's more than just daikon. You can also find carrots with the leaves still on, red turnip, leeks, broccoli, cucumber, and even the homemade pickled vegetables sold here are very popular too.
If you happen to be near the market around 8:00 in the morning, you will soon hear strong voices shouting "Maguro no butsu hitokire hyakku en" (tuna slices for 100 yen), at which point, throngs of people will hurry over to the shops, and their stock will soon sell clean away. The tuna slices referred to are cuts of tuna that were simply sliced, and are now being sold at a deep discount. This sort of vibrant atmosphere is just another of the charms of the morning market in Misaki.
There are many specialty tuna shops here, but since the cutting and packaging methods differ depending on the shop, it may be interesting to take a look at shops that might seem similar on the surface. There are even places that sell tuna tail meat and eyes too, both of which you can't usually find at ordinary fishmongers.
Here is the kama portion of the tuna, a section from around the gills of the fish. It is famously known as a cheap yet delicious cut among the Japanese. It is easy to prepare too; just simmer it with soy sauce, sake, sugar and dashi for a delicious side dish.
The locally harvested turban shells are luxurious and sell out quickly too.
Here you can see a shop selling tofu dishes. Their "Red Hot Chili Ganmo" dish, which features deep fried tofu and sliced vegetables, is one that takes a bit of courage to try, unless you're a fan of spicy foods!
At first, these may look like ordinary rolls or breads, but they're called 'tuna burger' and 'tuna bread'. Inside, they are stuffed with lots of fried tuna and other ingredients. These are a unique treat only available in Misaki.
They also have plenty of rich cuisines made with Misaki-produced ingredients, like different rice bowls and noodle dishes - although you better get there early as many of the shops sell out quickly!
The morning market is not only a fun, reasonably-priced place to shop, but here you can also learn about new vegetables or foods you might not have seen before, learn how to prepare and enjoy different cuts of tuna, how to properly choose fish to prepare yourself, and even pick up some Japanese vocabulary too. Even if you're not confident in your Japanese abilities, if you can draw, you can always point out which part of the fish you want to try instead.
With fresh seafood, fruits, vegetables, tofu dishes, breads and prepared meals, this market is a place where you can find enough treats to last you from one day to the next with ease.
Please come and enjoy yourself here.
Misaki Morning Market
Address: Kanagawa, Miura, Misaki 5-3806
Hours: Every Sunday morning from 5:00-9:00 only
Credit Cards: None
Other Languages: Some basic English
Nearest Station: Misakiguchi Station, Keikyu Kurihama Line
Access: Take the #2 bus bound for Misakiko, Toriya, Jogashima, or Hamamoroiso and get off at Misakiko
* There is also free parking available until 8:00
Price Range: 500-3000 yen
Phone: 046-881-4488 (only on Sundays and Tuesdays)
* No vegetarian/vegan options