August 14, 17 | Fumiko Magota
Catch and eat sea urchin at Kamui Kaigan Park in Rishiri Island!
Challenge catching sea urchin in the same way as local fishermen!20 minutes drive from Rishiri Airport, 25 minutes from Oshidomari Port Ferry Terminal, and 5 minutes from Kutsugata Port Ferry Terminal. “Sea urchin catching experience” at “Kamui Kaigan Park” which opened in 2016, is conducted on a boat floating on the sea.
The tools are a hydroscope and a spoon net. Use a hydroscope to watch under the water and search for sea urchins which hide behind rocks and seaweeds. Then, scoop it with a spoon net when you find them.
▲The spoon net on the right and the hydroscope on the left. The mountain behind me is Mt. Rishiri!
This way is the same as local fishers. The tools are slightly different for tourists to use them easily but almost the same. In fact, fishers in Rishiri Island is such a popular job that there are people who do for a second job. This activity lets visitors experience fishers' job casually.
▲Searching for sea urchins with the hydroscope which attaches a transparent glass on the bottom. Staffs help us kindly so even beginners can enjoy the experience.
▲Found a sea urchin hiding behind a rock and scooped it!
▲I caught a sea urchin!
The sea urchin I caught was eating a piece of kelp. Local people told us that it is rare to see sea urchin in middle of eating!
▲Kitamurasaki Uni. Visitors sometimes can find Ezobafun Uni with short thorns, which is known as an expensive kind.
You can also enjoy as Gunkan Sushi!After catching sea urchin, bring it to the sink and crack with special equipment. The procedure is simple. Stick the equipment in the center, open, and scoop.
▲Sea urchin will open by opening the handle part of the equipment.
▲Sea urchin opened successfully.
▲Scoop four to five pieces one by one.
▲I could scoop very well!
The fresh uni had natural saltiness, and it was delicious as it is without putting any seasonings! It melted right away on my tongue!
The Gunkan Sushi base is sold at the shop “Kitarindo” so you can also enjoy the sea urchin sushi.
▲It looks good if you put beautifully shaped pieces on the Gunkan.
▲Enjoy the sushi with dashi soy sauce using Rishiri kelp.
The experience is 1,000 yen per pieces, and Gunkan Sushi costs additional 100 yen. The activity is operated from June 1 to September 30. (In 2017)
It is a precious experience in Rishiri Island to catch fresh sea urchin from a beautiful ocean. Those of you who are planning to visit Rishiri Island, you should put this on your schedule right now!
Text / Hokkaido Likers writer Fumiko Magota
Photo / Yasuyoshi Otaki
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