Saiki is rightly famed for the quality and variety of the seafood caught off its intricate ria coast of peninsulas and bays, and one of the centres of the fishing industry is in Kamae at Nishinoura, close to the southerly extent of the municipality. Fishing is the mainstay of the economy here and has long proved profitable for the local community. Masae Hashimoto is the matriarch of Maruni Fisheries, one of the leading companies dealing in marine products. Masae’s slight figure belies her powerful spirit and together with her three sons she oversees a thriving business, which centres on flounder, mackerel, uni sea urchin, oysters, hiogi clams, sazae and tokobushi shellfish, abalone, and ise-ebi lobsters. These are sent to markets around Japan and direct to consumers.

Masae also provides accommodation, Maruni-Maru, in three locations all by the sea in the immediate area including one at the company headquarters. Meals, of course are a feast of the freshest seafood including the specialties listed above. Breakfast can be eaten on their dock looking out over the jetty to the sea beyond while Masae and her staff chatter warmly and lively as they go to and fro about their work sorting and grading freshly landed sazae, oysters and more. Unusually, ise-ebi from their own hatcheries can be eaten here out of season.

Japan, Oita, Saiki, Kamae Oaza Nishinoura, 2643 丸二水産

At a glance

Accommodation with local purveyors of seafood for a visula feast and gourmet delight.

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