Salmon Festival (and Happy New Year!)

First off, I wanted to wish everyone a very Happy New Year!

This past year has been very busy for me with work, school, and travel.  Sadly, I haven't been able to blog as often as I would like.  Hopefully 2014, along with having a nice, new camera, will bring more to this blog.  I do have some travel planned and I know that always leads to good blog material.  I also hope to have some more time to read all of my favorite blogs and reconnect with many of you.

I am, as seems to be so typical for me recently, behind on posting.  This salmon festival took place a few months back.  The salmon festival is a well known activity around here and there are actually a few that take place.  We heard this was one of the better ones to attend.  It was just over an hour away.  Thankfully the weather was good and it wasn't too cold.

As you can see, there are pools set up containing the fish.  This is located at a port, so on the other side, where you can't see from this angle, is actually the Pacific Ocean.  The fish were caught in the morning and then put into the pools.  People buy tickets to get into the pool and catch a salmon, which they can get cleaned up and take home.
Before the salmon catch, we looked around at the food festival area.  As soon as I spotted the salmon soup I knew I had to give it a try.  Wow, this was excellent!
Can you believe they make the soup in a pot this size?  Crazy!
Lots of food items to try.

This is takoyaki, which is a pancake ball filled with octopus.
Wow, check out that big ball of octopus!  They certainly love their octopus around here.

Crepes are a fair favorite.
Squid, which is very popular here.
Plenty of fish.
Some veggies too.
Then it was time for the first group to enter.  You can see that a lot of Americans came out to experience the Japanese culture.  I know it may seem strange or sound horrible, but this is a part of their local culture and this town is famous for this festival.  We definitely wanted to check it out at least once.
When the bell rang everyone climbed in.  The idea is to catch a fish in under 3 minutes.  The good news is that because you have paid, you will get a fish, whether you catch it with your hands or not.  If you are fish-less at the end, they will grab one for you.  
Don't be fooled, those fish are slippery!  And big!
Look at all those people trying to get some dinner!  At least they are working for it!
This guy is proud of his catch!
After the time ends, everyone takes their fish (assuming they want it cleaned) to this guy and he will clean the fish and put it in a bag to go.  The big thing with this is that they are females.  This is important because fish eggs are a delicacy here so getting all those fish eggs to eat is a special treat.  That is the highlight for many with this festival.

Here's a close up.  Sorry, it's a bloody mess!
Well, that wraps it up.  Not sure if I will ever climb in there myself, but it was definitely fun to watch at least once.

I hope everyone had a good New Year's Eve and has a wonderful 2014!  My goal for next year is to try and post more often.  Hopefully you will all stick around and continue to read my blog.

QUESTIONS:  Have you ever been to a salmon festival or salmon catch?  Have you ever tried fish eggs?  What did you do for New Year's Eve?


Unknown said...

Happy New Year! YUM, the Salmon look delish!! I have never caught one, but I do like eating them! I have had eggs! For NYE we watched a movie and ordered pizza. Our roommate was a party animal and passed out @ 8pm :) Hope you had a good one, even though I think you celebrates waaaay earlier then us!

See you soon :)

Matthew @ The Lasik Method said...

Happy New Year!

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