Matsuba crab, the symbol of winter taste –  Hamasaka-cho Fishery Cooperative

Matsuba crab, the symbol of winter taste -
Hamasaka-cho Fishery Cooperative

Gifts from the sea in the San’in region

What comes to your mind as winter seafood?
Oyster, yellowtail, monkfish, or puffer fish? They are typical winter food and ingredients of very popular hot pot. There is another important seafood in winter: Matsuba crab. Hyogo boasts Japan’s largest catch of Matsuba crab in terms of volume and value.
Matsuba crab is generally called ”zuwai-gani” in Japan. The name is specific to the San’in region spreading from Shimane to Kyoto. The male crab caught in the Sea of Japan has been called ”Matsuba crab” since the olden days.

Crowded market

Nakata visited the market on a nice spring day in March. The fishing season for Matsuba crabs is from November 6 to March 20. The season was almost finished. Unfortunately, we could not get on a boat to have a look the actual fishing. However, we visited the market to see an auction of unloaded crabs.
”Matsuba” (matsuba means pine leaf in Japanese) crab is said to have been named after the long thin legs that look like pine leaves. Numerous crabs were placed with the belly up on the floor of the market. The bidding went fast, which itself was rather overwhelming. When all the deals were done, crabs were carried to restaurants and processing plants all over Japan.
You can visit auctions operated by Tajima Fishery Cooperative and Hamasaka-cho Fishery Cooperatives. Visitors can purchase crabs directly from the fishery cooperatives. Come to discover the vigorous market auction and Matsuba crabs.


Hamasaka-cho Fishery Cooperative
663-1 Ashiya, Shin Onsen-cho, Mita, Hyogo Prefecture