Sasebo Oyster Festival

Living in a sea side village, especially in Japan, there is a good close tie with the sea. Not only is there are large amount of nautical themes throughout the city, but the seafood is often without reproach. Every so often there is something that highlights that excellent seafood, and today we attended one of those events.

A short drive from our house is Kashimae Pier. Full of restaurants, the local aquarium, and the main marina for Sasebo City, it is also where many festivals happen. The annual (maybe even semi-annual) Oyster festival was closing out it’s last weekend, and we hadn’t made it out yet. Having a newborn, these kind of excursions are difficult to accomplish. But we loaded the little girl up, dressed warm, and headed on down.

It was a bit confusing, and we wandered around the grounds for a few minutes before we halfway figured out what we needed to do. We approached what looked to be the main counter, and amazingly enough, a girl in flawless English guided us through what we needed to do. 1050 Yen later, we were equipped with a pair of mildly heat resistant gloves, a couple pairs of chop sticks, some oyster knives, a box of charcoal, and 1 kg of fresh oysters.

Little barbecues in rows.

Little barbecues in rows.

We headed for one of the many grills, and a few minutes later got a guy with some already going coals got our grill cooking. The kilogram totaled to about 2 dozen oysters which we grilled. It was a good snack, but not anywhere enough to make us full, so we then supplemented it with a squid for another 500 Yen. A very large squid. Which we ate with no utensils, save our oyster knives. Weirdest finger food ever.

Bigger than it looks.

Bigger than it looks.

This is definitely not something that would happen in the states. Sitting on tiny little folding stools around a very hot barbecue, moving oysters full of boiling liquid with only a gloved hand. It was fun, though I did manage to burn a finger (a few times) when the oyster liquor got on my gloved finger, and just sat there against my skin until I could remove the glove.

Hotter than they look

Oysters roasting on an open fire.

It was a ton of fun for really not a lot of money, and had some great seafood out of the deal.


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