"Hamanaka Farm Sea Urchin" shipped nationwide under unified brand name with Lupin popularity backing

"Hamanaka Yoshoku Uni" sea urchin packages delivered nationwide with newly produced stickers
"Lupin the Third" stickers were produced to advertise sea urchin

In an effort to shine a public relations spotlight on the highest quality in kelp-fed farm-raised sea urchin of the Strongylocentrotus intermedius species, a Council made up of members including the city government of eastern Hokkaido’s Hamanaka Town has unified sea urchin products under the brand name “Hamanaka Yoshoku Uni” (Hamanaka Farm Sea Urchin). The Council started shipping product nationwide under this brand name in November. Stickers are also being produced for Hamanaka processing companies featuring “Lupin the Third” from the popular animation series originally written by Hamanaka cartoonist Monkey Punch (deceased). The deep-rooted popularity of “Lupin” is also contributing to the advertising campaign.

Sea urchin farming began in 1992 as a side-business among Hamanaka City Chirippu Fisheries Cooperative kelp fishers and the technique was established for the first time in Japan. The practice spread to the Hamanaka Fisheries Cooperative as well. By 2019, 78 farms among both Cooperatives shipped out a total of 73 tons of sea urchin. At five to six thousand yen per kilo, the port price for farm sea urchin is expensive and almost twice the price of wild sea urchin. However, the meat has a uniform level of delicious sweetness and is in demand mainly in high-class sushi restaurants in the Greater Tokyo Area.
The Promotion Council for Hamanaka Marine Products was formed in 2019 by Hamanaka Town, the Fisheries Cooperatives , and four processing companies. The stickers are 3.5 centimeter circles and come in two types: one with a “Lupin” illustration and one with the brand name only. A total of 140,000 stickers were produced. The goal is to popularize the “Hamanaka Yoshoku Uni” sea urchin brand.

The Subcommittee Chairperson of the Sea Urchin Farming Subcommittee in the Hamanaka Fisheries Cooperative reported with pride, “This is the absolutely delicious flavor of sea urchin raised for two to three years on a diet of foreshore kelp only.” A processing company representative looks forward to expanded consumption, saying, “We want as many people as possible to enjoy top quality sea urchin.”


Chirippu Fisheries Cooperative