Iwanori seaweed harvesting season starts. Kamome Island, Esashi Town.

On January 24, seasonally fresh iwanori seaweed harvesting started on Kamome Island in southern Hokkaido’s Esashi Town. Fifteen fishermen worked at removing seaweed stuck to rocks.

Harvesting started over a week late due to the impact of continued turbulent waves from strong winds. At about 8:00 in the morning of January 24, the fishermen bent over and silently worked at harvesting seaweed with handmade iron and stainless steel sticks called “kagi” in hand.

The process from harvesting iwanori seaweed to processing it into a sellable product is all done by hand. After small rocks are removed from the harvest, it is dried. It will be sold in supermarkets and shops in town starting in early February.

Town resident Yamao (91) has been involved in iwanori seaweed harvesting for over 70 years. He said, “Iwanori seaweed from Esashi has a strong rocky beach smell, and tastes good. I want everyone to try it.” Harvesting will continue until around mid-March.


Kamome Island, Esashi Town