Tuna filleting demonstration at Hakodate Seafood Market proves popular among locals and tourists alike

The tuna filleting demonstration and sale carried out by craftsmen. Spectators cheered in response to the skillful knife handling.

A tuna filleting demonstration and sale, held every Saturday at the Hakodate Seafood Market – were fresh fish and souvenirs are sold – is proving popular. Aimed at tourists, which make up the majority of visitors to the market, the event began two years ago before the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In an effort to bring back the bustle to the western part of the city, which has been suffering in recent times, the event has continued with infection measures in place and has now become a place where both locals and tourists can enjoy themselves together.

The event began at 11:00 a.m. on May 28, with a tuna filleting demonstration. Craftsmen from Uocho Shokuhin Corporation, which operates the seafood market, used long knives to cut up the tuna, which weighed about 50 kilograms and originated from Nagasaki Prefecture. Approximately 80 people watched the process with bated breath, many of whom were impressed by the sharpness of the knives and filmed the process with their smartphones.
The onlookers were only about 1 meter away from and the tuna, which was divided into red meat and fatty tuna, and sold for between 1,000 and 2,000 yen per pack. “The power is amazing. I want to splurge-out once in a while,” said a local male resident who purchased various cuts of the tuna. A group of young tourists from Sapporo had the cuts they purchased prepared as sashimi on the spot, and enjoyed it with beer at the food court inside the building.
The number of tourists is gradually increasing, although it has not yet returned to pre-Coronavirus levels. Some hotels have started to inform their guests about the filleting demonstrations. Onishi Shuji of Uocho Shokuhin Corp., which was involved in the opening of the Seafood Market, said, “We want to make it a place where tourists and locals alike will think, ‘If I go there, there will bound to be something interesting going on.’”


Hakodate Seafood Market