Try Fresh Fish – Including Kochi’s Famous “Katsuo no Tataki” – at the Kure Taisho Town Market
January 26, 2017
The Historic Kure Taisho Town Market
Kochi Prefecture is known for its fresh, delicious food such as yuzu (citrus fruit), green tea, sugar tomatoes and, of course, katsuo no tataki. Katsuo no tataki is bonito fish that has been grilled on the outside, but is still raw on the inside like traditional sashimi. The small fishing town of Kure is the source for much of the bonito that goes into making Kochi’s signature dish, and at the Kure Taisho Town Market visitors can taste bonito and other fish at their freshest.
The Kure Taisho Market.
Inside the Kure Taisho Town Market
Located west of Kochi city in Nakatosa, which is now considered a National Cultural Asset for Important Cultural Landscape by the Japanese government, Kure rests quietly on the seaside, and so it is no surprise that the residents have been harvesting the sea’s bounty for over 100 years. The market became known as the “Taisho” market when the Taisho Emperor provided the town with the funds necessary to rebuild it after a fire in 1915. At the market fishermen share their catch with locals and visitors. Kaisendon (fresh sashimi and/or tataki on rice) is a popular dish, as is katsuo no tataki eaten with salt or ponzu sauce (yuzu-soy sauce). Other seasonal produce, such as persimmons and yuzu, and year-round favourites like imokenpi (candied sweet potato), mochi, donuts and honey are sold as well.
A variety of sweets.
Persimmons are in season during the late fall.
Fresh bonito available for purchase.
Imokenpi and local honey.
What Else to See and Do in Kure
In the spring a festival is held at the seaside to celebrate the catching of bonito. Stalls selling katsuo no tataki and other typical festival foods pop up for the day and visitors from all over Kochi gather to enjoy a variety of events – including a race in which contestants must run across a wobbly platform in the sea with a bonito hanging around their necks!
Just down the street from the market is a small café called Saboukokuya (茶房古久家). Run by life-long Nakatosa residents, the café has a warm wood interior and homey feel. Coffee, yuzu juice and warabi mochi are served along with other beverages.
Saboukokuya Café decorated for the holiday season.
Warm interior of the café.
Kure is a charming fishing town that offers serene sea views, quiet cups of coffee, and a market that has been bustling for over a century. Visitors to Kochi Prefecture should certainly consider venturing off to this little-known destination.
Kaisendon lunch set with miso soup and pickles.
Hours: Open 7 days a week except for New Year’s (Jan. 1-3). Open from around 9-5 but best to visit after 11am.
Address : 6382 Kure, Nakatosa-cho, Takaoka-gun, Kochi Prefecture
From Kochi Station take the Dosan Line to Tosa-Kure Station. Walk about 7 minutes.
Express Train: ￥2590 (about 1 hour)
Normal: ￥1090 (about 2 hours)
Address: 6366 Kure Nakatosa-cho Takaoka-gun, Kochi Prefecture
Currently working as an ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) in Kochi City, Sarah is a Canadian expat who spends her free time exploring Kochi Prefecture and trying to devise a better way to keep the tanukis out of her garden. She enjoys going to local festivals and eating too much mochi.