Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tomari Iyu-Machi

Posted by Mari Rita Tobaru

Visiting markets when traveling different countries is always the best way to learn about the cuisine culture of that specific country or to see the type of food the local people are eating on a daily basis. In Okinawa, you’ll find various vegetable markets, meat markets and fish markets everywhere. Out of all the markets, I personally love visiting fish markets, and there is one specific market I patron. Located in Tomari, this market is a great place to shop for seafood. It’s also my favorite spot to show around when friends visit. The market is basically separated into two different areas when entering the gate of the market area. To make it easier to understand, I simply separate them as the “new” side and “old” side. After venturing to both areas and talking to the owners, I learned that both sides sell the fresh catch of the day. The difference? Some store owners at the old side sell their catch the way it comes, so if you can clean a fish, then this is the right place to go. The new side, named “Tomari Iyu-Machi”, houses several stores and also a fish processing center. Fish of all kinds, large in size are processed at the center and at early hours, visitors can see professionals at work through a glass window. Shopping at Iyu-Machi market makes cooking easier. Fresh tuna (maguro) is already sliced and ready to eat. So far, I’ve bought fresh lobsters at such a reasonable price that I bought the whole lot; fresh oysters, swordfish fillets for my famous meuniere, large prawns, soft crabs, salmon roe (ikura) and sea urchin (uni) for my sushi parties, fresh sushi to-go (sushi looks so delicious here that you can’t resist buying it), crispy fish & squid tempura and much more! If you have the time, try adventuring to this market which is just minutes away from Tomari International Cemetery.

Tomari Iyu-Machi
1-1 Tomari, Naha
Tel: 098-868-1096
Open: 6:00-18:00
Perking: Free
Access: From Naha Airport 15 mins by car.
                                                     by taxi (1,500yen)