Japan, Travel

Shijimi

I like to walk around new surroundings to get my bearings and often I am quite good at remembering my way around places. Atsuko had to go out with her mum on the first morning so I wandered into the town, which sits on the edge of Shinjiko lake, and luckily I kind of recognised many of the streets. When I got to the lake though, I saw many things I had never seen before…

Down at the lake, there were a great number of boats out, each with a fisherman working hard to scrape Shijimi from deep under the surface. Shijimi shells are used to make a soup, famous in the Shimane region but their fishing is heavily controlled. These guys are only allowed out for a few hours each week, so I was very lucky to see them so soon in our stay.

These shells are very valuable and these men, some of them quite old, work extremely hard to scrap and lift them off the bottom of the lake. One guy was even fishing while in the water, standing on stilts; harvesting shells by the basket-load…

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