Oga Akita Sightseeing Guide
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Red Snow Crab

It is not well-known that Oga harbors fishing grounds for snow crab and red snow crab when compared to the abundance of them in the Hokuriku and Sanin regions. However, Oga’s crabs account for a great number of the crab sales in the Hokuriku and Sanin regions; snow crabs are popular for their size and densely-packed meat, especially that of the red snow crab. Also known as the Matsuba crab and Echizen crab, the snow crab lives in depths of 200-400 meters whereas the red snow crab lives in depths deeper than 800 meters. Daihachi Oga Maru, the currently solitary fishing boat which catches red snow crab in Akita, fishes at depths of 800-1200 meters. Upon arriving at the fishing ground, the fishers place bait in a large iron crate and submerge it underwater. A single rope holds 150 crates placed 60 meters apart, and its total length stretches across a 10-kilometer span! The boats reel in the crates, gather the crabs and re-submerge the crates back in the water. After two nights of repeating such procedures, the boats come back to the dock at dawn. The red snow crabs caught that day are taken to a processing plant near the port and quickly boiled in a large pot. Because of their high water content, red snow crabs are unsuited for freezer storage and are kept fresh by boiling and refrigerating. Some say that red snow crabs can be watery, but its main characteristics are its texture, juiciness and subtle sweetness. Red snow crabs can be eaten at the Oga Hot Springs and its surrounding accommodations, and can also be bought at stands in the Port of Funagawa as well as Oga’s roadside rest area.

Last Update: 2019-10-11

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