At Marine Center Osakana Mura along the Karatsu Bypass you can find seafood products and processed products from Karatsu and Yobuko, as well as special products from Karatsu. Among them, the Tuna Cutting Show & Sales Demonstration held every Sunday is a noteworthy event that customers from outside the prefecture also visit.
When the time comes, the bell clangs and the tuna is brought in. The tuna on this day was caught in Takashima. Many people surrounded the catch and were excited to touch and take pictures next to it, cheering it’s enormous size!
The tuna cutting show begins when two workers put it on the cutting board. It’s refreshing just to look at the professional skill in quickly handling such a huge tuna. The tuna on this day weighed 76 kg (168 lbs), and depending on the day, tuna weighing more than 100 kg (220 lbs) sometimes appear.
Then starts the Janken (Rock-Scissors-Paper) Tournament, where you can buy rare parts of tuna at a bargain price. The staff member announces the price of the tuna head, ”First up, the tuna head is 2000 yen!”, while holding the tuna head up. The staff member wears the tuna head like a helmet and customers play janken (rock-scissors-paper) with the staff to determine which of the two competitors take home the tuna head.
In the hands of professionals, the large tuna is cut up before your eyes, and valuable parts such as Nakaochi (the left-over flesh on the spine) and Shippo (the tail of the tuna) are only sold on this day as prizes. The number of people participating in the Janken tournament increases, and the competition becomes heated since the tuna piled on the tupperware container can be bought at prices not found anywhere else.
In addition, while cutting up the tuna, explanations on which part is being cut are included so you can keep watching without getting bored.
When the Janken tournament finishes, the Akami (lean tuna), Chu-toro (medium-fatty tuna), and O-toro (fatty tuna) that have just been freshly cut are lined up. Fresh tuna can be purchased for 1000 – 2000 yen, and it’s so popular that it sells out in no time.
The Marine Center Osakana Mura is a great attraction where you can enjoy various ways of eating tuna by participating in the Tuna Cutting Show and Sales Demonstration, seeing fresh local fish from Karatsu, and enjoying delicious fish at the Local Fish Shop Tairyotei on the 2nd floor.
You can find the restaurant and special souvenirs here. (Link to the first publication)
Please check the Osakana Mura Twitter for the date and time of the tuna cutting show.
A flea market is also held in the parking lot on Saturdays and Sundays, with handmade items and antiques lined up, crowded with many people. In addition, the Medaka Matsuri (Japanese rice fish festival) is held two or three times a year between spring and autumn, where various medaka fish are exhibited and sold. There is also a chance to win valuable medaka fish in a lottery and in scooping games, making it a popular event visited by enthusiasts from all over the country. Please check with the store for dates as some months do not hold flea markets.