Oyster festival held to support quake-hit town in Ishikawa

People are enjoying oysters from Anamizu on the Sea of Japan coast at an event in Ishikawa Prefecture. The town was hit hard by the massive earthquake on New Year's Day.

The event was organized by a group of business operators in a number of cities in Ishikawa to support people and oyster businesses in Anamizu that have been affected by the quake. Oysters are a specialty of the town, which is also in Ishikawa.

Many people formed long lines at a park near Komatsu Station before the start of the event at 10 a.m. on Sunday.

Sales began 20 minutes earlier than scheduled. Oysters in shells from Anamizu and other parts of Ishikawa were offered for 1,000 yen, or about 6.6 dollars, for five. Visitors grilled them over stoves and enjoyed the delicacy.

One woman said she came with her husband in the hope of supporting recovery efforts. She added that the oysters were delicious and she wants to have some more.

Toritake Hiroki, who runs a company in the city of Komatsu, is one of the organizers. He is originally from Anamizu.

Toritake said he is grateful that the festival was held with the help of volunteers and fellow business operators. He added there are more visitors than expected and that lifted his spirits.

The organizers say they will donate a portion of Sunday's sales to Anamizu. They also plan to hold an oyster festival in the city of Kaga in April.