People flock to taste first bonito of season in western Japan

People have enjoyed savoring the first bonito of the season at an annual festival in Kochi Prefecture, western Japan.

The Bonito Festival took place on Sunday in Nakatosa, a town known for bonito fishing using the pole-and-line method. The event is organized by a local fisheries cooperative, as well as commerce groups and others.

The venue attracted crowds of people. Paid seats sold out in advance, and visitors formed a long line early in the morning for free seats.

Six tons of bonito unloaded at a local port were used for the event. Cooks prepared the fish for dishes such as seared bonito and a bowl of rice topped with bonito sashimi.

A man said the local bonito have a different texture and flavor, and go well with beer.

The head of the organizing committee, Nakatosa Mayor Ikeda Hiromitsu, expressed hope that people will enjoy the delicacies while thanking fishers for their efforts.