Echizen: Taste of Winter *RERUN
Located 100km north of Kyoto Prefecture, the region of Echizen faces the Sea of Japan. Long and cold winters come to Echizen, but winter is also the season for much delicious cuisine. The quintessential taste of winter in Echizen is the "Echizen Crab." People get passionate about this particular crab. Only male snow crabs landed in this region are given the title of Echizen Crab. We take a look at a number of delicious foods only available in Echizen during winter. Much enthusiasm surrounds these unique local gastronomical delights.

Echizen Crab

"I want my guests to eat the best crab," says an inn owner as he checks crab fishing boats returning to port, to determine which crabs he will buy. The proprietress of the inn ages the crabs in a seawater tank for over 10 days after they are landed. Once the crabs are ready to eat, she says they seem to express acquiescence. In a sushi bar, when boiling the crabs, the concentration of salt is adjusted according to the environment in which the crabs lived. The chef tries to recreate the seawater, and boils the crabs in a similar salt-water condition. He uses different types of salts, making the right blend of salt. Those involved in preparing the crabs put in a lot of ingenuity to make sure the crabs attain the finest taste.


Taros from Kamisho have a unique texture that becomes firm due to the local climate of intense temperature difference, but get a chewy texture when simmered. In the villages, specially designed wooden boxes turned by the flow of the rivers are used to peel the taros. The locals say the simmered taros are best enjoyed with the winter scenery.


A type of sake that is brewed in the town of Matsuoka in the upper reaches of the Kuzuryu River is made to be a good match with Echizen Crab. The sake is made from natural water pumped from 75m underground, giving it an elegant taste. 8 generations of sake brewers have produced sake for over 200 years using rice from the local region.