During My Last Visit to Japan, I Had Poisonous Fish

⊂I decided to keep the title simple this time in honor of imagination.  Am I talking about a recent vacation, or am I predicting the future?⊃


When we first traveled to Shimonoseki, Japan, we learned that locals took issue with those invaluable – unless you’re in the middle of a hurricane/typhoon, or hate carrying things or are in Seattle – objects known as umbrellas.

This time though, we’ll be having our last supper:

Shimonoseki - Sewer Cover

Blowfish.  Pufferfish.  Swellfish.  Delicacy.  Jimmy.  No matter what you call it, there are still…plenty of other words to call it.

River pig (河豚).   鰒/フグ, pronounced fuguふく fuku, which means “good fortune” and which serves as a pun on fugu, the official name for the venomous fish.


Hire me to remove the eyes, ovaries, and in particular the liver, and you won’t be around to read my next post.  Nor will I.  I’ll be in jail.  You really need to find the right chef at the right time.  Or, cower out and try the poison-free version.

Shimonoseki isn’t shy about its most famous resident.  I had never tried fugu before visiting that city, but a visit to one of Japan’s ubiquitous convenience stores changed all of that:

Shimonoseki - Konbini Fugu (Fuku)

There really was a slight tingling sensation after taking a bite

Do Japanese convenience stores keep humans in mind? Fugu, bread stuffed with chocolate and margarine and pocket-sized cans of sake really make you wonder if we are their main source of revenue.  Then again, have you ever had the displeasure of breathing in at a 7-11 in the US?  Those must be one of the many layers of Buddhist hell.


Hi, my name is Jonathan and I’ll be your unoriginal guidebook for today.

Shimonoseki - Karato Market 1

Japan’s most famous fish/wholesale market is undoubtedly Tsukiji Ichiba (市場/いちば market), located in Tokyo.  For a much more relaxing yet equally delicious market visit, check out Karato Ichiba in Shimonoseki.

For what marine product are they most famous?

Take a wild guess.

Shimonoseki - Karato Market 2 (Fugu-Fuku)

Is that a float? Imagine that during Mardi Gras

That’s English for fugu, and Japanese for fugu.


Shimonoseki - Fugu (Fuku) Meals

Someone went a little overboard here.  Fugu (Japanese-style) curry, boiled fugu in a can, raw fugu in a can, even whale curry tags along…who says Japan and China aren’t alike?

Would you try fugu?  What if it was a birthday gift?


About buildingmybento

Bread, olive oil Waking up in Nakagin Sure does sound like me
This entry was posted in Architecture, East & Southeast Asia, Food & Drink, Japan and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to During My Last Visit to Japan, I Had Poisonous Fish

  1. Pingback: Tsukiji Fish Market - Page 2 - FlyerTalk Forums

  2. I’ve never had fugu but I don’t think I would try it. Though my rule usually is “if it’s dead, I’ll give it a go” (think half dead ise-ebi!) but in this case I think I’d rather not take the chance of death…

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