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Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

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OISHII JAPANDelicious recipes using Japanese ingredientsJapanese Food Ingredients and Other ItemsSimple Japanese RecipesList of Exporters and ProducersTop


This gift from the sea is prepared in diverse ways to capture freshness.

Japan’s climate and seasons give us a wide variety of delicious fish.

Japan is surrounded by the sea, and the custom of eating fish dates back over 3000 years. Its north-south oriented landmass and its intricate coastline have produced a variety of fish in each region. The rivers that flow through its abundant forests to the sea carry rich nutrients and have nurtured diverse marine products. Fish in season are particularly tasty. For example, spring red sea bream, autumn Pacific saury and winter yellowtail are highly prized in Japanese cuisine.

With four currents flowing very close to the Japanese archipelago,
its waters are a rich source of fish.

Riding the sea currents, fish have sustained the nation’s health.

Warm and cold currents flow around the Japanese archipelago and run into each other along its coast. These locations produce large volumes of plankton, which make them rich fishing grounds by gathering migratory fish. The fish that migrate though these grounds mainly consist of Pacific saury, mackerel, jack mackerel and sardines. These fish species are frequently eaten in Japan, and research has revealed that the nutrients contained in these fish contribute to the long life and good health enjoyed by the Japanese people.

Careful handling techniques allow us to enjoy goodness fresh from the sea.

Japan uses various innovative methods to transport fresh fish. For example, in some cases, coastal catch is carried to port alive in the fishing net under water. Other techniques include keeping the fish alive in a tank and having them move around without being fed, which firms the flesh before processing. Japanese people constantly pursue ways of preparing fish that make it fresher and more delicious to eat.

“The joy of savoring seasonal fish”

In Japan, people can savor a wealth of fish varieties in season with optimal fat content. This is the ultimate luxury.

Alan Wong

(Chef and Owner, Alan Wong’s Restaurant, Hawaii/Japan)