Because of how grotesque it looks, bokke doesn’t appear at the market very often, but it is actually a very tasty fish. Its pale white flesh is delicious as sashimi, and it produces an aromatic broth when used in soups or stews. It has long been caught in Shichigahama, and over the years, fishermen have used it for soups and stews at home.
It can be caught all year round, but it fattens up in autumn and winter. At the Shichigahama Industrial Festival held in November every year, you can buy and enjoy samples of bokke-jiru soup.
Shichigahama’s mascot is Bo-chan the bokke. Look for Bo-chan’s thumbs-up pose and amusing expressions.
ADDRESS Shichigahama Town
PERIOD November and December
Using local guides, we provide many tours that let you discover and experience
the wonders of Japan lying hidden in the “everyday” of the nearby area.
With the Pacific Ocean to the south and Matsushima Bay to the north and east, Shichigahama is surrounded by the sea on three sides. Jutting out as if to cradle the bay, the peninsula that the town lies on features seven beaches, from which the name of the town is derived (Shichigahama means seven beaches in Japanese). Since the Jomon era, the town has thrived alongside the sea, and more than 50 shell mounds and ruins—including the Daigigakoi Shell Mound, the largest shell mound in the Tohoku region—have been found here. Shichigahama, the smallest town in Tohoku, features beautiful scenery and a rich bounty from the sea.
Spreading culture from Shichigahama’s beaches!
Art Café Bar SEA SAW／Yasuaki Kubota
The town of Shichigahama has a population of about 18,000 people. By area, it is the smallest town in the Tohoku region. It is well known as a town for marine leisure activities, such as surfing and yachting, and, every year, many swimmers come to visit the Shobuta Swimming Beach, which opened in 1888 as the Tohoku area’s first public swimming beach. During that time, the Takayama Foreigners Beach Retreat, which is known as one of the three main summer retreats for foreign residents in Japan, also opened, beginning the cultivation of Western vegetables. Shichigahama International Village, which is used as a venue for all kinds of international exchanges, is located on the hill next to the summer retreat. The SEA SAW Café, for which I serve as a representative, offers a menu that features Japanese blue crab, nori seaweed, and other specialty Shichigahama produce. In summer, the town hosts an outdoor event called the Seven Beach Festival.
The reefs that are found on the town’s coastline are a habitat for high-quality fish, abalone, and sea urchins, which has developed the town into one of the largest fishing towns in the prefecture. Today, nori seaweed farming is especially active here, and many kinds of seafood—including abalone, sea urchin, flounder, conger eel, mantis shrimp, and sea raven—can be caught here.
The peninsula, which the sea surrounds on three sides, has a rich variety of terrain. Wherever you go, you can find hills, capes, and cliffs, and the long sandy beaches and intricate bays provide beautiful views in the mornings and evenings, enthralling the people who visit. In particular, the view of the islands in Matsushima Bay from Mt. Tamon is one of the Four Great Views of Matsushima.
From Sendai Station
【TRAIN & BUS】 From Sendai Station approx. 60 minutes total to Honshiogama Station on the JR Senseki Line, then from Honshiogama Station bus stop on to Shichigahama International Village on the Shichigahama Citizens' Bus Gururinko
From Sendai City
【RENTAL CAR】 From Sendai City approx. 40 minutes by rental car