Shiohigari “Clam Digging” in Japan

Are you familiar with clam digging? In Japan, people go  clam digging, “shiohigari” in Japanese, for fun from late spring to summer.


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Especially during golden week in May, shiohigari shores get really crowded.


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Using rakes (photo below) and shovels, clam diggers dig out clams in mud flats which are exposed at low tide.


"ysishikawa" some rights reserved. flickr



Since shiohigari places are run by local fishermen’s unions, clam diggers must pay digging fee, and usually receive a bag to fill clams they dig. If a good harvest made the bag double, the clam digger must pay additional fee. (But when it is not so crowded, fishermen often don’t charge for it.) Some shiohigari places sell advance tickets at convenience stores. It is cheaper and saves time and labor of waiting in line.


Dug clams are soaked into salty water to get rid of sand,


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and then cooked. This dish is “clam steeped in sake and steamed.”


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Shiohigari provides us a good exercise and education experience, plus delicious dinner.

It has been fun event especially for families; however, the number of clam diggers dropped sharply because of the nuclear accident. I wonder if there will be day when we can go clam digging safely.


This is JAPAN Style!