Yobuko Port, Karatsu City, Saga Prefecture in the northwestern Kyushu has long flourished as a natural port facing the Genkai-nada Sea and surrounded by very beautiful scenery. Although under the control of the pirates of the Yobuko Clan during the Warring States Period (1467-1590) and the Karatsu Domain during the Edo Period (1603-1868), trading ships had free access to the port and the town flourished as much as castle town Karatsu did. The history-rich port town of Yobuko is also famous for its squid. The slices of raw squid are transparent and each bite is filled with crunchy sweetness. Gourmands go out of their way to visit Yobuko for this tasty treat.
The market in Yobuko is one of Japan's the three major morning markets. It is open throughout the year except New Year's Day. The story of Yobuko stretches back to the early 1900's. Before that, from about 300 years ago, when the Karatsu Domain began whaling, Merchants would carry whale meat and other fresh fish from Yobuko Port from place to place to find buyers. Women from farms near Yobuko also traveled from place to place to sell their produce. After shopping streets started to spring up in the Taisho Period (1912-1926), the merchants and farmers began selling their goods from in front of the stores along these streets. This is how unique Yobuko Morning Market got its start.
The Yobuko Morning Market is open from 7:30 AM to noon. During weekdays along the 200 meter long street, you'll find about 40 vendors. That number grows to 60 on Sundays with vendors selling a wide variety of local products. Shoppers are treated to a wide variety of fresh seafood, including squid, processed marine products such as squid dried overnight and squid shao mai (steamed dumplings), vegetables, fruit, pickles, and flowers; and it's fun to negotiate prices with the sellers. It is always crowded with visitors who like to experience the traditional morning market and hear the spirited voiced of the vendors as they call out their wares.
- Yobuko, Yobuko-cho, Karatsu City, Saga Prefecture, 847-0303
- 7:30 AM - 12:00 AM
- January 1st
Information accurate as of November 29, 2016.