The sleet and snow was coming down hard and fast on my trip to Shimonoseki the other week. It didn’t make it terribly enjoyable to wander the city in such wet weather, but at least on our short walk, I caught a glimpse of this fantastic manhole cover:
Yes, that’s the famous – and feared – fugu, or puffer fish. Shimonoseki is known as one of the top places in Japan to try this delicacy and while many have heard of the lip-tingling raw presentation, you can also have fugu in a multitude of other forms. With my toddler in tow, I opted for the much more benign “fugu fish sticks”, pieces of fried fugu that were quite delicious. For a taste of fugu in all its forms, look no further than the Karato Market in the center of town, where dozens of stalls sell platters of beautifully-arranged raw fugu slices as well as cooked fugu dumplings and croquettes. Yum!