Whale meat shop

When I arrived to Japan for the first time I was surprised to see whale meat cans in the supermarket, now I am totally used to it (which doesn’t mean I agree with it). What surprised me the other day was bumping into a shop where only whale meat is sold!! They are specialized in whale bacon, they have meat from different whale species, they have many varieties depending on the conservation method and they sell the most delicious parts frozen. Moreover, at the entrance of the supermarket there is a sign which says “クジラは日本の食文化” that could be translated as “Whale is part of the Japanese culinary culture”. I guess nobody still thinks whales are hunted in Japan for “scientific” reasons…

whale meat supermarket
The character 鯨 can be seen at the background. It means “whale” in Japanese language.

whale meat supermarket
Whale is part of the Japanese culinary culture

whale meat supermarket

whale meat supermarket

whale meat supermarket
In the shelves at the background many different kinds of canned whale meat can be seen.

whale meat supermarket
Clients trying to decide what part of whale to buy.

whale meat supermarket
Whale bacon on sale. They say it is very healthy.

whale meat supermarket
Leaflets about cooking, recipes, etc. using whale meat.

whale meat supermarket
Shop background decorated with a huge whale.

whale meat supermarket
This is how whale meat looks when ready to eat. There is a restaurant next to the shop which is specialized in cooking whale meat.

whale meat supermarket
Whale species that live in the seas around Japan.

whale meat supermarket

whale meat supermarket
Back shop window plenty of whale meat cans.

  • james west

    November 17, 2009 at 5:11 am


  • Tornadoes28

    November 17, 2009 at 9:52 am

    I wonder how it tastes?

  • Jeff

    November 17, 2009 at 10:36 am

    yah, i’ve been to that shop in Asakasa. Lots of neat little shops there!

  • whaley mcwhalester

    November 17, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    anyone have a link to the location in Google Maps?

  • whaley mcwhalester

    November 17, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    on second thought, don’t post the map link. Some overzealous folks might arson the shop.

    FWIW I have nothing against eating whale meat, any moreso than eating cow meat. But I wouldn’t because of the mercury.

  • jamesmallon

    November 18, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    What most Japanese, and non-Japanese, don’t know is that during the American occupation MacArthur authorised the fishing fleet to leave port and hunt whales, as the Japanese rations had been desperately short of calories and protein during the war, and after. Both whale meat and milk products were only first widely available to the public when they were distributed during the occupation, and primarily through school lunch programmes.

    So, the US is responsible for Japanese school lunches, which are part of the reason that the Japanese are healthier and better able to learn than the American average. They are also responsible for milk products in the Japanese diet, which has made them a little heavier than they would otherwise be. Finally, the US us responsible for a more widespread whale hunt.

    “Whale is part of the Japanese culinary culture” is propaganda, as it was part of the culinary culture of a few isolated fishing villages prior to the occupation. The same could be said of any culture with a bit of coastline.

  • Densha Otoko

    November 20, 2009 at 10:12 am

    Wanna try on of those Whale Meat .

    I all in Animal Rights but it doesn’t hurt to try .

  • .

    February 13, 2010 at 8:56 am

    You don’t need to search for a specialized shop. Whale meat is available in regular stores too.

  • gregor

    May 16, 2010 at 5:48 am

    apparently there’s a lot of by products coming from whales they use in Japan

  • Zara

    July 15, 2010 at 11:48 am


    I stumbled across your site while doing some research on whaling in Norway (I was trying to figure out what whale products come out of it). Anyway, I wanted to say that this shop is probably funded by the Japanese government (look at page 13 of this report) http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:7Lr1ph-Cd_kJ:www.asoc.org/Portals/0/econ_whaling_eftec_final.pdf “zara phang” +whale burgers&hl=en&gl=uk&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESigVu0Av2QdtWt2a5vkgetyUH_n5V-c2P1zNX2IfyB-LrCrKNfjIHc5Iv09ctcl3dy4bXxglM3zBC5hlRVWF3Y6zlwmQHgLdy_oopGZTt5hGi9YEuaS3ov_Z-I_r5Om6XOF7UlG&sig=AHIEtbQcDUb0TwA84F2gB8tNh4avwNgivA

    Anyway, neat pictures, I think its especially weird that they have all these wonderful pictures of whales and even a plush doll juxtaposed with all that meat!