Snow Crab Season In Kinosaki!

As we wrap up a chilly November, snow crab season is in full swing here in Kinosaki!

The Matsuba-gani, or snow crab, is a local delicacy caught in the waters just north of Kinosaki from November to March. Locals and tourists alike praise the taste of snow crab for its unique sweetness and ability to go with a variety of other dishes.

Kinosaki’s crab season isn’t just famous for Matsuba-gani! Its smaller (but just as delicious!) female snow crab counterpart, the Sekogani, is filled with approximately 100,000 red roe eggs which are coveted by the local seafood connoisseurs.

The Matsuba-gani caught near Tsuiyama Fishing Port are particularly coveted, and are only available to be eaten from November 6th to March.

Wintertime visitors to Kinosaki are highly encouraged to experience the taste of Matsuba-gani and Sekogani during their time in town, either through a delicious and luxurious kaiseki dinner or while stopping by a local restaurant for a cozy authentic meal with family or friends!

Check out this lively auction for the wildly-popular snow crab!

(By Kouta Shima)

While it may be difficult to try Matsuba-gani in Kinosaki for the time being, we are excited to bring you fun and interesting news about Kinosaki Onsen throughout the winter!


Male snow crab caught off the shores of the Sea of Japan in the San’in Coast region is known as Matsuba crab, and is a popular winter specialty. Visitors can observe the morning auction held during crab season at Tsuiyama Fishing Port (a 10-minute drive from Kinosaki Onsen). The Matsuba crab landed at this particular fishing port is called Tsuiyama crab and can be identified by its blue-colored tag.

This local delicacy, mainly the male snow crab, as they are much larger than the females, is served at numerous restaurants in the area and sold from early November to March when it’s at its best. During crab season, Matsuba crab is also served as one of the dinner courses if you are staying in a ryokan, however, many other restaurants will also offer seasonal crab courses during this time. Winter is peak season, when visitors come to the area from far and wide just to get a taste of this special crab. Matsuba crab can be served in a variety of ways including raw as sashimi, grilled, shabu-shabu style, and also in a hearty nabe hot pot.