OBAMA city

Tagarasu area:Birthplace of the famous SABA (Mackerel) route. Here you can learn all about mackerel, which is now recognized as a healthy food which contains a lot of DHA. 

From 11,500 yen per person 



Fishing boat ride for feeding special aquafarm SABA (mackerel) raised with sake lees, earning the fish the nick-name Yopparai Saba (drunk-mackerel), learn about the preserved fermented mackerel called Heshiko with an explanation by a unique Heshiko master, then try drunk-mackerel for lunch in the restaurant SABAR where you can choose the set-menu or the mackerel ramen with Sashimi (fresh raw fish).  


3 hours


2-6 people


Reservation required for chopsticks and cooking lessons (or a guide)  

(Reservation deadline: 7 days in advance)  


SABAR restaurant is open only on weekends. If you want to go to the Tagarasu area during weekdays you can reserve the local mackerel lunch at the Heshiko master’s Japanese inn called Sasuke.  

Please consult the Wakasa Obama Tourism Association & Information center  


Tsurube port (Special free transportation service required. Please contact) 


Total costs with guide 11,500 yen 



OBAMA city 

Tagarasu area:Birthplace of the famous SABA (Mackerel) route. Here you can learn all about mackerel, which is now recognized as a healthy food which contains a lot of DHA. 




Schedule   10:00-10:20 Meet a guide and wear a life jacket 10:30 Take a fishing boat for feeding drunk mackerel including a small cruise - 11:15 Heshiko storehouse – 12:00 Lunch at SABAR - 13:00 End  


Wakasa Obama in ancient time was called “Miketsukuni” which means the food supplier to the imperial courts in Nara and Kyoto. Especially these two old capitals were located inland so salt and fish were brought from this region and because of the distance the salted preserved mackerel were carried and delivered through the several passes and the routes are now called “SABA-Kaido” (mackerel routes).  Tagarasu used to be a perfect fishing ground for mackerel but this tradition died out and now as a new movement the mackerel aquafarms are built in the research of feeding fish with sake lees. This new project is reviving the old town Tagarasu as SABA’s birthplace. Surprisingly, local people talk to the mackerel while feeding them, saying things like “how are you?” or “enjoy food!”, believing that it will help them to grow up nicely.    


In order to make the traditional preserved fermented Mackerel called Heshiko you need several procedures and the Heshiko master will kindly explains you how to prepare. Narezushi is the further product putting rice and koji-molt inside of Heshiko for making a very old kind of Sushi. You can taste Heshiko but please note that it has a very strong smell.  


Then finally as a lunch you can taste Yopparai SABA (drunk mackerel) in a cozy-style restaurant. SABAR is a trendy food chain supplying the Yopparai SABA in Tagarasu and throughout Japan. The local guide kindly explains in English all about the history and background of mackerel.  


【Available Period】Weekends and holidays  



Department of Tourism, Obama

24-45-2 Wakuri, Obama city, Fukui

Tel : (+81)770-56-3366

Mail : experience@obamakankokyoku.com



Question 1   

Q: What is the free transportation service?  

A: If you need the ride, Wakasa Obama Tourism Association & Information center prepares the car form the city center to Tagarasu and each spot in Tagarasu.  


Question 2  

Q: Why do they feed Sake lees?  

A: People believe that mackerel Sashimi (raw fish) tastes strong but this drunk mackerel doesn’t smell strongly and it has a little sweetness and its texture is more smooth. It doesn’t mean that the mackerel drank lots of Sake though.   


Question 3  

Q: Why is mackerel important in this region?  

A: Obama is famous for SABA KAIDO (mackerel routes) through the history.  Tagarasu was once a mackerel fish ground and now the aquafarm of drunk mackerel has become a new market for reviving this region called Tagarasu. Tagarasu is said to be the birthplace of the SABA KAIDO.  


Question 4  

Q: What kind of taste is Heshiko?  

A: Heshiko has a little strong smell but it tastes really like salted anchovy. There is a by-product called Heshiko Bagna Cowder which you can get in the road station shop.  


Question 5  

Q: What is the set-menu at SABAR?  

A: Different mackerel meals served in small dishes such as Sashimi (raw fish) and deep fried ones on the salad with white rice and miso soup. Typical Japanese set menu for lunch called Teishoku.  


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