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Tokyo district tries to reel in tourists with whale meat

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Could be a big own goal.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

I've eaten it both raw and cooked and didn't like either; vastly overrated.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

"We're not the only ones who eat it, other people eat it too". Does this phrase sound familiar?

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Doomed to fail. Besides the taste, foreigners (and some Japanese) know it's not cool to eat whales.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Are these restauranteers so culturally blind and so unaware of world opinion that they think this can attract a general foreign crowd, or are they just trying to appeal to a market niche that includes people like Cecil the lion murderer?

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Lots of foreigners couldn't give a crap about some cultural prejudices towards eating whales.

Must check how long the festival runs for, the whale I had was pretty good. Maybe I got a ripe one?

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

“With so many foreign tourists visiting Japan now, we would like to show how we really feel”

Yikes.

There are certainly a lot of jingoistic 'uyoku' ulterior motives and vibes underpinning this particular festival. And given that Ebisu neighbors the Hiroo area which is home to many foreign embassies, it seems pretty clear that the nationalists are trying to ruffle the feathers of the international community by conspicuously displaying their defiance to the anti-whaling crowd.

You have to love the disingenuous/deceptive/insincere premise of this festival, "aimed at introducing foreigners to the culinary delights of whale meat." Part of the 'omotenashi' spirit, perhaps?

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Yep, everyone I've ever spoken to about their trip to Japan said the same thing, "Good service, beautiful temples, but you know what, something was missing. We really wanted to try some brutally murdered dolphin or whale that was caught in international waters to really understand the Japanese culture."

15 ( +20 / -6 )

So many great things, but they choose this?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Some people eat whale meat thinking they are avoiding unsafe levels of contaminants are actually eating meat that contains very high levels of toxic substances. These are dangerous environmental contaminants including PCB's, DDT, dioxin and heavy metals like methyl mercury.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Unfortunately, the VAST majority of visitors come from mainland China, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Don't know about Taiwan, but most people from the first two will eat anything that moves. At least in Hong Kong, the younger ones are even shunning shark fin.

Seattle tourist Eric Johnnson said the festival put him off the district entirely.

And un(fortunately), Japan cares a lot about its image among the developed (white) countries. It makes me feel like avoiding Ebisu too.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Ebisu, a chichi gastronomic hub close to Tokyo’s frenetic Shibuya shopping district, is hosting an annual food festival aimed at introducing foreigners to the culinary delights of whale meat.

Very disappointing. I used to love going to the shops and restaurants in Ebisu, especially those near Ebisu Gardens.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Wow! I can just see tourists lining up for their fill, NOT! They should use this commercial as part of their campaign to show the real whale meat experience:

http://youtu.be/_CfUMyf9x4M

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I was invited by a friend to eat some once... She is no longer my friend...

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Talk about the exact wrong way to go about this.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

KY on steroids....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's stories like this that makes me think Japan exists in some kind of opposite universe. Given a choice, so often they choose the completely opposite way. It's like there is a conspiracy to keep doing things that present Japan in a negative light to most of the modern world.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Way to keep up that International image Japan!

6 ( +10 / -4 )

I've eaten it a couple of times. It's not bad, but I don't like it so much - it definitely wouldn't be a draw for me.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

A boycott of Ebisu would be a good way to respond to this nonsense.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

mercury ladened goodness...yummmm!

4 ( +8 / -4 )

High in protein but tasteless. I've tried it.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Have had whale meat several times.

At best it just tastes average.

At worst it tastes like an old shoe.

I always laugh when I see or hear Japanese right-wingers pretending that it's really delicious.

It's not.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

This is a great idea to invite only nice foreigners to Japan.

-18 ( +2 / -20 )

@Phil S It's like there is a conspiracy to keep doing things that present Japan in a negative light to most of the modern world.

My conspiracy theory: whale meat is being flaunted to foreigners like a red flag to a bull, to get foreigners to react against it and question whaling in general. If foreigners say something that questions any aspect of Japanese life, then the Japanese right wingers will circle the wagons screaming Japan bashing to rally public opinion in favour of whaling, thereby increasing the profits of the whaling industry. :D

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I had it once. Was like eating a sliced up wellington boot. …..I am now addicted to wellington boots.

Please help!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The whole whale issue is that most westerners believe that whales they are ENDANGERED species and must be saved. Sorry but first whales are not a single species and second the minke whales that Japan hunts can be harvested in without worrying about their extinction.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

the minke whales that Japan hunts can be harvested in without worrying about their extinction.

Nothing can be harvested without worrying about extinction. The question is whether the harvesting is being done in a responsible manner, upon a population that can support the level that is being harvested.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

'The whole whale issue is that most westerners believe that whales they are ENDANGERED species and must be saved.'

The 'whole' whale issue? Nothing else? Nothing to do with the fact that lies were told about the manner by which these creatures are killed? We were told the whales died instantly. The lies were seen as necessary because the reality is pretty disgusting.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

tinawatanabe: " This is a great idea to invite only nice foreigners to Japan."

Here you go again, and this is exactly the kind of attitude and reason why the "We're going to feed you what you are against us killing to show you it's okay!" brain dead mentality always fails. It further only shows you think only people who automatically praise Japan, warranted or not, should be allowed entry so you can feel good and pat yourself on the back when it's not deserved and when you personally certainly did nothing to earn it. Scoffing at and suggesting those who do not agree with you are not welcome is no way to appeal to others. But I'm guessing, since I don't agree with you, I'll just fall into that group that "doesn't understand", right?

In any case, this is as I said, another ridiculous Japanese illogical attempt at trying to get others to like something without any skill whatsoever in doing so. The only thing worse than this are the parties politicians wanted to hold for visiting ambassadors mm where they would "serve the ambassadors Fukushima food to PROVE it's safe"!! You don't give somebody a piece of whale blubber and say, "Here! You are against us killing whales! Eat it! Like us, please!"

Japan really needs some PR lessons.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

I would imagine being harpooned and not dying instantly would fall under the definition of 'suffering'.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Those restaurants ought to post a warning that whale meat is full of dioxins and may be dangerous to your health.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The whole whale issue is that most westerners believe that whales they are ENDANGERED species and must be saved.

Please don't presume to tell me what I believe. As far as I'm concerned the whole whale issue, in fact the whole marine mammal issue, is that it is impossible to guarantee an instantaneous, painless death to a marine mammal at sea. I don't care how many there are, if you can't kill an animal humanely, then you shouldn't be killing it at all. As for being endangered, neither dogs nor cats are in danger of extinction, but that doesn't mean it's OK to eat them or feed them to tourists - especially if you kill them the way marine mammals are killed. The human population, far from being endangered, is out of control - still no excuse to go on a let's-harpoon-and-barbeque-a-human spree.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I would imagine being harpooned and not dying instantly would fall under the definition of 'suffering'.

I would imagine the animals you are eating would be suffering too when dying.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The concept of killing humanely is basically BS. You're killing an animal for consumption that is all.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Triring: "The concept of killing humanely is basically BS. You're killing an animal for consumption that is all"

That's a line only an inability to debate the facts would produce. There are definitely humane ways of killing, and whaling is not at all humane. I'm glad at least you're not pretending it's for science.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Most animals- cows, pigs, chickens are killed quickly to avoid suffering that reduces the quality of the meat- preferably head shot. Fish are captured whole and then killed- their simple nervous system reduces their suffering. Its just not possible to do with whales and other sea mammals. The sea is too difficult to survey precisely to spot their moving heads for a head shot and they are too big to capture whole so the whole process of whaling is extremely cruel to a sea mammal.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

'The concept of killing humanely is basically BS'

The people who lied about how these animals were killed thought it was important enough to give us BS.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Over the history of the human race there have been many things which have been considered "traditional" and part of a country's "culture", including things like canibalism, head-shrinking, human sacrifices and the like. Generally as "civilization" progresses some of these things become generally unacceptable to the general population and are pressured or forced out of existence. Currently controversial things include commercial whaling, dolphin killing and bull fighting in Spain. The weight of World opinion would clearly seem to be against commercial whaling and dolphin killing, these are mammals after all, and therefore anyone who makes a stand for these things will inevitably suffer severe criticism from the international community. Japan has so many things to offer visitors, it is such a shame that issues such as these are continually thrown into the spotlight, far from attracting more visitors things like this turn a great number of people off. The number of visitors quoted actually seems relatively few for a country with a population of over 100 million, it would be interesting to see some comparisons with places like Lomdon and Paris. Throwing controversial issues continually I peoples' faces is hardly likely to do anything for tourism

0 ( +2 / -2 )

'Reeling in' tourists ? More like harpoon and clubbing.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Who comes up with this stuff???!!! They must not leave their shell!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Some people eat whale meat thinking they are avoiding unsafe levels of contaminants

Literally no-one thinks that. They either don't think about it all, or they're aware of the contaminants.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Trying to foist this on others, since fewer Japanese are eating cetacean flesh...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Whale meat again, don't know where don't know when.....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

bruinfan::"Trying to foist this on others, since fewer Japanese are eating cetacean flesh..."

You can only force-feed it to children for so many years before the leftover stockpile goes bad in the freezers. In any case it's not because enough people here won't eat it, even though that is another problem with commercial whaling and why it's unnecessary, it's just that they think they can force Japanese culture on others and make you like them more. The biggest problem of all is that they have this extremely bizarre and backward way of thinking when it comes to self-entitlement here and forcing said products on others; they just automatically think if they shove it in your face you MUST like it (or you don't understand Japanese culture, are undesirable, etc.).

It'd be like a farmer saying, "We want more people to know about how great manure is, since not enough people are interested. So come on down here and we'll rub it all over you so you smell like it and will appreciate how great it is!" Except, of course, manure is actually useful and something we need, unlike whale meat.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Shame on you. You use to bitch about the Chinese eating dog meat. Guess what, the vast majority of people do not eat or condone eating whale meat. The Japanese are good at eating out of existence tuna, whales, dolphins and one of these day we will not see whales in the ocean.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Fortunately tourists from where ever they come have the freedom to choose whether to eat whale meat or not. For whatever reasons. I doubt many tourists from overseas will shun Japan saying, 'those awful people slaughter whales, I can't go there, I'd rather visit China or Korea'.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

For whatever reasons. I doubt many tourists from overseas will shun Japan saying, 'those awful people slaughter whales, I can't go there, I'd rather visit China or Korea'.

I agree. But I also doubt most tourists will go to Ebisu and eat whale because of this festival either.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

is hosting an annual food festival aimed at introducing foreigners to the culinary delights of whale meat.

Oh really? Isn't Japan saying that the whales hunting is primarily for "research purposes"? Oops..., it seems that Japanese are again ridiculizing themselves with their double face attitude.

Now I am sure the International Court of Justice will find interesting that the country is allowing this sort of event in total contradiction to its commitments for the protection of whales.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Strangerland: "I agree. But I also doubt most tourists will go to Ebisu and eat whale because of this festival either."

In agreement on this one.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@tinawatanabe dont take this as an insult. But i have to say you are either the best troll here on JT or you were wired all wrong while in the womb. Whichever it is you certainly have my sympathy

0 ( +0 / -0 )

doubt Americans will go there, Americans are too fat now that any meaet are considered source of Type II diabetis and more likely to visit fish vegetblian Japanese restaurants. More variety of shrimp and crab in Japan, Brsidr that, Ebisu pic is roo fat to increase appetite.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Is this really for scientific research purposes?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Foreigners shouldn't tell the host country what not to eat. Please go wherever of your religion.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

We are starting to think... Japan is greedy... Japan is arrogant...

If an American.says that, not convincing.

Please explain...

Japan is not doing anything illegal. Japan is eating whales before you came to Japan.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

If an American.says that, not convincing.

I'm not American so your comment made me laugh... is that the only response you can make?

So limited, but so funny!

Japan is eating whales before you came to Japan.

Only eating??!!

Come on... give the whole story...

I'll help you!

Japan is greedily and arrogantly grabbing large mammals from the opposite side of the globe...

For what?

For Japan's very very important "food culture"...

Japan wants to give the world an image of "Cool Japan" but we are getting another image...

We get the image of "Greedy Japan" and Arrogant Japan".

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Japan is greedily and arrogantly grabbing large mammals from the opposite side of the globe..

======================================================================

One Restaurant decided tp serve whale mear and above writer jumped up io blame Japan s greedt and arroganr.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

One Restaurant decided tp serve whale mear and above writer jumped up io blame Japan s greedt and arrogant.

You think that one restaurant funds and operates the whaling fleet that goes down to the Antarctic every year (until the ICJ told them to stop), operates huge freezer facilities and is the only place that serves whale meat?

The whaling fleet is funded from our taxes, and is a national disgrace. That doesn't mean that 'Japan' is greedy and arrogant: a small but significant number of people working the system and making a profit from so-called 'scientific research' are greedy and arrogant. Not to mention mendacious and corrupt. The people who believe their lies are gullible.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Guess what, the vast majority of people do not eat or condone eating whale meat.

As someone mentioned earlier, please don't presume to tell me (or the vast majority) if we condone or even eat whale meat.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Japan is greedily and arrogantly grabbing large mammals from the opposite side of the globe...

Eating large mammals is not illegal. Fishing at the opposite side of the globe is no problem either. It is open sea where many countries are fishing not just Japan.

For what?

For food.

We get the image of "Greedy Japan" and Arrogant Japan".

Japan gets the image of "Greedy westners and Arrogant westerners".

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

@tinawatanabe: Well said

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

and this years price for the best troll on JT goes too tinawatanabe! hold on shes being serious!? oh well in that case you have my sympathy for being wired all wrong at birth.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For food.

14 percent of respondents occasionally or rarely ate whale meat, with 37 percent saying they never ate it. Other polls showed 90 percent of Japanese surveyed had not bought whale meat in the previous 12 months.

annual consumption per head is less than 30 grams — and any attempt to paint Japan as a “whale-eating nation” is a gross distortion of its culinary tradition.

56 percent of the whale and dolphin meat sold in Japan for consumption over the last 15 years had mercury levels above Japan’s legal limits. In the last year, 100 percent of the 20 products they tested were above the limit.

Bon appetit

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hey eat it but be warned it is full of dioxins. Dioxins are not good for you. You think I am just a dumb foreigner who does not understand Japan? Your intestines are different? Okay, eat it. See if I care. Oh I see, foreigners are inhumane because they don't care about the health of Japanese people? Okay, please, for heaven's sake don't eat whale meat because it is full of dioxins. It is bad for you, it bad for pregnant women. it is bad for children. That is science. Oh I see, Mr Abe is reinterpreting the medical evidence to show dioxins are good for you. Okay, who am I to argue with Mr. Abe?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@zaibanOCT. 11, 2015 - 10:18PM JST Is this really for scientific research purposes?

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

looked back the article and can't find what you wrote. Are you telling that Ebisu is doing scientific research?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There are so many wonderful things to try in Japan. Whale isn't one of them.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Tokyo district tries to reel in tourists with whale meat

Another dumb move

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

KabukiloverOct. 12, 2015 - 11:07PM JST Hey eat it but be warned it is full of dioxins. Dioxins are not good for you. You think I am just a dumb foreigner who does not understand Japan? Your intestines are different? Okay, eat it. See if I care. Oh I see, foreigners are inhumane because they don't care about the health of Japanese people? Okay, please, for heaven's sake don't eat whale meat because it is full of dioxins. It is bad for you, it bad for pregnant women. it is bad for children. That is science. Oh I see, Mr Abe is reinterpreting the medical evidence to show dioxins are good for you. Okay, who am I to argue with Mr. Abe?

So is all salmon (especially farmed), trout and tuna.

And you probably eat much riskier food while on holiday, a dioxin bomb a year won't harm you. Let's hope they don't promote this to Australians though or we'll have a tedious season.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It just doesn't even taste good. I'm not a fussy eater by any means and usually try anything at least once. I have tried it 3 times, once cooked.....meh, once raw.....frozen and meh and once dried which was still meh but the best of the 3. I won't bother again.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As long as the whaling fleet uses high grade explosive harpoons and doesn't show any pictures of orphaned whales.....would that make the festival ok?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Isn't Japan saying that the whales hunting is primarily for "research purposes"?

This may be news to you, but Japan isn't a restaurant.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Don't push it down anybody's throat.......no pun intended

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Fishing at the opposite side of the globe is no problem either.

You are confused.

Whales are not fish so talking about "fishing" is irrelevant here.

Please try to use correct terminology.

If you make basic mistakes, people think you do not understand the topic.

Instead, let's talk about the topic.

Let's talk about what Japan does.

Japan grabs large mammals from the opposite side of the globe.

Whale meat in Japan is not popular. Most young people say it tastes bad.

The only people who say it tastes good are right-wing "oyaji".

But in fact they are just pretending about that.

It doesn't taste good.

It tastes average at best, and quite often it tastes bad.

These right wing "oyaji" just pretend to like it because their right-wing media tell them to do so, or because they hate foreigners.

You can be sure, even these right wing Japanese are hardly ever eating whale meat.

So, whale meat is just a tiny tiny niche market in Japan.

The government and right wingers have been pushing it for many years but still nobody wants to eat it.

It's funny!

So we have the Japanese grabbing large mammsls on the opposite side of the globe for this tiny niche market...

It looks so greedy and arrogant.

Very bad for Japan's image.

In the West we have, for example, hunters who pay a lot of money to go to Africa to kill lions and elephants... trophy hunters.

It seems greedy and arrogant too.

However, if you read Western newspaper you will see that many people are critical of them. Other people of course think trophy hunting is OK.

But we have a vigorous debate about it.

That's one difference between the West and Japan.

In Japan many people have been brainwashed to see the whaling topic as "Japan the victim vs nasty foreigners".

In the west we debate things freely and have a diversity of opinions.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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