In between two of Niigata’s largest fishing ports, – Itoigawa and Joetsu – lies Marine Dream Nou – one of the best places to enjoy the bounties of the Sea of Japan.

Itoigawa’s unique position on the edge of Toyama Bay has helped it become one of Japan’s largest producers of crab, with the markets here heaped high with bright red Benizuwai Crabs (red snow crabs), squid gleaming halibut and monkfish. The latter is so popular in Itoigawa that the city hosts no fewer than three monkfish festivals a year between January and March.

Visitors can visit the seafood centre to view the day’s catch and talk a walk through Kaniya Yokocho – Crab Market Alley – where visitors can buy crabs direct from one of the crab boat stalls and enjoy them right on site.

This is the largest market of its kind on the Sea of Japan with nine different vendors selling their freshly caught crabs.

Purchased crabs can be eaten right there at the “Kanikani Center,” or visitors can drop in to one of the 4 on-site restaurants to enjoy crab cuisine – including famous crab tempura and sushi sets.

When visiting Marine Dream Nou, don’t miss a chance to learn how Itoigawa became such a rich fishing community at the Kaiyo Maritime Museum and tour the Etsuzan-maru, a tuna fishing training boat used by the local high school for teaching new generations of fishermen.

Marine Deam Nou can be reached in around a 14 minutes train trip from Itoigawa Station (going north), on the Nihonkai Hisui Line bound for Naoetsu.

Marine Dream Nou is situated just before the half-way mark for bike riders travelling on the Kubiki Trail Trail that runs between Itoigawa and Joetsu.

Opening Hours

Regular (April 25 to October 30) 8:00 – 17:00 | Winter (November 1 to April 24) 8:00 – 17:00