Japanese people are very welcoming and are always keen to get foreigners involved with cultural events. I was invited by the town of Aio to take part in the World Shrimp Caching festival- I think the ‘World’ aspect might have been dependant on my saying yes. There were lots of film crews and reporters there and I attracted especial interest as the foreigner in the crowd.
Thousands of shrimp were released into a netted off area, ready for four thousand competitors to descend- all vying to catch as many shrimp as possible in one hour, using only their hands. They are tricky little things, burrowing their way into the sea bed to escape your clutches and nipping at your fingers as you plough through the sand. I wasn’t too successful, managing only four shrimp whilst Japanese people emerged with bags full. I gave up after a little while and tried to take a few pictures-