Helmet crab, or togekuri-gani, is a type of crab that comes into season in the spring. In Aomori, it is also referred to as “sakura crab” or “flower viewing crab.” It is one of the key elements of flower viewing in Aomori along with gasa-ebi (mantis shrimp). Though smaller than hair crab, the taste of helmet crab is equivalent to or superior to that of hair crab. In its peak season, the crab’s innards become rich and flavorful, a superb taste that cannot be found elsewhere. Helmet crab is not commercially available nationwide, and it is a gem that you must try in Aomori during flower viewing.
When flower viewing, the crab’s shell is used for drinking sake, this is called ko-ra sake (sake-in-shell).
One of the greatest Japanese writers, Osamu Dazai, was extremely fond of togekuri-gani and it even appears in his novel “Tsugaru.”
in season distribution period
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