From Kure to Akitsu (A journey along the coast road): Setouchi seafood and the founder of Hiroshima Sake & Ginjo-shu

When you head east from Kure city area along Route 185, from the coast road you can view the scenic landscape with islands floating across the Seto Inland Sea.
If you stop by the 740-meter-high Mt. Noro along the way, from the hillside you can spot Kawashijima‑island floating in the archipelago spreading beneath your eyes. Depending on the weather, further away you can also catch a glimpse of Shikoku’s famous Mt. Ishizuchi.

 

 

Continuing further east, you will enter a town called Akitsu.

 

Akitsu faces the Akinada islands, and as the calm sea surrounding the Inland islands is a suitable location for their cultivation, the local specialty is oysters.
At the oyster huts operated directly by fishing companies, you can grill and eat a bucketful of freshly picked oysters on the spot.

 

 

If you continue further beyond the row of oyster huts, along the ocean road nearby a train station called Kazebaya you will see Drive-in Kurohama.

As one would expect of a 45-year-old restaurant with roots in fish wholesale that was once operated by the current owner’s grandparents, it has established a reputation for fresh and affordable seafood.

 

As they offer fresh and juicy local fish at very affordable prices, the store is a flourishing business whose tables are always packed with locals even on weekdays.

 

Picture below : Alfonsino fish simmered in soy sauce (Set: Fish in soy sauce + sashimi + small side dish + soup + pickled vegetables + fruit = 2570 yen)

 

 

Picture below: Akitsu-grown deep-fried oysters 1,430 yen (A big helping)

 

 

From the restaurant’s windows you have a view of the beautiful Seto Inland Sea and of Oshiba Bridge, which leads to Oshiba-island (also known as a part of the “Fruit Line”).

 

Tables with views from full-height windows are also available.

 

 

Katsuko Honjo, the restaurant’s owner sticks to her principle of only serving dishes that make her think “I want to have some of that!”
In October 2014, she received a commendation for her restaurant’s superior hygiene as a Hiroshima prefecture representative from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

 

This restaurant’s proprietress is a truly shining personality who gives energy to all those who meet her.

 

 

So, having filled your stomach, how about taking a ‘historical stroll’ to Sakakiyama Hachiman shrine’s majestic pavilions? As well as being where businessmen from Mito, an area exceeding in brewing, come to offer prayers, there is also a statue of Senzaburo Miura, who is known as the founder of Hiroshima Sake.

 

In the Meiji era, Senzaburo Miura made it possible to brew Sake using Hiroshima’s soft water (in the 1880s and 1890s).
The reason for Hiroshima’s Saijo district becoming one of the three great Sake-brewing districts in Japan, in addition to Kyoto’s Fushimi and Hyogo’s Nada, is also apparently thanks to Senzaburo Miura’s existence.

 

 

 

Drive-in Kurohama
Place: Higashi Hiroshima City, Akitsu-cho, Komatsubara 5

Telephone: 0846-45-0771

Closed: Wednesdays

Opening hours: 10.30 ~ Last order at 20.00

Parking spots: 30

Seats: 80

Closest station: 5 minutes by car from JR Kazebaya  train station

 

Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Makoto Ezaki & Yoko Suganami (Rainbow Sake Co.,Ltd.)

 

 

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Rainbow Sake

Rainbow Sake

Yoko Suganami Rainbow Sake, Inc. After an extended stay in Hawaii, in 2011, I returned to my hometown of Kure, Hiroshima. Having worked at advertising companies in both Japan and Hawaii, I founded Rainbow Sake - a PR company with the goal of spreading Sake abroad. I hope that sake will ""bring the people of the world together"" and that I can be a part of that. I often travel abroad, and mostly to Hawaii and Singapore. Every time I come back home, I rediscover the beauty of my hometown and the happiness the easygoing, calm, fresh and simple sea and mountains of Setouchi bring.

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