A winter morning at Miyajima, fishing boats sail along in the calm Seto Inland Sea, and you can hear the distant echo of their engines.
From early morning, fishing boats head towards the oyster rafts…
Though Miyajima is famous for its shrines and temples, starting with Itsukushima Shrine, the area prospers as a fishing industry location – mainly oyster cultivation.
Suginoura (within Miyajima), located on the northeast side of the island, enjoys a prospering fishing industry centered around oyster cultivation.
We got to see how workers at Maruaki Suisan (‘Maruaki Fishery’) located in Suginoura remove oysters from their shells with practiced hands. Each Miyajima-grown Miyajima oyster has a delicious-looking milky color.
The characteristics of Miyajima oysters are their plump, firm milky white meat and the black folds of their mantles.
Mineral-filled water flows from the primeval forest of the abundant Mt. Misen, which has been designated as a world heritage site, and mixes with the waters of Ota River. The oysters are cultivated in an environment with a rich balance of nutrients, which is why even among Hiroshima oysters, Miyajima oysters are packed with sweetness and a great, rich flavor.
Oysters are in season during winter. Reaching their peak around February, the colder it gets, the more delicious the oysters become!
Oysters can be eaten in many ways. When still in their shells, they are delicious fried. Others include deep‑fried oysters and kaki-meshi (rice cooked together with oysters), oysters fried in butter, as well as in hot pot, among others – there are plenty of ways to prepare oysters.
There must also be those among you who like to eat freshly gathered oysters. Naturally, there are restaurants, inns and hotels in Miyajima where you can enjoy oyster dishes. Therefore we would like to introduce one of the recommended inns where you can enjoy fresh oyster dishes at Miyajima.
In front of Miyajima Aquarium, Tabisai no Oyado Mizuhaso (‘Auberge Mizuhaso’) offers a wintertime accommodation plan that includes an oyster meal course. Within the course you can savor various oyster dishes created by the ingenuity of the chef. There are plenty of dishes that you rarely have the chance to try at home, but here you can enjoy the taste of Miyajima’s winter to the fullest.
When you visit Miyajima, do try the flavor of wintertime Setouchi’s Miyajima oysters.
Address: 1010-6 Miyajima-cho, Hatsukaichi city, Hiroshima prefecture
Homepage: http://www.maruaki.jp (Japanese)
- Online-shopping service available
Tabisai no Oyado Mizuhaso (Auberge Mizuhaso)
Address: Nishionishi-cho, Miyajima-cho, Hatsukaichi city, Hiroshima prefecture
Homepage: http://www.gambo-ad.com/hotel/index.php?ar=1&id=12 (Japanese)
Homepage: http://www.gambo-ad.com/english/ (English)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Bridge (Ayanori & Yoko Okamoto)
> A guided tour, including teatime, where you can see the former “Koshien Hotel” – “Frank Lloyd Wright type” architecture by Arata Endo. / Koshien Hall at Mukogawa Women’s University (Nishinomiya-shi, Hyogo)
> Experience the ancient way of salt making on Kamikamagari-jima Island on the Tobishima Kaido in Aki-nada! / Kamagari Ancient Salt Making Remains Restoration Pavilion & “Amabito-no-Moshio” (Kure-shi, Hiroshima)
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