A white building shines against the deep blue sky. This is Nautique Shiroyama, an auberge located on Innoshima Island along Shimanami Kaido, the cyclists’ holy ground.
Surely I’ll be able to eat some fresh seafood from the Seto Inland Sea here… my expectations rise as I head towards the restaurant.
The person exhibiting his skills in the kitchen is Mr. Tanaka, the head chef. “I’m not making anything too complicated, but there are many things that require a lot of effort,” he says. The meaning behind his words will become clear later on.
Well then, we finally head to our table!
Mantis shrimp, sword tip squid, scabbard fish, Manila clams, horse mackerel, mackerel and black small shrimp – this dish which includes 7 different types of seafood is called “Setouchi no Umi no Sachi no Salad” (‘ Fruit of the Seto Inland Sea Salad’). Plump, crunchy, melty… All the different kinds of seafood dance on my tongue, and it feels like I’m experiencing the undersea Palace of the Dragon King.
Meanwhile in the kitchen, the next dish is already being prepared.
Puffer fish is put in a special broth made with small black shrimp, tomatoes, herbs and other ingredients. After adding red rockfish and clams, this is the finished dish!
Fresh fish and clam fricassee.
As fish from the Seto Inland Sea already have a deep, rich flavor, it’s not necessary to add lots of butter and fresh cream. With just a spoonful of soup, the splendid aroma of the seafood hits the spot.
Actually, Seto Inland Sea inshore fish are filled with small bones. However, as the chef removes them very carefully, you can enjoy the fish with a knife and fork. So this is the effort the head chef was talking about! With gratitude, both my gut and soul were fully satisfied.
Not only is the food delicious, the rooms of the hotel are wonderful places that satisfy the mind. From this suite room you can enjoy the calm Seto Inland Sea scenery.
From the hotel deck you can see the view sketched by Ikuo Hirayama, a famous Japanese artist.
As a shipyard guesthouse, Nautique Shiroyama once entertained state guests from all over the world, as well as Japanese royalty. Currently it is being utilized as a base point along Shimanami Kaido for tourists both from within and outside Japan.
How about a luxurious moment at this auberge on the island?
Location: 2254-6 Innoshimahabu-cho, Onomichi city, Hiroshima prefecture
Lodging & dining fees (for this article): JPY23400 (+Tax)
Location: as above
Open: Lunch 11:30-14:00, Dinner 17:30-20:00
Tel: as above
Prices: Lunch (Chef’s recommended European style Setouchi cuisine course) JPY5280 (+tax), Dinner (European style Setouchi cuisine full course) JPY9680 (+tax)
*Lunch and dinner mentioned above are available upon reservation. Check Shiroyama’s homepage for courses and dishes not requiring reservation.
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Izumi Furukawa
Izumi Furukawa Hello. My name is Izumi Furukawa and I was born in Kagawa Prefecture. Before getting married in 2012, I wrote for various magazine companies and Internet based media organizations in Tokyo. After marrying, I moved to Hiroshima and am now raising my child as well as writing stories about my fascination with this area through Setouchi Finder. Most of the articles I write are about places I visit on weekends with my family. My favorite driving course is Route 375 from Saijyo to the Miyoshi Area, and my favorite food from the Hiroshima area is Anagomeshi (from Miyajima)!!
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