The remains of an ancient salt making pit on the Tobishima Kaido (Sea Route) in Aki-nada
“Hiroshima Prefectural Beach” is a beautiful white-sand beach in the south-eastern part of Kamikamagari-jima Island, on the Tobishima Kaido (Sea Route) in Aki-nada.
It is one of the most popular swimming beaches in Hiroshima, and there are many facilities and buildings including “Kure City Kamagari B&G Sea Center,” where you can experience sea kayaking or SUP, the “Kure City Astronomical Observatory Hall” on the seaside, tennis courts, restaurants, various accommodations, and a hot spring resort.
So many people come and enjoy sea bathing here in summer, but this place is not just for swimming.
These ancient remains were unearthed on the beach, and proved that people were making salt with “Moshio-yaki,” the original way of making salt by burning seaweed, about 1,600 years ago.
“Kamagari Ancient Salt Making Remains Restoration Pavilion” is located near the beach, and you can see the ancient remains as if they were just unearthed inside of the building.
You can learn how ancient people produced salt, and also see some pieces of earthenware.
Let’s experience making ancient “Moshio” salt using earthenware!
There is a facility where you can experience making “Moshio” salt the ancient way next to the pavilion.
*Please note that this experience requires a reservation at least 3 days in advance.
“Moshio” is the salt made in an ancient way which is considered to be the origin of salt production in Japan.
At first, you put a brown seaweed called “hondawara (sargassum)” in earthenware and soak it in sea water.
Then dry it out a several times to make salt water with a high salinity concentration.
The next step is boiling the salt water in earthenware over a fireplace of stones.
You have to be careful to avoid having the salt water boil over, so it must be added little by little in the earthenware to make it evaporate.
After a while you will see crystals of salt form on the edge of the earthenware.
It takes around 2 hours to finish making the salt.
This is “Moshio” salt in the earthenware!
Actually, we bake sweet potatoes in the fireplace at the same time, so you can eat them with the just-made “Moshio” sprinkled on them!
“Moshio” has a lot of minerals from the seaweed, and you will be surprised at its mild taste.
You can take a tour of the “Amabito-no-Moshio” factory!
There is a factory called “Amabito-no-Yakata” (The house of Sea People) on the east side of Hiroshima Prefectural Beach.
“Amabito-no-Moshio” (Moshio salt made by Sea People) is produced using a manufacturing method applied the ancient way.
You can take a tour of the factory where they make one of the special products of this island.
The dark brown salt water is boiled in more than 10 flat pots for 6 to 8 hours in the factory.
These pots are of course much bigger than earthenware used in ancient times, however, the way of making the salt is obviously applied from the ancient method.
You can buy “Amabito-no-Moshio” and some other products at the store in the factory.
Don’t forget that there are some products which you can only get here.
Actually, “Amabito-no-Moshio” is used in various special products from Setouchi.
For example, it is used for “Kappa Ebisen (a snack food made with flour and shrimp) Takumi” and “Lemosco (a spicy sauce made with lemon, and named from Tabasco).” These are designated as Setouchi Brand products, which makes their taste more attractive!
Kamagari Ancient Salt Making Remains Restoration Pavilion
Address／Oura, Kamagari-cho, Kure-shi, Hiroshima (Inside of Hiroshima Prefectural Beach)
Open／10:00～17:00（Last admission: 16:00）
Closed／Monday（differs depending on season）
Fee for the salt-making experience／The minimum fee is 5,000 yen for 5 people or less. The minimum fee + an additional fee of 1,000 yen each is charged for every additional person over the group of 5.
*The experience requires a reservation at least 3 days in advance.
Reservation or inquiry for the experience／080-6304-0197 (Moshio Association Office)
Required time／About 2 hours
Amabito-no-Yakata (Kamagari Bussan Co., Ltd.)
Address／7407-1, Oura, Kamagari-cho, Kure-shi, Hiroshima
Closed／Sundays and National Holidays
Photographs and text by Hironobu Matsuoka
Hironobu Matsuoka / Photo-writer Born in 1974 in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, and currently living there, Hironobu is the president of Mediapolis Inc. "I travel around the country in Solar King, an eco-camping car that has a solar power generator, and film the beautiful scenery of Japan in high-definition. I want to move around the country as much as possible and leave behind videos of precious Japanese nature and scenery for future generations to enjoy. Although I travel all over the country, I love my home area of Setouchi." 'Healing Japan TV' - Traveling virtually around the country through 'healing videos'.
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