Miyajima is one of Japan’s foremost sightseeing areas – No matter how many times I visit I never grow tired of its large vermilion red torii gate and magnificent Shinto shrine.
But did you know that Miyajima has another famed item you won’t grow tired of, no matter how many times you taste it?
This time I visited Anagomeshi Ueno, a shop located right before the Miyajima ferry wharf.
With the opening of Miyajima station in 1897 (currently JR Miyajimaguchi station), the history of the conger eel rice lunch box (anagomeshi) began as sales commenced at the station. It has been loved in the area for around 120 years!
The shop bristles with customers every day. During weekends and long holidays, a long line will form in front of the shop. If you aren’t able to eat in the shop, you can buy a boxed lunch instead.
And this is it!
Ueno’s famous conger eel rice lunch box. The retro style packaging makes me feel somehow excited! And then on the inside…
Wow! It’s packed with delicious looking conger eel! In addition to the aroma of the sauce, I can also smell the nostalgic scent of freshly sawn wood coming from the box.
I pick some up with my chopsticks… it’s so soft! Bon appetite!
The conger eel’s fatty meat, the salty-sweet sauce, and the savory fragrance of the rice cooked in a broth made with conger eel leftovers and soy sauce… Actually, this is the third time for me to eat conger eel rice at this shop, but it surprised me again: “It really is so delicious!”
In the kitchen, veteran staff members fry the conger eel. It’s dipped in a special sauce before being put on the grill. Repeating this three times ensures that the flavor soaks in properly. So as not to lose the flavor of the raw ingredients, the sauce is mildly sweet. And that’s why you won’t grow tired of it no matter how many times you eat it!
“In order to pass on the traditional flavor, we must introduce new technologies and continue to study the conger eel,” says the shop’s 4th generation custodian, Mr. Junichi Ueno. He is proud of the shop’s flavor, and always provides the best conger eel rice possible.
If you happen to visit Miyajima, do try Anagomeshi Ueno’s conger eel rice (anagomeshi) !
Location: 1-5-11 Miyajimaguchi, Hatsukaichi city, Hiroshima prefecture
Business hours: Boxed lunches: 09:00-19:00. Restaurant: 10:00-19:00
Open: Year round (On Wednesdays, the restaurant only serves boxed lunches)
*Conger eel boxed lunches can also be purchased at Hiroshima’s Mitsukoshi department store and Fukuya Hiroshima station square store.
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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