“Here is chu-toro (medium-fatty tuna).”
What a shiny and beautiful piece…!
When you eat it, the rich taste of the tuna spreads out and gradually melts in your mouth.
It is very mouth-watering, even just thinking about it.
I can honestly say that the sushi at “Sushi Kirin,” a sushi restaurant in Awajishima, is extraordinary.
Actually, access to the restaurant is not so convenient (there is no train running on Awajishima), but it is definitely worth a special trip to go to the island and try this sushi.
The view of the world’s longest suspension bridge from the window is superb!
One reason you should go to this restaurant is the window, which is right in front of you if you sit at the counter.
To be precise, there is a wonderful panoramic view from this window.
I know that there are so many “wonderful views” in this world, but I can say that this is one of the most scenic views in Setouchi.
The restaurant is located close to the foot of the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge which connects between Honshu island (Japan’s main island) and Awajishima (the biggest island in the Seto Inland Sea).
Therefore, you can enjoy 2 fruits of Japanese culture at the same time, the “Edomae style sushi” and the “Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge.”
Amazing job by the chefs at “Sushi Kirin”
Well, this is a rare opportunity, so let’s choose luxurious “Omakase course (chef’s selection).”
You can fully enjoy not only sushi (of course) but also other delicious dishes in this course.
For example, a “chawanmushi (a custard-like dish) of surf clam” is tremendous because you can feel how the texture of the clam is slightly and gradually changing as the custard cools.
Also the combination of the clam’s sweetness and the scent of yuzu citrus is very fine.
And, how about “tessa sashimi” (fugu )?
You will want to close your eyes to concentrate on the taste in your mouth.
This sashimi is served with a soft roe and jelly sauce made with ponzu, and topped by shiso (perilla) leaf buds on top.
This combination, eaten together, has an exquisite taste.
Enjoy the savory smell of deep-fried blowfish as it is served in front of you.
The outside is crunchy, but inside is soft and juicy…
You cannot help sucking at its bones without any salt or spices.
Japanese pepper can be a good accent for the flavor, so please sprinkle a pinch of it on the fish.
And what a splendid view of the shining sea and the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge from the window…!
This is the greatest part and most luxurious experience which you can have here – the bliss of the cuisine combined with a beautiful view.
There are not so many places where you enjoy a time like this.
The sushi rice is flavored with “red vinegar,” which has as its main ingredient mature sake lees.
This vinegar colors the rice a little bit red, so this sushi rice is called “Aka-shari” (“aka” means red, and “shari” means sushi rice).
The flavor is very mild, with moderate sourness and umami (good taste).
Seafood chosen and prepared under the best condition by a cook who was former fisherman
Some of the sushi toppings are local seafood which landed at the closest port (less than 5-minute drive from the restaurant), such as cuttlefish, filefish, and so on.
And also the chef chooses the seafood which are “best and in season” from all over Japan.
The sea urchin was from Hokkaido, and the blowfish was raised for 5 years in Oita in the photos above.
The source district of the seafood differs depending on the season, and the chef chooses the best one at moment.
The head-chef actually worked as a fisherman in Awajishima…!
Now I understand why the all seafood tastes so good!
It seems that the head-chef is staring at the great view during his preparation…, no, he is watching what kind of seafood is being gathered by the fishing vessels in the sea before him.
After you are satisfied with sushi and the view, we recommend that you to go back to Akashi port using the high-speed boat on the “Awaji Jenova Line” departing from Iwaya Port, which passes under Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge!
Although of course staying overnight in Awajishima might be the best choice.
Because…, it is natural that we would like to enjoy good sake with sushi at Kirin and take our time doing it.
Sushi Kirin Awaji Branch
Address／1871, Iwaya, Awaji-shi, Hyogo
Phone／0799-72-3811 (Reservation required)
Open／Lunch time: There are 2 lunch services, starting at 11:30 and 13:15. Dinner time: 17:30～22:00 (No arrivals after 20:00) *On weekends and national holidays there are 2 dinner services, starting at 17:30 and 19:30.
Parking lot／Not available
Photographs and text by Madoka Hori
Madoka Hori / Photo-writer Entrepreneurial translator/writer living in Hyogo. As a licensed English tour guide, she occasionally takes tourists to beautiful destinations such as Kobe, Himeji, Okayama, Kyoto, and Osaka and her clients have never got lost so far. On Setouchi Finder, as one of the original team members, she enjoys taking photos and sharing her favorite hidden gems. Private Photo Blog http://riderv328.tumblr.com Twitter https://twitter.com/Riderv328
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