Whether you are in Hiroshima for a day trip or longer, Miyajima Island is an absolute must-see.
Whilst Miyajima is more commonly known for the Torii Gate and Itsukushima Shrine, there are various reasons to visit. Such as the friendliest deer you will ever meet, the peaceful surrounds of Momijidani Park and the Mount Misen hiking trail just to name a few.
So when I was visiting this stunning place I was not expecting one of the other main attractions to be an island specialising in oysters! However, if you’ve read my post about discovering the wonders of alternative Japanese cuisine, you’ll know I am no longer surprised by the ability of the Japanese to make everything a delicious spectacle!
By the end of my day on Miyajima I found out that the island is famous for their quality oysters and dishes such as oyster gratin, oyster curries, okonomiyi oyster cakes. You can find them served natural, grilled and deep-fried.
There is even an Annual Oyster Festival held in the second weekend in February, conveniently located in front of the Miyajima Pier.
Tasting The Miyajima Oysters
Finding all the great restaurants serving these dishes is half the fun. My favourite, however, was walking through the village streets that are lined with street vendors char-grilling oysters and assorted meat skewers, the smell was incredible.
The first thing I noticed about the oysters was how incredibly fresh they looked. If the language barrier wasn’t an issue I would have asked if they were harvested today.
They were perfectly grilled over hot coals giving them a subtle smoked flavour without overpowering or overcooking them.
With no lemon in sight they were served with just a splash of light soy sauce. Although the thought of adding soy was a bit strange to me, it complimented the oysters surprisingly well.
While you could easily have a 5-course oyster degustation sampling some of the other mentioned dishes, I highly recommend trying them both natural and lightly char-grilled. The freshness is second to none and they are best appreciated in this way.
I have had some amazing oysters from all over the world but these are hands down the best I have had outside of Australia and I encourage you oyster lovers out there to make the trip to Miyajima to experience them.
If you don’t have the time for the Island trip, the unexpectedly beautiful city of Hiroshima is just as famous for oysters.