Miyajima's Cooked Oysters
The Must-eat Seafood in Hiroshima Area
Oysters are a specialty dish of Miyajima Island, in Hiroshima prefecture. The shellfish are cooked in various ways typical of Japanese cuisine that will delight foodies from all over the world.
Beyond the traditional momiji manju and eel dishes, Miyajima’s grilled oysters can be considered the most prominent specialty food of the island. The numerous eateries lining the shopping street between the ferry ⛴️ pier and Itsukushima shrine have well understood this interest and compete in creativity to prepare oysters. Hungry or curious visitors benefit from a wide array of choice to indulge in oyster degustation.
A long-established culinary tradition
Oyster farming originally developed on Hiroshima’s shores, on the other side of the bay, and has been thriving in Miyajima for more than three centuries. In the area, Ono-Seto oyster farms are famous for producing the most refined oysters. Not only that, but these oysters are also quite big, which can be surprising for an unacquainted gourmet.
There are several ways to enjoy oysters in the area:
- Grilled on a barbecue, in a half-shell, or on a skewer (in the same way as a yakitori);
- In a more advanced cooking method such as deep-fried, and/or with side dishes (rice, vegetables, tofu, etc.), especially in restaurants;
- Or raw, although it is quite rare.
Oysters can even be prepared as tsukudani condiment or preserved in oil, as a delicacy gift to someone dear.
On a fine weather day, oysters can be enjoyed outdoor sitting on a bench amid inquisitive shika deers. The average price for one to two pairs of grilled oysters with sauce is about ¥400 to 600 (~US$3.51 to ~US$5.27) at food stalls.
Oysters are such an important part of Miyajima’s culture that an oyster festival is held over a weekend in mid-February each year.