Following on from Eating in Japan – Kanazawa and Hiroshima, we travelled to Miyajima Island and stayed overnight. To get to the island, we boarded a ferry for the quick cruise where we passed the floating torii.
After checking into our hotel, it was time for some sightseeing. About 5 metres down from our hotel, there was a small stand selling curry oyster doughnuts! I just had to try one. I loved the crispy crumbed doughnut exterior and the softness of the interior. The doughnut was mostly hollow but filled with fleshy oysters and a light hot curry sauce. I thought it was a wonderful snack. But you really have to like curry and oysters.
Walking through the main undercovered shopping street, Omotesando Shopping Arcade, we found there was so much snack food to try. There were deep fried seafood cakes all in the shape of a maple leaf (momiji) for ¥260. Momiji is the symbol of Hiroshima.
I decided to try the oyster cake which was served on a stick. Hot and tasty.
We passed by this big ass rice spoon on the main street too.
Miyajima Island is famous for its momiji manju – steamed buns shaped in the Japanese maple leaf, stuffed with various fillings and baked. Several souvenir shops were selling pre-made momiji manju in boxes at Omotesando. There was also another shop that made and sold them further on up towards the temples on the island.
A short video of how quick it was to produce momiji manju is below.
We passed a cart selling freshly made momiji manju but these looked different as the pastry was more flakey rather than spongey. The hot momiji manju came in three different flavours – custard cream, apple and red beans.
I chose the apple filling and was so glad that I made the right choice. The filling was more like an apple custard – so sweet, smooth and appley. The pastry was croissant-like and flakey. Delicious! A definite must eat. I am craving one right now.
We passed a souvenir shop, Hirano-Ya, near the Itsukushima Shrine, that also sold ice monaka – basically an ice cream sandwich with different fillings.
I tried the cherry blossom ice monaka and watched as the lady added red beans onto the ice cream.
The ice cream ‘shell’ was made of a wafer – thin and crispy.
My sister tried the vanilla ice cream with red bean inside.
The same stall sold citrus KitKats which I never saw anywhere else during my time in Japan.
There are lots of deer on Miyajima Island that are free to roam around. They are not the least bit fazed around humans.
After catching a cable car, and then climbing to the summit of Mt Misen, we walked all the way back down. This was fine for me, but the numerous steps did not agree with my sister, whose knee kind of seized up. When we finally got back down, it was time to find somewhere to sit and have lunch.
We decided to try Yakigaki No Hayashi mainly because we could see what the food was like with the plastic food displays at the front, and prices were reasonable. Plus we were pretty tired!
As we arrived after the lunch time rush, we got a table straight away. Oysters were dominant on the menu and I was very happy with that.
I chose a lunch set of oysters three-ways (¥2,780) with miso soup which was more than I wanted to pay, but I figured YOLO.
This came with two fresh natural oysters with some scallions, ginger, lemon and soy sauce.
It also came with three fried oysters which I absolutely loved and couldn’t get enough of. I loved the gorgeous golden crumb. The oyster inside was hot and almost melted..it was strange that it had sort of lost its strong oyster flavour and had mellowed out. Tomato sauce and mayonnaise on the side made me think of these as oyster nuggets.
Lastly, there were boiled oysters on rice. These were pretty bland and my least favourite of the three. I was also still so hungry after this lunch set! But I reassured myself as there was plenty more snacking to be done.
I came across a stall selling rice burgers which looked interesting.
I ordered the rice burger with fried oysters of course! The rice had been mixed with some red bean giving it a slight purple sheen. The burger didn’t really match the picture on the sign but nothing ever does. The sticky rice held together perfectly and I got to eat more fried oysters. This topped up my belly after the oysters three-ways lunch.
We passed by an ice cream shop which sold ice creams in a doughnut-like cone. I had planned to go back there and buy one as I was full after the rice burger, but never made it back.
A snack I was very keen to try was agemomiji – a deep fried momiji manju! There was already a bit of queue to the shop when we got there. One person was doing all the deep frying while another put the agemomiji on a stick and served customers.
These were ¥180 each and came in three different fillings – cheese, custard cream and sweet beans.
I chose the sweet beans agemomiji. Lovely crunchy outside and soft almost oozy inside. Definitely worth it – a Miyajima Island must eat.
In the afternoon, we got to see the floating torii at low tide where you could actually walk up to the torii. Plenty of people took advantage of the opportunity.
There were many tourists out to capture the floating torii at sunset too.
For dinner, there were only a few eateries open as most tourists leave the island by 5pm to catch the last ferry back to the mainland. We dined at a bar where I had my last lot of fried oysters. Told you I couldn’t get enough of them!
We ended up buying a few more of the pre-made packet momiji manju to have for breakfast the following morning as there were no cafes open for breakfast. We chose chocolate, matcha green tea, custard and a sweet bean paste. The croissant-like momiji manju and agemomiji were better in my opinion 🙂
I was really quite surprised that this small island had so many yummy snacks to offer. I was literally eating all day and it was one of the best days in Japan. That’s all for my food travels to Miyajima Island. Next up, we travelled to Osaka.
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