Itsukushima, also known as Miyajima, is probably most known for its beautiful floating torii gate, nature spots (Momijidani Park in the fall is absolutely gorgeous), and aggressive deer.
Okay, maybe people don’t know about the deer, but take my word for it, they are crazy for food!
Speaking of food, don’t miss out on the special island fare. In this post, I’ll share some of the top things to eat when visiting Miyajima. From craft beer to oysters and fried curry balls, there is sure to be something for everyone to enjoy.
For those planning to stay overnight on the island, be aware that most places close early (around 5 pm). Your dinner dining options will be limited, but I have provided a list of locations that are open later than usual at the end of this post.
If you want an itinerary for the perfect day trip on the island, check out this list of top things to do on Miyajima as well as this video too! It includes lots of food as well as top nature spots, temples, and the famous shrine.
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Table of Contents:
- Fresh Oysters – Fried, Raw, Grilled…
- Oyster Curry Bread
- Craft Beer – Miyajima Brewery
- Momiji Manju
- Miyajima Jakee – Fried Momiji Manju
- Fish Cake Sticks
- Restaurants Open Late For Dinner
- Booking Your Hotel in Miyajima
Fresh Oysters – Fried, Raw, Grilled…
Since Miyajima is surrounded by water, you can bet its seafood is great. One of the island specialties is oyster! As you take the ferry into the island from mainland Hiroshima, you can see the oyster farms floating in the middle of the bay.
Yakigaki no Hiyashi – 焼がきのはやし
Restaurants on Miyajima serve oysters in a variety of ways: fried, boiled, over rice, raw. etc. On the main street, Omotesando Shopping Street, you will find an island favorite, Yakigaki no Hiyashi, ( 焼がきのはやし).
This restaurant is known for its high-quality grilled oysters which are grown until they are at least three years old.
The front of the restaurant has a display of live oysters as well as a place for grilling them over a bed of hot coals.
Visiting Yakigaki no Hiyashi during peak hours will most likely land you in a massive line that wraps around the side of the building. Because of this, I recommend queuing up early (before the store opens) if you have the opportunity.
As a specialty seafood restaurant located in the heart of a tourist destination, prices here are unsurprisingly high. However, the exciting thing is that the lunch sets allow you to enjoy oysters prepared in various ways, all in one meal.
For example, one of the sets comes with two raw oysters, two grilled oysters, three fried oysters, oyster rice, miso soup, and pickled veggies for ¥3,000 (~$27). It wasn’t the most filling of meals (I guess I’m used to eating lots of oysters), but I found everything to still be delightfully tasty.
You can also order an a la carte set of three grilled oysters for ¥1,200 (~$11).
The prices are high, but the oysters are darn delicious and it this is great to try them prepared in different ways.
Read more about Yakigaki no Hiyashi here on the store website.
Kaki Fuku Maru (かきふくまる）
If you are looking for a no-fuss oyster meal then head over to Kaki Fuku Maru. This little oyster shop is small and can only seat about six customers at a time. The menu is limited to only grilled oysters, grilled oysters with toppings, and fried oysters.
If you are looking for a heavenly dish, try the garlic butter grilled oyster. One bite of this oyster and soon you’ll be ordering more.
- Grilled oyster (1pc): ¥200
- Grilled oyster with topping (1pc): ¥300. Toppings include cheese mayo, garlic butter, gratin, ajillo, and miso
- Grilled oyster (1pc) + fried oyster (2pcs): ¥500
- Fried oyster (3pcs): ¥500
The oysters at Kaki Fuku Maru are slightly smaller and a bit cheaper than the ones at Yakigaki no Hiyashi. The best thing here is enjoying the special grilled oysters with toppings – I’ll say it again, the garlic butter one is to die for.
Compared to the oyster huts in Itoshima where you can get ~12 oysters for ¥1,000, the prices on Miyajima are unfortunately much, much higher. Nevertheless, if you are on the island, I still recommend grabbing an oyster or two and enjoying their salty freshness.
Oyster Curry Bread
Outside of my hotel was a small food stall that sold oyster curry bread. I had never heard of such a snack but learned that it is a massive, deep-fried ball with oyster curry inside. Intrigued to try, I snagged the last available one for the day and enjoyed it during my late-night meal.
Craft Beer – Miyajima Brewery
Finding yourself craving a cool drink while walking around? Not to worry, Miyajima Brewery has you covered. This brewery/restaurant/beer stand specializes in craft beers- a welcome change from the standard big name Japanese beers widely served elsewhere.
The first floor has a small space for standing and drinking, while the 3rd floor has seats and more of a restaurant vibe. The third floor hosts large glass windows that give a perfect view out onto the water.
Small, regular, and large drink sizes are available, but for those who are indecisive, (or just excited to try more than one beer), you can enjoy a flight of any three pours for ¥1,100.
Fun fact, the founder of Miyajima Brewery was first inspired to begin producing his own craft beers after tasting the San Francisco IPA, Anchor Liberty Ale!
Read more about Miyajima Brewery here.
An interesting thing I noticed on the island: though food stalls and restaurants close early, if you crave a drink after the lights go out, there are vending machines that sell alcohol. ?
Momiji Manju is Hiroshima / Miyajima’s famous confectionery and is shaped like a maple leaf (which is called momiji in Japanese). This cake-like dessert is traditionally made with a red bean paste filling, but many stores sell an assortment of other fillings like custard, apple, chocolate, and chestnut.
Some of the shops on Miyajima have machines by the window so that you can watch the manju being freshly made.
Momiji Manju makes for great omiyage gifts for friends and family, so be sure to stock up before you leave!
Miyajima Jakee – Fried Momiji Manju
Hakataya on Omotesando Shopping Street takes the traditional Momiji Manju one step further by serving it deep-fried! They call this version Miyajima Jakee.
The added crunchy exterior and steaming filling suit the momiji manju well and are better than the original in my opinion.
Order this fried dessert using the small ticket machine in the store. A single piece costs ¥180 and some of the fillings offered are chocolate, cream cheese, cream, black bean paste, and peach.
It takes a couple of minutes for the Miyajima Jakee to come out, but it is worth the wait. Be VERY careful when eating as the insides are PIPING hot.
Read more about Hakataya here.
Fish Cake Sticks
Sticks of fish cake are sold in several stalls along the main street.
Conger Eel Chikuwa
After disembarking the ferry, the first stall I came across on the island was selling conger eel chikuwa. Chikuwa is a tube-shaped fish paste cake. If you are ready to eat the moment you step foot on Miyajima, pick up one of these for ¥300 a stick.
Another fish cake delicacy is called nigiri ten. This is a savory fish paste mixed with different ingredients, then roasted and served skewer-style on a long wooden stick.
Some of the flavors offered are green onion and octopus, cheese-bacon, ginger, squid, and chicken. A stick of nigiri ten costs ¥370 and although a bit greasy makes for a tasty snack on the go.
Restaurants Open Later For Dinner
If you plan to stay overnight on Miyajima, know that many of the main restaurants close early (around 5 pm). There are still a few places you can eat at, but last orders are usually around 7:30 pm and 8 pm.
Here are a few restaurants I found were open when I visited. (Because of the Covid-19 pandemic and changing rules regarding allowed dining hours, these times may be subject to change. Best to call ahead and check!)
- 厳島 BARL 厳齋（ISSAI）: Bar and Restaurant, 9 am-9 pm
- Miyajima Umaimonokan: Okonomiyaki , 10:30 am-8 pm
- Miyajima Sushi Tensen: Sushi, 11:30 am-1:30 pm, 5 pm-10 pm
- Mame-tanuki: Japanese restaurant / Izakaya, 5 pm-8:30 pm
- Enishi: Japanese restaurant, 11 am-2:30 pm, 5 pm-9 pm
- Sarasvati: Cafe and Bar, 8:30 am-7 pm
- Foods Shop Kumakin: Supermarket, 9 am-7 pm
Booking Your Hotel in Miyajima
You can visit Miyajima island all in one day, but I find there’s something very tranquil and special about spending the night.
For the ultimate luxury experience, you will want to stay at a ryokan (Japanese-style inn) which comes with beautiful Japanese rooms, full-course meals, and attached bathing facilities. I stayed at the Miyajima Grand Hotel Arimoto the first time I visited the island and was not disappointed in the least.
For a more affordable option, this hotel called Sakuraya is also great. It’s not fancy but is located super conveniently next to the water very near to the port. I’ve stayed there twice and while it’s not jaw-droppingly gorgeous like Miyajima Grand Hotel Arimoto, it is a nice place to stay that has Japanese-style rooms and a small public bath you can enjoy during your stay. (Meals are not provided at Sakuraya).
Traveling in the Fall? Don’t Miss Momijidani Park!
If you are on the island in November, head to Momijidani Park to see some stunning fall foliage. This is one of my favorite places I’ve been to for fall colors. It does not disappoint! (Though there may be a lot of other visitors)
Read more about visiting Momijidani Park here!
Hopefully you enjoyed reading about some of the best things to eat when visiting Itsukushima! If you are looking for more to read, be sure to check out these posts about other food and adventures in Japan!
- Miyajima Island’s Momijidani Park – An Amazing Place for Fall Foliage in Japan – Another Itsukushima favorite and a must-visit during the fall!
- What to do on Miyajima – Overnight Stay on a Beautiful Japanese Island – Top things to do when you visit the island. For hikers, foodies, and lovers of Japanese culture.
- Day Trip to Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine from Central Fukuoka – A fun and easy day trip filled with food and a beautiful shrine.
- Craft Inn 手 [té]: An Immersive Art Experience in Yame, Fukuoka – Stay in a beautiful traditional inn and eat local seasonal food.
- Bungo Beef: Oita’s Signature Wagyu – Oita Prefecture’s special Wagyu beef, served on a bed of rice along with an assortment of spices!
- Tacomia in Fukuoka – Satiate Your Craving For Mexican Food in Japan – Creative and delicious Mexican food in Fukuoka