The trip to Hiroshima has been so fun, filled with great sights, food plus endless shopping. We were simply blown away by the sheer abundance of activity. We decided to visit the Miyajima island which was around 40 mins away by a mix of train, walk and ferry. We took the train to Miyajima guchi and we decided to settle for lunch nearby before our ferry trip to the island to see the famous shrine.
As we were wandering in the vicinity, one of the restaurant caught our attention as the place seems popular with the locals. This restaurant known as Ueno specialises in a local cuisine called Anago meshi (Grilled eel over rice). When we stepped into the waiting area, the wood fired aroma of grilled eel caught our immediate attention. It smelled so fragrant and irresistible. We quickly asked for a waiting number and they told us that the wait could take around an hour. We decided to wait but I had to sneak out to do some quick hunt for local snacks.
I went to the shop next door and got some local snacks, which was shaped like a maple leaf. The sweets have variety of fillings such as cheese, red bean and chocolate. It was soft and the filling was not overly sweet. I needed a caffeine rush and it was so difficult to get great flat whites in Japan. I passed by a shop nearby the dock and their coffee looks good. I ordered a flat white and I was blown away. It was smooth, velvety and aromatic. Great coffee experience here in Japan, I think.
I quickly made my way back to the restaurant as my partner has been waiting for our turn. After an hour wait, we finally was ushered to our seats. Fortunately, the anago meshi arrived soon after our order. We were seated at a communal table of four and I asked the our fellow patrons about the restaurant’s history. They told me that Ueno is a famed local establishment, which serves the best anago meshi in this area. My medium sized anago meshi (2000 Japanese Yen) finally arrived. Is the anago meshi worth the $$?
After having a mouthful of the delicious anago meshi, I suddenly felt that the wait and the money was all worth the while. The rice was cooked to perfection and the eel was well grilled in a nice flavoursome manner. Though anago’s texture is usually tougher than unagi, but I must admit that the chef really has done a great job in preparing this dish. All of us were savouring the tender, delicious and tasty anago meshi and were raving on how succulent the anago meshi was.
Conger eel can be caught in the inland sea near Miyajima, so this is fresh local produce. The rice is prepared by using excess conger eel, thus making it extra savoury and rich. Even the accompanying dishes such as the miso soup, pickles and eel were all so delicious. After our satisfying meal, we proceeded to take the ferry to Miyajima Island for another round adventure.
We took the ferry and it took a mere 10 minutes to reach the island. When we arrived on the island, we were greeted by several local deers that looked so tame. I had a birds eye view of the Torri, which is the symbol of Miyajima. There were so many things you could do on the island. One could shop, eat, drink the local food or even admire and immerse in the local culture. There was something that caught my eye, the oyster that Miyajima is famed for.
There was several oysters shops that sold grilled oysters. I went over to this particular store that had lots of people queuing up for their grilled oysters. I ordered two oysters (250 Yen), which was so massive and tasty. The shop owner shucked the grilled oysters expertly, and added some ponzu seasoning onto the oysters. The taste was simply incredible. I was lost for words. This is just so yummy.
We walked past a shop that was selling different flavoured senbei (rice crackers) and we got the soya sauced rice cracker. It was nice, crisp and tasty and had the aroma of lightly toasted rice. We were so happy visiting Miyajima island and its surrounds. Time flew and we had to take the ferry back, to ensure that we return to Hiroshima city by 6pm.
We were back in Hiroshima city and the shopping expedition continued. Soon, it was dinnertime and we were feeling famished. We decided to visit a restaurant specialising in Kaki Meshi (oysters on rice) in the shopping centre next to the train station. The restaurant’s business looks pretty brisk. I decided to go for a 100% oyster meal and the waitress was nice to accomodate my request to swop the beef for the fried oysters without additional cost.
The kaki-furai (oysters breaded and fried) was delicious and it was good pairing with the sauce that came with it. The kaki- meshi (oysters on rice) comprised of a generous helping of fat and juicy oysters. With every bite, they tasted so fresh and juicy. I think Hiroshima has the best oysters in Japan. Hiroshima’s oysters account for approximately 70% of Japan oyster production.
Look at how big the oysters were. The rice was also well flavoured and my oyster banquet ended my day perfectly with great joy and happiness.