Dustin and I have traveled to Miyajima many times. The island is great for hiking, visiting the famous "floating" (ahem) torii gate, walking through Itsukuhima Shrine, eating momiji manju, making rice scoops, or watching Seto Inland Sea-life at the aquarium. Whew, this island has a lot to do. It is also home of the annual Miyajima Oyster Festival, a two-day extravaganza on all things oyster. After reciting all the things you can do with oysters (a la Bubba-style from Forrest Gump) we decided to make the journey to this famous island and taste the named shellfish.
|How nerds travel in Japan.|
After a short train ride and a quick ferry ride we arrived on Miyajima. The island was packed! I've visited on busy days but this was crazy! The lines to try various foods were lengthy. Before getting in our first line we watched a koga dance performance.
|Showing where the end of the line started...|
But enough cool performances and people watching. I'm here to EAT. Although the lines were long, they moved quickly. First think we tried was an oyster soup. I was a little apprehensive about this type. The soup was a warm chicken broth with mushrooms, green onion, and big oysters. I'm glad they gave us little forks, because slurping down the big oysters would have been a bit difficult. We also received a substantial bag of oyster sauce that we did not use. I really liked the soup, and would have gone back for more if there were not other options to try.
Next up was my favorite style - a oyster and mushroom croquette. Absolutely delicious and made me not want to share any with Dustin. Imagine taking an oyster, covering in condensed cream of mushroom soup and then frying it in panko. Exactly. Omnomnom.
Along with oysters there were many other foods worth trying. We had some tako (octopus) balls will mayonnaise, ika (squid) on sticks wrapped in asparagus and bacon, and some spicy yakitori (chicken on a stick).
It's not a trip to Miyajima without momiji. So we sampled some cream, cheese, and chocolate treats while walking through the main shopping street. After all that tasty food we decided to walk around the island a bit. Some friends accompanying us had never been so we visited many of the popular sites and walked off some of the tasty oyster goodness.
Lastly, I can't visit Miyajima without posting about the wild deer. Deer, huge crowds, and a food festival? Sounds like an excellent combination to me!