There is a restaurant in Miyajimaguchi specialising in anago-meshi a local dish of broiled conger eel on rice. Unsurprisingly the restaurant is very busy and is full when I try to secure a table, on the upside they sell beautiful takeaway boxes prepared fresh for day trippers to Itsukushima. The box was so nice we thought it better to buy the takeaway and to enjoy the eel at our guesthouse, rather than to wait for a table, this way I can keep the wrapping, it’ll make a nice strange souvenir. The eel is fantastic, slightly smoky glazed with a sweet and salty sauce that drips and seeps into the rice below, a few pickles lurk in the corner of the box that refresh the mouth between bites.
Eel is one of the fish most associated with the Hiroshima Prefecture, so while I was on Itsukushima I had to try the eel nikuman. This eel filed steamed bun is laden with onion, it is strikingly similar to a regular pork bun with eel replacing pork. It was really delicious.
Oysters are another speciality of the region, with the waters around Itsukushima positively littered with oyster beds, their distinctive patterns are clearly visible in the waters from the summit of Itsukushima. There were many opportunities to eat oysters on Itsukushima, many of the takeaway stalls sold them they were mostly sold cooked, in the shell, often flavoured, sometimes fried or battered. You could smell them everywhere, they smelt sweet and fresh, I didn’t eat any however, I can’t stand the damn things.