Licence to tabe-aruki: Eating on the move on Miyajima


Feb 2, 2019

Look at any guide to the intricate world of Japanese manners and you will find the rule that you are not supposed to eat while you are walking. The island of Miyajima, however, seems to be an exception to the rule, and is something of a tabe-aruki (as eating while walking is called in Japanese) paradise, the shops and stalls here offers all kinds of foods made with eating on the hoof in mind.

A recent favorite has been the age-momiji deep-fried version of Miyajima’s signature souvenir, the tasty cream or red bean filled maple leaf shaped cakes called Momiji-manju. The crispy treats, best eaten while piping hot, are served on a stick and are like an indulgent form of tempura. Choose from sweet red bean paste, cream and cheese fillings; we won’t tell if you try them all.

As well as squid and roasted corn on the cob, other pieces of deliciousness on sticks are anago-chikuwa. Chikuwa rolled fish cake is common around Japan, but what makes Miyajiama’s special is that it is made from anago sea eel fished in local waters.

Sea eel is also served as anago-meshi, grilled and coated in sweet sauce on a bed of rice and although it is difficult to eat while walking, buying a bento box and enjoying outside is popular (though you may find yourself very popular with Miyajima’s famous deer).

The island’s other signature seafood is oysters. These can be eaten grilled on the shell with a squeeze of local lemon, on top of a grilled rice ball or inside a deep fried curry bread.

My personal favorite are these piping hot steamed manju buns filled with either Hiroshima beef or sea eel served in cute retro packaging.

So, there you have it. If you want to sample some Japanese culinary delights on the move, Miyajima is the place to go. If you feel uncomfortable, take your cue from the locals. Just don’t forget that wherever you eat your take out, you are expected to walk your trash to a garbage can!

Address: Miyajiama-cho, Hatsukaichi-shi


Phone: +81-829-44-2011 (Miyajima Tourist Association)

Cost: 2000 yen - 3000 yen

Information about transport passes:

Visit Hiroshima Tourist Pass


*Information is correct as of January 2019.

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