Hiroshima prefecture is spotted with fishing villages along its long coastline of inland sea. This fishing culture accounts for many distinctive, seafood-based delicacies, particularly oysters.
With a 400-year history of cultivating oysters, roughly two thirds of Japan’s oysters come directly from the area and are considered some of the best in the world.
The island of Miyajima, along with its famous floating Tori gate, is known for the local specialty of yaki-gaki, or grilled oysters.
Located on Miyajima, the famous restaurant Yakigaki-no-Hayashi serves oysters in every way imaginable – crumbed, fried, barbecued and raw.
The other items on the vast menu complement the oyster specialty of the venue beautifully too, so you'll be spoilt for choice here.
By far the most famous specialty of Hiroshima is the local style of okonomiyaki. This Hiroshima-must is prepared on a large griddle, usually in front of diners.
The local style is characterised by a thin layer of batter and a generous amount of cabbage on top of yakisoba noodles. On this, you can usually choose from a range of toppings with popular options including seafood, squid, oysters, and cheese. The dish is then finished with classic okonomiyaki sauce, scallions and benito flakes.
One of the best okonomiyaki restaurants in Hiroshima is Okonomimura, where diners can eat authentic okonomiyaki directly from the grill plate.
Like many other cities in Japan, throughout summer, Hiroshima regularly hosts local festivals. These festivals are a fantastic opportunity to trial Hiroshima street foods. There’s a vast selection of sweet and savoury options, including yakitori (grilled chicken skewers), pickled cucumbers and sweet shaved ice.
Created in Miyajima in the early 1900’s, these sweet cakes are in the shape of maple leaves and filled with red bean paste. They were created to represent the popular maple leaf viewing site of momijidani.
In the past, each cake was made by hand. But today, the cakes are produced in volume by machines and offer a selection of fillings like matcha and custard, as well as the classic red bean.
Often bought as souvenirs these cakes can be found in stores on the island of Miyajima as well as dedicated stores throughout Hiroshima.
Though most known for its tragic past, today, Hiroshima is one of Japan’s most vibrant cities. With historic Torii Gates and peaceful gardens and adorable bunny-islands, it’s time to rediscover this infamous city.
From sushi to okonomiyaki, our local insider, Selena, shares her top 10 delicious Japanese dishes to have you eating like a local in Japan.