Well, winter is finally drawing to a close here in Hyogo – and we’re all very thankful!
But before winter is over, I thought I should let you know about one must-eat winter delicacy that you need to try while it’s still around: Aioi oysters.
Now, I wasn’t a big oyster fan before, but this restaurant made me a believer.
The restaurant is called Ensui, and it’s located in the city of Aioi (famous for oysters) right by the train station. It should be very easy to find.
We visited for lunch and were offered a full-course oyster menu. This is a very affordable option compared with dinner – and I’m sure we ate about 30 oysters each!
The oysters come in courses based on cooking method, from lightest to heaviest. First were the raw oysters.
I was quite hesitant to try raw oysters at first, but as I said, this experience made me a believer. It was incredible how rich and sweet they tasted.
Next were grilled and steamed oysters. These were great too.
My palate was grateful for a break with these oysters flavored for Western cuisine.
The fried oysters. My Japanese companion claimed that these were a relief for him because they were the only kind of oysters he had ever been accustomed to eat before!
In Japan, you always know that the meal is winding down when you’re presented with a hotpot dish and rice.
Altogether the meal took about two and a half hours, and we were all ready to collapse by the end. I actually took a small nap on the tatami mat floor before we left.
It was overwhelming – but amazingly delicious. I know I’ll have to go back next year.
Lunch: 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM
Dinner: 5:00 PM – 10:30 PM
Address: 2-21 Sakaemachi, Aioi-shi, Hyogo 678-0008
Note: Oysters are served from November to March.
How To Get There
From Sannomiya: Take the JR line west to Aioi Station (1 hour). From the station, walk down the main road and take a right at the first main crossing.