Last month I had a wonderful 3 days trip to Amami Oshima, a big sub-tropical island of Kagoshima in Japan. Amami Oshima has been on my must-visit lists for a while. Recently I watched a Japanese history drama called Segodon, which describes the whole life story of Saigo Takamori, one of the most influential samurai in Japanese history. Saigo was born in Kagoshima, and stayed a while in Amami Oshima. This made me can’t wait to carry out my plan of visiting it as soon as possible.
After a two hours’ flight, the deep blue sea shore line came to my sight. Thanks to the LCC flight of Peach Aviation, it only cost around 16,000 yen for a round trip.
After arrival, I took off my heavy down coat and bought a bus ticket to the city center of Amami. That day in Tokyo it was around 5 degrees of temperature, but about 24 degrees in Amami, the best part I like about the island! It took around 1 hour by bus from the airport to the city center. Viewing the scenery of beaches and mountains, 1 hour felt like 5 minutes. You could see that the bus stops along the road are very cute. It made me feel like getting on a bus in a Ghibli world (I don’t have a photo here, you can imagine and then have a surprise when you visit).
It was around 4 pm when I arrived in the center of the city. Before checking into the hotel, I couldn’t wait to enjoy the local food and headed directly to a restaurant.
1. The chicken dishes themed Izakaya – Tori Shin(鳥しん)
Tori Shin is an Izakaya focused on chicken dishes. After several plates of raw chicken Sashimi, I ordered the Keihan (鶏飯), one of the most famous dishes on this island. Keihan means chicken rice, it is more like a chicken version of Ochaduke of Kyoto. First, put the chicken slices on the rice, and then pour the chicken soup on the rice, the completion of traditional local Keihan.
The raw chicken Sashimi – three categories.
The sliced chicken and chicken soup.
Keihan – the completion of the chicken rice soup.
For the drink, I ordered the freshly squeezed Tankan juice. Tankan is one of the most popular oranges on this island, you can find the juice in almost every restaurant. They even have Tankan blended Japanese Shochu.
With a nearly full stomach, I went to check in the hotel and had a short rest, meanwhile planning which restaurants to go for dinner.
I feel so proud because I broke my personal record of visiting 3 restaurants in 5 hours on my first day!
2. The French restaurant using local island’s chicken and fishes – Restaurant Pousser
The menu of appetizers and main dishes.
It may feel weird coming to a Japanese island to have French, but you could feel it is very interesting that the French and the local ingredients can make such a delicious combination. The chef of this restaurant was born in Amami but went to study and work as a chef in the restaurants of Roppongi and Omotesando in Tokyo. After that he came back to his hometown and started this restaurant. Don’t forget to taste the bread of this restaurant, it is very soft and I couldn’t help asking for a refill.
3. Local wine with local food – Sakekoubou kokoro（焼酎ダイニングさけ工房 心）
I must give my big thumbs-up for the cost performance of this restaurant!
As this island is famous for Shochu – a Japanese distilled alcohol, we visited this restaurant to taste the Shochu and also the food. After getting seated, the waitress provided the appetizer as below, saying it is a gift for having us waiting (frankly we didn’t even feel waiting that long).
After finishing it, the waitress came again and served this egg and seafood soup, saying this is the Otoshi. We were quite surprised because the Otoshi is actually a small appetizer in Japanese Izakaya, so we actually had appetizers twice.
Started to feel full after the appetizer “happy attack”, then came the Sashimi Combo.
Look at the “longship” like Sashimi plate! It is almost 1.5 times the portion of the one you could have in the restaurant in Tokyo. Besides, the slices of fish are quite thick!
The “again” huge balls of local fishes.
You could have a lot of options of Shochu to taste here.
There are still many local dishes I wanted to taste here. But what a pity it was the third restaurant of the day, my stomach didn’t give me the approval. Next time, I will definitely make a “revenge visit” with a comparatively empty stomach.
The three restaurants I visited here are all quite close to each other. If you want to taste all local food at a time, don’t forget to have a look!
By the way, there are not as many local e-payment methods as in Tokyo, but you can still pay with PayPay in a lot of spots. Besides they have a e-payment called PayDon(Payどん) almost in everywhere. It is the local cashless service only in Kagoshima. Like the history drama of Segodon I mentioned, Don is the local dialect of Kagoshima for 殿 (means the “lord” of someone). Fell in love with the cute and humorous sense of this island.
My Three Days Trip to Amami Oshima – Part 2
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