A lively hub of souvenir shops and bite-sized snack stalls lead the way to the iconic Itsukushima Shrine.
Not to be confused with Tokyo’s upscale shopping district, Omotesando Shotengai on Miyajima is a souvenir and gourmet snack route stretching 350 meters long and lined with nearly 70 shops to keep you fueled while you explore the sacred island.
Local delicacies include succulent grilled oysters sold by the piece and grilled sticky rice balls, or pettara pottara, that are stuffed with either oyster or salt-water eel. Deep-fried momiji manju (maple leaf-shaped cakes traditionally filled with sweet red bean) are served up in various fusion flavors ranging from matcha to mocha – the deep-fried texture tastes a bit like a Japanese Twinkie.
Distract yourself from the sweet and savory scents in the air and you’ll notice wooden spatulas sold as souvenirs at various shops. Officially known as the Miyajima shamoji, the craftsmanship of these spatulas varies in purpose, and price. From classic rice scooping paddles to decorative dippers, any spatula purchased here is believed to bring good luck.
Then, there’s the giant spatula – apparently the largest wooden scooper in the world. How big you ask? While a common hand-held spatula is roughly 21 cm, the giant scoop on display is 7.7 meters long, 2.7 meters wide, and weighs a whopping 2.5 tons. The gargantuan scooper was erected back in 1996 to commemorate the inauguration of Itsukushima Shrine onto the prestigious World Heritage Site listing.