Itoshima’s Oyster Hut Season Begins!

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Dining at Itoshima’s famous kakigoya (oyster huts) is a must-do winter activity. This year, the huts officially opened on Sat., Oct. 29. when the JF Itoshima Kishishin-machi oyster farming organisation held an opening ceremony to celebrate the start of the oyster season. The event was attended by a shinto priest from a local shrine who led prayers for an abundant harvest and safety during the oyster season.

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Every year from the end of October to the beginning of April, kakigoya open for business at participating ports along the Fukuoka coastline. Inside, visitors can grill freshly harvested oysters and a plethora of other sea food over open charcoal grills. Last year, 393,000 people visited these kakigoya, up from 337,000 in 2014 and considerably more than the 261,000 in 2013. This year’s hot and dry summer has resulted in oysters with slightly smaller shells than usual, but the size of the oysters inside are reported to be just a big as last year’s.

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The taste of oysters is influenced by the nutrient content of the sea they are grown in, meaning the oysters in each port will taste slightly different. Itoshima oysters, for example, mature in waters rich with nutrients from the Sefuri Mountains, helping the oysters to grow quickly and giving them a uniquely flavourful taste. The atmosphere of each port is also different, so we suggest you visit several kakigoya over the season to get the complete experience!

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Where to start? Glad you asked! Fukuoka Now has just updated its annual English and Japanese guide to Itoshima’s oyster huts! Check it out now for details on 28 oyster huts, including access, menu, prices, open hours, special services and more! Updated for 2016 ~ 2017! Web: http://www.fukuoka-now.com/en/2016/10/itoshima-kakigoya-oyster-hut-guide/

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