travel . Guide

4 Reasons To Check Out Kakigoya During Your Next Trip To Japan

You know winter is coming when you start to see oyster huts popping up across coastal towns.


It’s a uniquely Japanese experience.




In winter, in the northern part of Kyushu, such as Saga and Fukuoka prefectures, kakigoya — oyster huts — spring up along the coastline. Around November to March, these makeshift restaurants mostly ran by small, family-owned fisheries accommodate 30 up to 300 people. One of the most popular sites of kakigoya is at the Itoshima Peninsula, which is about an hour’s drive from the city of Fukuoka. 


Spread out across the five towns along the coastline, kakigoya serve oysters by weight (typically about JPY1000 per kg) alongside other seafood such as squids, prawns and scallops. The vibe in each eatery is decidedly casual – all you need to do is decide how much you want to eat and everything is provided for you, from the barbecue stoves (either charcoal or gas-fueled) to gloves and shucking knives. There’s even a plastic raincoat to protect you from any inadvertent hot jets of seawater when the shellfish burst open. 




Although the origins of kakigoya lie in Kyushu, you can now find similar dining experiences in Iwate, Mie and other prefectures. In fact, you may sometimes spot permanent kakigoya set-ups in big cities. These kakigoya are fashioned after the ubiquitous Japanese izakaya, those casual dining spots that serve many varieties of dishes. 


You can’t get fresher seafood than this!


Grilled oysters from a kakigoya


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是蠔季的尾聲了耶🥺 快點趁蠔還肥美時到糸島著名的「牡蠣小屋」大快朵耳吧😋🏠 這次連續吃了兩家 -「徳榮丸」和「豐久丸」☝🏻比較推薦豐久丸☝🏻價位雖然比較高10%左右💴但蠔的質素比前者好👍🏻 (註: 在非蠔季-四月中到十月頭牡蠣小屋不會營業❌) . 🌊 It almost comes to the end of Oyster harvest season.🥺 Grab the chance to visit the Kakigoya @ Itoshima! 🏠🌊 Fill your tummy with fresh and juicy oysters❗️🐚 There are around 13 Kakigoya you can choose from at Kishi Port. ☝🏻 I would recommend “Toyohisamura” for their extremely freah oysters and good service offered by the staff👍🏻 (P.S. Kakigoya will be closed during mid April to early October❌) . 📍福岡縣糸島市岐志漁港 牡蠣小屋 Itoshima Kishi Port Kakigoya (Oyster huts) (日: 福岡県糸島市志摩岐志) . 🚄 從天神 - 在天神站乘JR福岡市營空港線及筑肥線到筑前前原站 (約35分鐘) *不用轉車 兩線是自動連接的 🚌在筑前前原站 北口轉乘昭和巴士 芥屋線 於岐志站下車(約 21 分鐘) . 🚄From Tenjin - Take JR from Tenjin station (Fukuoka Airport Line- Chikuhi Line) and get off at Chikuzen-Maebaru station (Around 35 mins) *No transfer needed, two lines are inter-linked 🚌Take Bus (Keya line) from Chikuzen Maebaru station North gate and get off at Kishi Port (Around 21 mins) . 💰蠔 1kg 1000円 (另加炭爐及其他雜費 總約每枱300円) 💰Oyster 1kg 1000 yen (Table charges i.e grill/gloves 300 yen) . 🔗https://www.fukuoka-now.com/en/itoshima-kakigoya-oyster-hut-guide/

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As kakigoya are usually run by families of fishermen, they are positioned as close to the sea as possible. Every morning, the fishermen bring in a fresh harvest of oysters where a couple of workers are waiting to scrape off any external matter from the outside of the oysters, prepping them for the hungry hordes. The oysters are rich and creamy, the seafood a mix of sweet and briny. Each piece is so delectably fresh you can eat them on its own, or simply add a bit of ponzu, the citrus-based soy sauce, that usually accompanies the seafood. Some kakigoya owners even allow you to bring your own condiments. 


It’s an ideal winter dish. 




Because kakigoya only pop up in the winter months, dining here is one way to seek respite from the cold. Each hut is reinforced with thick plastic walls to trap the heat, so the entire space is warm and laced with smoke from the barbecue stoves puffing away. Take off your jackets, roll up your sleeves and sit down to a hot, delicious meal that warms the stomach and the soul. 


You get to soak up community spirit.




Dining at a kakigoya is a communal experience – sitting tightly packed in close quarters on low tables and chairs, there’s plenty of chatter, laughing and shouting. Beer is also readily available here, with some kakigoya owners allowing patrons to bring their own drinks. In between eating copious amounts of seafood, trying to dodge the hot streams of seawater from the cooking shellfish and sharing a laugh with your mates, there are few dining experiences quite as heady as this.


More information for kakigoya in Itoshima;

Itoshima Peninsula

Kakigoya in Itoshima (Japanese)