Travelers' Experiences

Discovering “Pirate Cuisine” on Awaji Island  

pirate cuisine aman no shokutaku

Is there a more attractive term for food than “pirate cuisine”? The first time we heard about it, we were very thrilled. That’s why we tried to find out about the recent buzz around pirate cuisine on Awaji Island. In this article, we will explore what pirate cuisine is, where you can enjoy it, and what makes it so special.

Pirate Cuisine: A Gourmet Legacy of Japan

We pieced together information from various sources, and it seems that the cuisine is a traditional culinary style deeply rooted in Awaji Island’s heritage and Ama, sea people. Awaji Island’s historical significance as the birthplace of Japan enhances the authenticity and cultural richness of pirate cuisine. This culinary tradition places a strong emphasis on locally sourced ingredients, celebrating the island’s rich nature.

Additionally, pirate cuisine is closely tied to Awaji Island’s status as the “Land of Food” (Miketsukuni). During the Nara period (710 CE~794 CE) and Heian Period (794 CE~1180 CE), Awaji Island was given this status for providing high-quality food ingredients to the imperial court. This tradition of using high-quality local ingredients keeps the pirate cuisine at a high level of delicacy.

Our Journey Into Pirate Cuisine at Aman no Shokutaku

Now that you know the history and value of pirate cuisine, you might be wondering what it actually looks like and how it tastes. To find out, we visited Utage, the first floor restaurant at Aman no Shokutaku on Awaji Island.

Our first impression of the restaurant was its grandeur and luxury. The atmosphere inside is very relaxing, with a large dining table made from a single piece of wood and impressive paper lanterns that create a rustic yet extraordinary ambiance. The interior is very spacious. There is also a beautifully maintained Japanese garden outside. The terrace seating is pet-friendly.

We were impressed by the restaurant’s interiors, but we were there for one thing: the food. We sampled various dishes we had reserved in advance, and once again, we were impressed by the festive presentation. We had never seen seafood plated so daringly.

One standout dish was the famous “Awaji Chicken Sanzokuyaki” with sansho pepper and soy sauce. Slowly grilled with a special sauce, it was juicy, tasty, and perfectly paired with alcohol. We also tried the “Awaji Island Whole Mackerel Kaizokuyaki,” which features a whole mackerel, and other pirate-style sushi plates with generous amounts of fresh seafood.

The seafood was incredibly fresh, and the grilled dishes were exceptionally tasty. The charred parts added a nice touch to the sauce, and the quality of the ingredients was evident. These flavors and presentations were unlike anything we’ve tried in Japan before. Now, we understand why it’s called “pirate cuisine”, it truly lives up to its name.

You can also try the rare “Awaji Beef”

Aman no Shokutaku has two floors. On the first floor, “Utage”, you can find the pirate cuisine we previously mentioned. Meanwhile, the second floor, “Sajiki”, focuses primarily on dishes featuring Awaji Beef. Renowned for its exceptional marbling and rarity, Awaji Beef is considered one of the finest beef varieties in Japan.


Leaving Aman no Shokutaku, we departed with contented hearts after trying the viral pirate cuisine. Though we had to cross the bridge coming from the Kobe-Osaka area, it was unquestionably worth it. Not only did we have the opportunity to savor the recent buzz surrounding pirate cuisine, but we also gained insights into its rich culinary heritage.

For those intrigued by our experience, we highly recommend planning a visit to Awaji Island, particularly to Aman no Shokutaku to try the pirate cuisine!

Click here for reservations Utage Click here for reservations Sajiki

Name Aman no Shokutaku
1F Utage
2F Sajiki
Address 1042 Nojima-Tokiwa, Awaji City, Hyogo Pref. 656-1726
Tel "Utage” 0799-70-9089
“Sajiki” 0799-70-9090
Operation Hours “Utage”: Weekdays 11:00~21:00 (L.O. 20:00) / Sat., Sun. & Holidays 10:30~21:00 (L.O. 20:00)
“Sajiki” 11:00~15:00 / 17:00~21:00 (L.O.19:30) Closed: Tuesdays
Website https://amannoshokutaku.jp/
Reservations: Utage https://www.tablecheck.com/en/shops/aman-utage/reserve
Reservations: Sajiki https://www.tablecheck.com/en/shops/aman-sajiki/reserve

Click here for details of Aman no Shokutaku