Being an organic agricultural hub, there is no shortage of places to eat in Aya Town! You can acquire a map from the Honmono Center which lists all the current restaurants in the town area. The restaurants featured here are based on this writer’s experience from dining out in the town and make up their personal recommendations since they know they use ingredients exclusively from Aya town and can attest to the quality of the food and experience. Please, go visit Aya, grab a map, ask someone for their personal recommendation, and enjoy an Aya food adventure.
Shusen No Mori – The Aya Brewery
This is very famous place to visit in Aya, don’t be surprised by crowds, especially on a sunny weekend day. The site houses factories for sake, wine, local beer, as well as a museum and shops for Aya’s traditional craftwork. For the beer connoisseurs, Aya Brewery produces some of the best beer in the prefecture and some excellent wine as well; you’ll often find the wines for sale in Miyazaki City and Miyakonojo. If you feel like truly indulging in all the site has to offer, be sure to check out the tour of the brewery, the on-site restaurant, or stay at the luxuious Japanese style hotel, complete with onsen.
The Wildcat Cafe is a charming and cozy lunch spot in the centre of Aya Town. Their vegetarian menu is centred around organic food with a commitment to additive-free and pesticide-free frood. Some set meals are inspired by Ayurveda and feature home-made chapatis. Make a pit-stop out of it for the spice-blend chai and a dessert or indulge on rich curries, inspiring pickles, and a tofu dish that you might genuinely mistake for chicken nanban.
Be sure to visit the ‘market area’ in the front of the shop for bags of organic wild rice, preserves, and more! Yamaneko also offers cooking workshops, visit their website for more details.
Fukutomi Farm Garden Aya
Fukutomi Farm Garden Aya is a well-known bread and sweets shop and cafe. Their products are made using “rice flour” from the farm’s own rice cultivation. The bread is famous for its soft texture and unique, subtle flavour. Their rice flour roll cakes and chiffon cakes are the pastry chef’s speciality and often sell out, so come early! Course lunches are also available and feature seasonal vegetables, harvested by the chef himself. Try the mango juice- it’s wonderful! If you need any more convincing, check out the website, which beautifully showcases their space and products.
Located along the river as you head west out of town, this is the perfect place to stop for lunch after you’ve visited the suspension bridge. They source all of their ingredients locally, even the boar and deer that you can hear being hunted in the hillsides during the spring months and, of course, the fish are fresh out of the river. The best part? All of your food is delivered to your private room by boat on a stream! Did I say that was the best part? Sorry, almost forgot: in the summer, you can go for a swim in the river after lunch too!
That’s Bock Ring
Possibly one of the coolest restaurants in Miyazaki, this place is well known for its cozy atmosphere, furniture and decor that showcases local aritsans and friends, jazz music and smooth jams from the 70s, brewing some of the best coffee to be found for miles, and hosting jazz nights in the summer, all under a motto of local and organic. Their central location in the town is also ideal for folks exploring on foot.