Food/Drink | Avg price: ¥1000 | English Available: None (Unknown)
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Eating, omiyage and tourist info just off the beach, Aoshima
Aoshimaya is listed on Google Maps as a "shopping mall." That's massively misleading in normal terms, but for the sleepy beach town of Aoshima, just down the coast from Miyazaki City, Aoshimaya is about as close to a shopping mall as you can get. This still isn't a shopping mall. Instead it's a rather snazzy souvenir, cafe / restaurant, and tourist information resource this sits at one end of the thoroughfare leading to the island of Aoshima. The spacious interior of Aoshimaya has a woody, breezy feel to it which makes for a welcome respite from the scorching summer heat in these parts. (Or is it just the air con?) Despite the classy design though, the usual tourist souvenir tack is here, from the requisite boxes of wafers and cookies, through to t-shirts with "Miyazaki" printed on them. A small information desk, staffed by local volunteers, has maps of the area. There is also a "zone" of comfy chairs and sofas to relax on as you plan out your Aoshima / Miyazaki itineraries. Perhaps the best thing about Aoshimya is the Rainforest Cafe Shu Factory -- occupying a large and open space, this eatery has the feel of a cafeteria only one that might have been designed by the people at Muji. One side of the space is floor-to-ceiling glass windows which have views to the botanical gardens next door. The Rainforest Cafe is a great restaurant / cafe resource in an Aoshima where interesting and accessible places to eat are few and far between. On the menu -- pizzas, pasta, curry, salads, local favorite Chicken Nanaban, and steak. Prices aren't cheap with most dishes starting from around 1,000 yen but the portions are massive and they serve food until 21:00 (which is quite late for Aoshima). They also serve booze -- beers from 500 yen. Be sure to stop by for one of the delicious soft creams that they serve here (mango on the menu, of course). Personally, I'm not bothered about the souvenirs at Aoshimaya, but the Rainforest Cafe is a winner for lunch, dinner, or a snack, especially considering the spartan dining options in Aoshima.