Strange, Tasty Food In Yakushima

"Turtle hand" and other foods rarely found elsewhere

 By Victoria Vlisides   Nov 29, 2016

No, you don't eat turtle hands in Yakushima -- although you will eat food which looks uncannily like that of a turtle hand. "Kame-no-te" directly translates to "turtle hand." However, it is actually a seafood!

It is native to Yakushima, a small island in southern Japan located in Kagoshima Prefecture. When "Kame-no-te" was laid out before us, even the Japanese people in my group didn't know what it was. It's actually a type of barnacle, or so we were told, that lives in the local coastal area. I reckon it will be pretty tasty to the adventurous eaters pallet.

Other foods eaten while in Yakushima were:

  • Deer meat, called "shika." (From deer which are native to the island.) It is eaten in a variety of ways.
  • Flying fish, called "tobiuo."  It is usually served fried or baked.
  • Various sashimi, which is super fresh and often caught the day of. Types depends on the season.
  • Mochi tea leaf dessert ~ Seen wrapped in a leaf. Do not eat the leaf!
  • Not pictured: Native citrus fruits known as "ponkan" and "tankan."

Most local restaurants and/or markets will have the above items. While in this beautiful and remote island, I suggest you take a chance, and try something new.

Photography by Victoria Vlisides
Japan Travel Member

Join the discussion

Bronwyn O'Neill 8 months ago
That turtle hand is intriguing..!
Victoria Vlisides Photographer 8 months ago
lol right