Beef, wild boar, ayu (sweet fish), shiitake mushrooms from the mountains, clams, flying fish and citrus fruits – Miyazaki has a good spread of edible delicacies. There’s also the local sushi – retasu-maki – containing shrimp, lettuce and mayonnaise; chicken Namban – deep-fried, succulent chicken morsels with tartar sauce; and, in summer, hiyajiru, an aromatic soup of fish, tofu, cucumber and sesame, served ice-cold and then poured over hot rice. Another popular speciality food is cheese manju, consisting of a small, sweet almond butter-cake bun filled with melt-in-the-mouth cream cheese; you can buy them at the Hidaka cake shop on Tachibana-dōri (daily 9am–10pm). While you’re at it, try their Nanjya-kora Daifuku – a chilled package of soft white rice-flour, filled with red-bean paste, a strawberry, a chestnut and cream cheese; it’s absolutely divine.
The best choice of restaurants is in the streets either side of Tachibana-dōri and particularly those behind the Bon Belta department store, which is also where you’ll find Miyazaki’s energetic nightlife district. Most foreigners make a beeline for The Bar, a place that, though hit-and-miss, is a good base from which to organise operations. Weather King is a good place for live music at weekends, while from April to September you can also quaff a beer on the rooftop beer-garden of the Carino Building.