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Enjoy Varying Tastes of the Same Shochu Liquor

Shochu liquor is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from rice, barley, sweet potatoes, buckwheat or other ingredients.


While "sake" is the representative alcoholic beverage of Japan, "shochu" is known as the alcoholic beverage of Kagoshima. 

It is said that the annual shochu liquor consumption per capita (for the citizens of Kagoshima) is 27 liters.


In Kagoshima, people often drink shochu liquor mixed with hot water. 


[ With hot water ] *Kagoshima style
First pour hot water, followed by shochu liquor. 

There is no need to stir (remember the convection current you learned in physics class?). In other areas of Japan, people pour hot water before adding shochu liquor, and then stir the glass!
Now, you can differentiate Kagoshima's way of drinking from other parts of Japan.


Depending on your personal preference, you may vary the ratio between 5:5 to 6:4, or other proportions.

If your drinking glass has line indicators, you can use these lines as a guide when mixing shochu liquor with hot water.



[ Maewari ]
For those who have a chance to visit Kagoshima, be sure to try "maewari".
Maewari: Pre-mix shochu liquor with water 1 to 3 days before consumption to obtain a rich and mellow tasting drink.


We are sure you will come to love shochu liquor as much as we do.

Experience the cultural charms of shochu liquor and its birthplace Kagoshima!


Shochu Tasting, Distillery tour in Kagoshima  >>

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Makurazaki Osakana Center

Makurazaki is referred to as the town of katsuo (bonito). 
The local production of bonito flakes ranks first in Japan. In the Fish Center, besides katsuo, many other processed fish products are on sale.




The building has a cross layout and is lined with shops selling local products. Some shops are decorated with huge flags bearing pictures of fish, making it a a bustling place indeed. Full of seafood products from furikake (a dried seasoning sprinkled over rice) to frozen fish, this place attracts not only visitors but locals as well. With the products being sold cheaper than market price, this place has been dubbed "the seafood kitchen of the Makurazaki residents". And with children living nearby coming to play in the vicinity, one can tell that local residents have a close relationship with this center.

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Among the large variety of fish on sale, the top seller is none other than katsuo. One shop selling hana katsuo (bonito flakes) has staff shaving generous portions of katsuo. The place is filled with the fragrance of bonito flakes, stopping shoppers in their steps. You can't help but start to imagine making chabushi (a simple soup made by adding hot water to bonito flakes and fermented bean paste). Just by imagining that, you might start to thirst for the soup.


If you're hungry, head to the canteen on the second floor, which has a huge selection of seafood cuisine. You can choose to have a simple dish of nizakana (stewed fish) or savor fresh slices of raw katsuo (bonito) and kanpachi (amberjack) sashimi. If you prefer western style meals, there is fried fish and tempura (which is deep fried food covered in batter) as well. The dishes are reasonably priced, just like the products on sale in the small shops on the first floor.




After satisfying your hunger with the large variety of seafood, why not check out the terrace outside? You can see fishing boats and the vast blue sea of Makurazaki leading to the open sea. The expansive atmosphere of the place may make you want to stretch your body and take a deep breath. There are also benches on the terrace, perfect for those who cannot move after a heavy meal to sit down and rest, and perhaps drift off into a reverie. Makurazaki Fish Port is a place not only for shopping, but also a place to have delicious food and enjoy the peaceful scenery!

Satsuma Shuzo Shochu Distillery "Meijigura"

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Long before the popularization of shochu liquor, Satsuma Shuzo Shochu Distillery has been producing and exporting the "Satsuma Shiranami", a famous shochu distilled from sweet potatoes, nationwide. The origin of the name "Meijigura" stems from the Meiji era (1868-1912), a time when shochu distillation was established. Why was the cellar simply named after the period in which the distillation method was established? The answer can be found within the cellar.


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The interior of the cellar is made of wood and dimly lit. Large pillars can be found everywhere within the cellar. The floorboards are made of dark colored wood, and the whole building resembles the architecture of the Meiji period. The display furniture in the cellar is also built according to Meiji period design. A member of staff of Meijigura explained to us the distillation process using easy-to-understand terminology. 



Paper clay figurines depict the whole process of the shochu distillation.



Each and every one of these figurines are simple but bear animated facial expressions, bringing a smile to anyone who looks at them. Apparently, these figurines are modeled after the Toji (spirit distillers/wine brewers).


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Next, we see pictures hanging on the wall. These pictures do not depict the distillation process. Just like the paper clay figurines, people featured in these pictures have lively and warm facial expressions. Through these pictures, we can see how these people give their best to distill the tastiest shochu. Some of the photos show people with jovial smiles. With shochu being distilled by such cheerful people, we can expect the shochu to taste good.


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From the selection, cleaning and steaming of the sweet potatoes, to the corridors passing through the various distillation processes, the building has a retro feeling reminiscent of the Meiji period. With the liquor barrels stacked up high along the corridors and the metallic advertisements hanging from the ceiling, we can't help but imagine how our grandparents might have once walked down such corridors.


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The biggest surprise is the steamer and cooler made from wooden barrels. The staff explained to our disbelief that these items are still being used for production today.


Of course, the ones on display are merely replicas, but even today, the distillation methods developed in the Meiji period are closely followed, using larger versions of the replica equipment on display.


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After learning much about the distillation, we proceed towards the souvenir gift shop. The great thing about this shop is that not only does it allow tasting of the various shochu, but its interior, with its wooden pillars and white walls, fits perfectly with the wa (Japanese) ambience of our study trip. The best item here is "kuro-joka", a black-colored ceramic vessel for shochu only available here in Meijigura. ("Kuro-joka" is a type of "Kuro Satsuma", one of the two kinds of satsumayaki, a traditional ceramic pottery of Kagoshima.) The "Kuro Satsuma" satsumayaki ceramic pottery was used in the past by the commoners of Kagoshima, and the evening shochu can never be drunk without the "kuro-joka". Although these days shochu is diluted in a pot with hot water and drunk using glass cups, do give the "kuro-joka" a try!

There is also a restaurant within the Meijigura. Called the "Kedogawa Beer Hall", one can taste happoshu (low-malt beer), brewed using sweet potatoes. French cuisine is served in the restaurant, prepared by an overseas-trained chef. You can try great French cuisine at a reasonable price. The first floor of the restaurant is a sun-filled open garden, where garden weddings and other types of parties can be held.

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Another feature of this restaurant is its second floor, from where one can see the whole of Meijigura. The view from the second floor takes us back in time to the Meiji era, with buildings with white walls and grey tiled roofs, and cobblestone streets.


The term "Meiji" in the name "Meijigura" not only refers to the time period, but it also carries a respect and pride for the people of the Satsuma Shuzo Shochu Distillery, its well-kept distillation methods, and also its aims to emphasize to all visitors the significance of this important time period in Japanese history. Touring the Meijigura is free of charge, so do come and appreciate the wonders of the Meiji period while learning more about shochu.



Local Cuisine

Kagoshima, blessed with abundant natural resources, is said to be a treasure trove of safe, reliable and healthy food products.


Kibinago Silver-stripe Herring (raw fish)
Kibinago silver-stripe herring is often placed in a style resembling a flower on the serving plate. Local people prefer to pair the dish with a blend of vinegar and miso sauce rather than soy sauce.


Tonkotsu (braised pork belly) 



Keihan (chicken rice)
Amami Islands' local dish is made by pouring chicken broth over a bowl of rice.


This deep-fried fish cake is a famous dish of Kagoshima!



Kagoshima Wagyu Beef
A most exquisite taste of rich and savory flavors!



Kurobuta Pork
A popular dish is shabu-shabu, in which you cook the thinly sliced meat by dipping it in broth.


[ Kagoshima Local Confectionery] 
Simple and nostalgic, they go well with green tea.

Frequently used ingredients in traditional confectionery include natural ingredients like brown sugar, sweet potato and rice.



Karukan is the most popular confectionery in Kagoshima, dating back to the late Edo period.
It is a steamed cake made from yam, rice flour and sugar.



A steamed cake made from a mixture of eggs, flour, brown sugar and baking soda.



Freshly grilled mochi (rice cake) is skewered with two sticks and dipped in sweet soy sauce.
The word "jambo" means "double stick", hence the use of two skewers.



The rice is soaked in lye overnight, wrapped in bamboo skin, and then cooked for 3-4 hours in lye. It is usually eaten with soy bean flour and soy sauce.
This confectionery is an integral part of Kagoshima's May Festival.


Flowing "Somen" Noodles

Summer is the perfect time to eat somen noodles. 

Tosenkyo valley in Ibusuki is the birthplace of the unique style of serving somen noodles called 'somen nagashi'. 



Clear water flows directly to these unique tables by water pressure, without being powered by any electrical motor.

You can touch the crystal clear water right in front of you at your table!



Tosenkyo is well known nationwide for its clear natural spring waters that well up from the bottom of the valley.

Close to the headwaters, 10 tons of water gush out from the deep ravine everyday at 13 degrees, just perfect for somen-nagashi


This place was chosen one of the 100 best water sources in Japan by the Ministry of Land. 

You'll feel at peace amidst the sweet smell of the trees and the gentle sound of water.


[ Access ]
20 minutes by car from Ibusuki city center
10 minutes by car from Lake Ikeda

[ Business Hours ]
9:30am - 5:00pm *extended hours during the summer
* Open all seasons

[ Menu ]
Somen lunch sets from ¥1,300


[ Contact ]
Ibusuki City Tosenkyo Somen Nagashi >>
Chojyuan >>

* July, 2016
Area Guide : Ibusuki >>

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Enjoy Japanese Cuisine with Fresh Kagoshima Seafood!

Kagoshima Prefecture has 2,643 km of shoreline and many places from which fresh seafood can be accessed. 

Kinko Bay is located in the center of Kagoshima Prefecture and is famous for fish farming as the water is warm all year and its depths exceed 200m, making the bay the deepest enclosed bay in Japan.


■ Kagoshima Kanpachi Amberjack: No.1 Kanpachi Farming in Japan! 
Tarumizu City's kanpachi amberjack fish farms provide 60% of the nation's kanpachi.



Fish-feeding trips are available at the Tarumizu City fish farms. 


■ Kagoshima Buri Japanese Yellowtail: No.1 Buri Farming in Japan! 
In Japan, buri yellowtail is viewed as a fish of good fortune as it is a type of "Shusse" fish that is given different names as it grows larger, thus resembling the process of personal growth. 


■ Kagoshima Eel:  No.1 Eel Farming in Japan! 
Both "Kabayaki" broiled eel and the "Hitsumabushi" dish (broiled eel fillets with soy sauce) are prepared using unagi eel and are extremely popular among international visitors.


In the Tenmonkan shopping district in Kagoshima City, "Space Unagi" is sold at the Space  Information Center.  


■ Kagoshima Maguro Tuna: No. 1 Maguro Farming in Japan!
It is said that tuna is the most popular fish for sushi in Japan.


Maguro Tuna Ramen

Kibinago Silver-stripe Herring: An Original Kagoshima Product
On the plate served it is served on, kibinago silver-stripe herring is often placed in a style resembling a flower. Local people prefer to pair the dish with a blend of vinegar and miso sauce rather than soy sauce.


■ Kagoshima Bonito: No.1 Dried Bonito Production in Japan!
Katsuo-bushi bonito flakes are made from smoked skipjack tuna and is one of the most important ingredients for dashi stock used in Washoku Japanese cuisine.


The special flavor "umami" resulting from dashi stock attracts attention worldwide.

For more information on Japanese dashi stock, please click here >>


The registration of traditional Japanese cuisine as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage no doubt gives Kagoshima cuisine a distinct advantage for incorporating the fresh and rich flavors of Kagoshima seafood.


Sushi! Sashimi! Tempura! Enjoy Japanese cuisine with fresh Kagoshima seafood! 

* May 2, 2014
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Experience Sushi-making at a "Sushi School"

At "Sushi Sayaka" in Kagoshima City, you can experience sushi-making at an actual restaurant using fresh local fish.

* Reservations required for groups of more than 10 people. Cost: 3,000 yen per person.
[ TEL ] +81 99-255-0381 ( Kosei Sushi School )













See Details >>


* January, 2017
Sushi Madoka 寿し まどか >>

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FUNADO-MESHI - A Fisherman's Meal

"Makurazaki Funado-meshi" is a chazuke dish with dashi broth poured over Makurazaki green tea-steamed rice served with chopped bonito, dried bonito flakes and a bonito rice cracker.


"Makurazaki Funado-meshi" became famous after winning first place in the "Gourmet Grand Prix" (competition of local favorites) for two years.

Visitors can find "Funado-meshi rice bowls" served in many restaurants around Makurazaki.

[ Leaflet ]  Makurazaki Funado-meshi >> *Japanese language only 

The tour of the Special Flavored Dashi Stock includes a class on how to cook the delicious Funado-meshi and a lunch incorporating the dashi stock. >>


Area guide : Nansatsu area >>

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Ibusuki's Local Gourmet

[ Ontamaran-don rice bowl ]

The main ingredient of an Ontamaran-don rice bowl is an "onsen egg" which is "unbearably delicious" or  "oishiku tamaranai" in Japanese, hence the name of the dish "Ontamaran-don".

The "onsen eggs" are nutritious "Satsuma-imo tamago" brand eggs harvested from local farms and boiled in water from the hot spring fountainhead of the Ibusuki Steam Sand Baths.

A soft, half-boiled egg is placed atop a bowl of rice with other local ingredients such as kurobuta Berkshire pork, katsuo skipjack tuna, and okra.

Visitors will find Ontamaran-don rice bowls served at many restaurants around Ibusuki.

Try comparing the different tastes from each restaurant! >>


[ Soramame (broad beans) Sweets ]

Ibusuki is Japan's No.1 producer of soramame (broad beans).


These sweets use the freshest local ingredients to create a flavor found nowhere else.
Shop list in Ibusuki >>



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Kanoya Athlete Restaurant

The Kanoya Athlete Restaurant of the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya (NIFS), the only national sports university in Japan, is committed to supporting its undergraduates on the nutrition aspect.


The restaurant is open to the public, while undergraduates of NIFS get a discount on some of the menu items.

The set meal, which is specially planned to provide optimum nutritional balance, includes rice, soup and three side dishes (entrée).


The menu items are based on sports nutrition and are supervised by the lecturers of NIFS. The receipt that comes with the menu shows the nutritional information of the food items.

Kanoya Marche, a parallel establishment to the restaurant, sells fresh produce from the local farming community and food ingredients used at the Kanoya Athlete Restaurant.


[ Opening Hours ] 
Lunch: 11:30 - 14:30 HRS (Last order: 14:00 HRS); Dinner: 17:30 - 23:00 HRS (Last order: 22:00 HRS)

[ Closed ] Monday

[ Website ] Kanoya Athlete Restaurant >>
** Japanese language only

[ Getting There ] 5 minute walk from the "Kanoya Tai-iku Daigaku-mae / Hakusui" Bus stop (Sanshu Jidosha Bus)

[ Address ] 594-1 Furusato-cho, Kanoya-shi, Kagoshima-ken

* August 26, 2014

Area guide : Osumi  >>

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Shochu Tasting, Distillery Tour in Kagoshima

Shochu liquor is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from rice, barley, sweet potatoes, buckwheat and other ingredients.

Imo-jochu sweet potato liquor and kokuto-jochu brown sugar liquor are Kagoshima specialties!

Shochu receives geographical indication protection by the WTO, similar to Scotch whisky, Cognac brandy and Bordeaux wine.


While sake is the representative alcoholic beverage of Japan, shochu is known as the alcoholic beverage of Kagoshima. 

It is said that the annual shochu consumption per capita (for the citizens of Kagoshima) is 27 liters.


The imo-jochu, made from satsuma-imo sweet potatoes (one of the special local products of Kagoshima), became popular throughout Japan during the shochu boom about 10 years ago.


The kokuto-jochu, distilled using brown sugar, is exclusively produced on the southern islands of Kagoshima. With a smooth and mild taste, it is popular among the ladies.

As the flavor of shochu varies according to the ingredients and yeast used, and the distillation method, even the same brewer can develop shochu with different tastes.


With 113 distilleries and over 2000 different brands, Kagoshima is known as the kingdom of shochu.

In the production of shochu there is no compromise. Each drop is made with devotion and we would love for you to come and see this for yourself.


Within 'A Guide to Shochu-kura in Kagoshima' is information on 64 shochu distilleries that conduct tours or have modest facilities set up for visitors.

Click here >>

■ Representative brands of the local shochu distilleries.
*Japanese only


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Kagomma Furusato Yataimura : Everything from Kagoshima is available here!

Every shop entertains you with a variety of delicious dishes with original ingredients from different areas of Kagoshima.



There are approx. 25 lively and unique stalls and each stall has a capacity for about 8 guests in this village.

In this tiny space, guests become friends and enjoy conversation with each other.


Come and enjoy local production and locally-grown fresh ingredients from a rich sea and fertile soil of Kagoshima prefecture!





Shop List >>

Official Website >>

* April 10, 2014
Area Guide : Kagoshima-city  >>

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A Tour of Japanese Dashi Stock: The "Taste" of Japan is the Taste of Dashi

In December 2013 "Washoku" (Japanese cuisine) was added to UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

From cookware and tableware to dietary habits, the Japanese food culture has been attracting worldwide attention. 


In Japan It goes without saying that "taste" outlines the food culture, and experiencing it is one of the best ways to enjoy and familiarize oneself with the culture. 


Flavored dashi stock is said to be among the most basic of elements constituting the taste of Japanese dishes in addition to salt, shoyu soy sauce, and miso paste.

Dashi stock has been called "The Fastest Soup in the World", taking little time and effort to make this delicious flavored soup stock.


It is made from natural ingredients like dried bonito (tuna) and kombu kelp, and receives great praise for its health benefits.



Makurazaki City offers a tour of the "Specially Flavored Dashi Stock of Makurazaki" in the main production area of dried bonito used in the dashi stock.

The tour includes a tour of a dried bonito factory, a class on how to make the delicious dashi stock, and a lunch incorporating the dashi stock.


■ Tour of a Dried Bonito Factory
Processing dried bonito by hand.



■ Explanation of the Differences of Dried Bonito
Explaination on the differences in dried bonito and how they are used to produce various flavors.


■ Experience Shaving Dried Bonito
Demonstration on how to avoid losing the natural fragrance and taste when shaving dried bonito.



■ How to Make Dashi Stock
The secret techniques for cooking delicious flavored stock at home.


■Dashi Stock Tasting
Among the four basic flavors: acidity, sweetness, saltiness, and bitterness, dashi stock is known to be the fifth. 


■ Cooking "Funado-Meshi" - A Fisherman's Meal
"Makurazaki-Funado-Meshi" is enjoyed as a chazuke dish with dashi broth poured over chopped and sliced dried bonito served over Makurazaki green tea-steamed rice, and a bonito rice cracker.


■ Enjoy "Funado-Meshi"
"Makurazaki Funado-Meshi" became famous after winning first place in the "Gourmet Grandprix" (competition of local favorites) for two years.


** The tour itinerary may be customised, depending on the request and available scheduling times.

Capacity : 10-40 visitors (maximum)
*For groups exceeding 40 visitors, please contact Satsuma Seafood KATSU ICHI. 

Reservations : Reservations are required 7 days in advance


* March 24, 2014

Area guide : Nansatsu area >>

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Kurozu : black vinegar

In Japan Kurozu is experiencing a boom thanks to its health food properties. 

Kurozu is Black vinegar produced from unpolished rice that uses the tsubo-dzukuri (jar-making) method in Fukuyama Town, where they enjoy long hours of daylight.


Normally, vinegar is produced in temperature and humidity controlled factories, but Fukuyama Kurozu is produced outdoors in rows of jars that take advantage of the natural environment. In this way ideal climates can yield many "oishi!" ("delicious!") products.



Sun, moon, wind, rain, the midst of such varied natural weather conditions, only the attention of a superior master brewer makes production of Kurozu possible.

This natural production method passed down for over 200 years in Fukuyama Town is said to be unique throughout the world. 


You will see the difference between the authentic Kurozu produced by the tsubo-dzukuri (jar-making) method in Fukuyama Town from other imitation products.


Kurozu can be enjoyed in many culinary uses.



【Sakamoto Kurozu, Inc.】
Kurozu Farm Cafe and Market :


TEL:  099-218-8345
FAX:  099-220-8546


【Fukuyama Town, Kirishima City】

View Larger Map
* January 24, 2014
Area guide : Kirishima >>

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Relax and Comfortable "Orange restaurant" and "Orange cafe" on Kyushu west coast line.

"Orange restaurant" has begun service on this Spring. 

This concept is "Enjoy the changing scenery of Kyushu west coast line with the relaxation and a comfortable space of train."

It has got attract attention and great assessment from not only Japan but also other countries.


Dining Room Car (car No.1)
This "Dining Room Car" is designed the cafe dining room of the luxury HOTEL.


The crew will serve you hot meals and soup from restaurant along with Orange Railway.

These meal using seasonal ingredients from 7 towns of coast line and also local dishes of Kagoshima area.




Living car (car No.2)
This "Living car" prepare you comfort space for relaxing as like living room of Hotel.

There are some sofa seats for two person and you can feel almost private room for you.

※It is also possible to provide meals as option. 



And from this summer, "Orange Cafe" has also begun service in a concept "Warm welcome, Warm hospitality,Warm friendships and the Warm glow of memories".

It is low setting of a price range than Orange Restaurant, and operates every day, you can use more flexibly.

※Reservation needed at least 7 days in advanced.


There are prepare options like Shocyu-tasting, quiz game and lots more. 

This train is also possible to use as private with big group, so those options might fit on any party or event by your idea.

It also accept requirement of café lunch(lunch box) made using seasonal ingredients from coast line. 


Operation section: Shin-Yatsusiro・Yatsusiro sta.(Kumamoto) ~ Sendai sta. (Kagoshima)

Duration: 3 hours/one way (Approx.) from Shin-Yatsusiro sta. to Sendai sta.


More information and reservation, please contact here.



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Satsuma's Local Cuisine

Satsuma's Local Cuisine

Kagoshima, blessed with rich nature, is said to be the treasure trove for safe and safe and healthy food ingredients.  Speaking of Kagoshima's local cuisine, one would definitely recommend dishes such as the Kibinago sashimi (raw fish), Tonkotsu (pork cartilage), Keihan (chicken rice) [pronounced as kay-han], and Satsuma-age (fried fish cake) [pronounced as sa-tsu-mah-ah-gay].  Born from the rich culture and history of Kagoshima, let us now take a look at the "Slow Food of Satsuma" (slow food means healthy food prepared using the normal food preparation methods, as opposed to unhealthy fast-food).

Kagoshima is a livestock producing region, and is famous for its [Kagoshima Black Berkshire Pork].  Soft and tender but highly flavorful, the Kagoshima Black Berkshire Pork is highly regarded throughout Japan.  

 Kagoshima is also known as the land of Shochu (Japanese distilled alcoholic beverage).  Shochu is most commonly distilled from barley, sweet potatoes, or rice, but sweet potato is most commonly used in Kagoshima. There are countless brands and varieties to be found here, including those of light flavour which barely have the taste of sweet potato, to those of thick and heavy flavour.  Please enjoy the traditional taste of Kagoshima.  

 First, let us take a look at the Kibinago shashimi (raw fish), which is usually consumed with the Su-Miso sauce. The Su-Miso sauce is made by adding vinegar (su) to fermented bean paste (miso).  The strong sour taste of the vinegar increases the cooling, refreshing feel reduces the fishy odour of the raw fish, and preps our appetite for the next dish.  

 Next, we hage the Kagoshima Black Berkshire Pork cartilage, which is essentially stewed pork.  Somehow similar to the famous Dongpo's Pork of Hangzhou, China, the Kagoshima version use pork with cartilage and stew the meat slowly over three days with sweet Miso, sugar and rice wine instead of the usual sweet-salty soy sauce.  Throughout the three days, the flame from the stove is not constantly on, but crefully controlled in accordance to the condition of the meat.  By doing so brings out the full flavour of the meat and softens the cartilage further.  After much time and effort spent on stewing the pork cartilage, the meat becomes soft and is easily separated from the cartilage with chopsticks, and even the cartilage itself is softened to the extent where it can be easily broken up with chopsticks too. With strong flavour well-infused into the meat, one can enjoy the sweet taste of this Kagoshima traditional cuisine.  

 Taking a short break from the heavy dishes, let us enjoy the "Ogojo Manjyu (Japanese bun)". Kagoshima is previously known as Satsuma, and speaking of Satsuma, one will link it to the Satsuma Imo (sweet potato), which is often synonymic to Kagoshima.  Made from Satsuma Imo, this bun is named after women, which are referred to as "Ogojo" in the local dialect.  Lightly fried Satsuma sweet potato filled with soft red bean paste and topped with sugar icing resembling hailstones, one would probably mistake this for a dessert cake.  However, once popped into the mouth, one would feel the light sweetness of the Satsuma sweet potato mixed with a sightly salty taste of the red bean paste.  This is definitely not the sweetness that is typical of desserts...a marvellous dish.  

 Another dish that is named after Satsuma would be the Satsuma-age.  Surimi (shaved fish meat) and flour is mixed to make a compact oval-shaped pasted that is fried until it becomes crispy and turns light brown.  The Satsuma-age usually has young bamboo shoot or carrot fillings.  The bamboo shoots and the shaved fish are white while the carrot gives the orange tone, and the exterior of the Satsuma-age is light brown.  When one bites into the freshly fried Satsuma-age, one can taste the sweetness of the shaved fish blended perfectly with oil.  Nevertheless, fish cakes are small and are not too oily.    

 Finally, we move on to the Roppaku Kurobuta Shabu-Shabu (Six Whites Black Berkshire Pork Hot Pot).  In order not to destroy the original flavour of the pork, it is best consumed by dipping in Ponzu (citrus-based sauce).  The name Roppaku (meaning Six Whites) comes from the colour of the Berkshire pig, which is fyully black with distinctive whites located on the wrists and the ankles the nose and the tail.  The meat, when dipped in hot water, does not produce much scum.  It does not have any meat odour, and the fatty areas are flavourful and sweet, which goes perfectly with the Ponzu citrus sauce.  The more we eat, the better our appetite becomes ~ that is the wonder of the Roppaku Kurobuta!

 Last but not least, we have the Keihan (chicken rice).  Although we would usually associate the Keihan with the Amami Oshima Island (as the latter is the place of origin), the broth of the Keihan that we will introduce today is actually made from the Ingi chicken of Minamitane Town of Tanegashima Island, So we are actually introducing the Tanegashima Keihan.  The way it is being eaten is similar to that of the Amami Keihan, where chicken broth is added to rice topped with

 chicken, omelette strips, muchrooms, ginger strips, shredded seaweeds and sesame seeds. The uniqueness of the Tanegashima Keihan lies in the Paitan (white coloured) soup, where the umami of the Ingi chicken mixes perfectly with the salt flavour of the soup, bringing out not only the salty taste but also a little sweetness. Of course, the traditional way to eat the Keihan is by topping the rice with all the ingredients (as mentioned above), but do also try the soup by itself!  Oh and of course, not forgetting the homemade pickles preserved using beer!

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