Exploring Kagoshima: Local Dishes, Restaurants & Traditional Recipes

Exploring Kagoshima: Local Dishes, Restaurants & Traditional Recipes

Exploring Kagoshima: Local Dishes, Restaurants & Traditional Recipes

Kagoshima, located on the southernmost tip of the Kyushu island in Japan, offers a delightful culinary experience that showcases the region's rich history and natural resources. Known for its lush volcanic landscapes and abundant seafood, Kagoshima's cuisine is a fusion of traditional Japanese flavors with a unique local twist. Let's delve into the local dishes, recommended restaurants, and even learn how to recreate some traditional recipes at home.

1. Local Dishes

Kurobuta (Black Pork)

Kagoshima is famous for its Kurobuta, which refers to a black Berkshire pig breed known for its succulent and flavorful meat. Kurobuta dishes are a must-try in Kagoshima, whether it's Kurobuta shabu-shabu, Kurobuta tonkatsu (breaded and deep-fried pork cutlet), or Kurobuta yakisoba (stir-fried noodles).

Imojochu (Sweet Potato Shochu)

Kagoshima is Japan's top producer of sweet potatoes, and their sweet potato shochu is renowned throughout the country. Shochu is a traditional Japanese distilled spirit, and Kagoshima's version made with sweet potatoes has a distinct smooth and sweet flavor. It is best enjoyed on its own or mixed with hot water, known as "oyuwari."

Sakurajima Kurozu (Black Vinegar)

Sakurajima, an active volcano near Kagoshima, produces a unique black vinegar known as Sakurajima Kurozu. Made from fermented rice, this vinegar has a rich, deep flavor with a hint of sweetness. It is often used in dressings, sauces, and marinades to enhance the taste of various dishes.


Located in the heart of Kagoshima City, Akasegawa is a popular restaurant that specializes in Kurobuta dishes. From mouthwatering shabu-shabu to tender pork belly slices, Akasegawa offers a wide variety of Kurobuta delicacies cooked to perfection.


For an authentic Kagoshima dining experience, visit Susumu, a traditional izakaya (Japanese pub) located in Tenmonkan, Kagoshima's bustling city center. Susumu serves an array of local dishes, including Kurobuta sashimi, grilled seafood, and a range of appetizers that showcase the flavors of Kagoshima.


If you're in the mood for fresh seafood, head to Kanematsu, a renowned seafood restaurant overlooking Kagoshima Bay. Here, you can indulge in a variety of sashimi, sushi, and seafood hot pots, all made with the freshest catch from the surrounding waters.

3. Traditional Recipes to Try at Home


Satsuma-age is a popular deep-fried fish cake that originated in Kagoshima. To make Satsuma-age, mix ground fish, such as mackerel or cod, with grated ginger, onions, and a blend of seasonings. Mold the mixture into small patties and fry until golden brown. These flavorful fish cakes are perfect as a snack or can be served in a broth-based soup.


Shirokuma is a refreshing dessert that helps beat the summer heat in Kagoshima. To make Shirokuma, combine shaved ice with various fruits, such as pineapples, peaches, and strawberries. Top it off with sweetened condensed milk, red bean paste, and a drizzle of fruit syrup. This colorful and fruity dessert is a delightful treat on a hot day in Kagoshima.  function initMap() { const kagoshima = { lat: 31.5966, lng: 130.5571 }; const map = new google.maps.Map(document.getElementById("map"), { zoom: 12, center: kagoshima, }); const marker = new google.maps.Marker({ position: kagoshima, map: map, }); }