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10 Must-buy Souvenirs from Kagoshima, Japan

10 Must-buy Souvenirs from Kagoshima, Japan 

We’ve talked about places to visit in Kagoshima, and we also told you various reasons to visit Kagoshima.

If you’re here, you are either planning to visit Kagoshima and isn’t sure what to buy, or looking for something to request your friend to bring back from Kagoshima, right?

So here we are! A list of 10 must-buy souvenirs from Kagoshima that are suitable for everyone!

Let’s go!

#1 Kurobuta-Zamurai from Kurokatsu-tei 

Image: Kurobuta-zamurai by kae94 @ Instagram

What’s an souvenir that will bring smiles to many?

Some might say that it’s something adorable, and some might prefer something uniquely local.

Here in Kagoshima, you can get two of them in a single item: Kurobuta-Zamurai!

It’s cute, shaped as the local kurobuta (black pig) that is Kagoshima’s specialty, and tastes great! 

The dough’s dark colors came from bamboo charcoal, and the fillings are filled with black pork meat, Chinese cabbage, shiitake-mushroom and bamboo-shoot. 

Not to mention that it is so tasty, it won first prize in Kagoshima’s New Special Product Contest in 2009 and has since became something popular for the already-famous Kurobuta-tonkatsu shop!

Who wouldn’t love something cute and tasty? It’s also instagrammable!

Opening hoursTenmonkan Branch: 11:00 ~ 15:30 / 17:00 ~ 23:00Hakata City Branch: 11:00~22:00(Last Order 21:30)
AddressTenmonkan: 2-2 Yamashitacho Kagoshima-city Kagoshima prefecture (Google Maps)Hakata: 1-1 Kuuten 9F Fukuoka Chuo Street, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka prefecture (Google Maps)

#2 Karukan from Akashiya

Image from kagoshimaadventure_tours @ Instagram

We have introduced this once, but it isn’t enough, so we had to introduce it again.

If there’s something about traditional sweets in Kagoshima, then Karukan should appear in your minds. With a long history since the Edo period, the sweet that is made of Japanese yam has been a popular souvenir for decades.

While there are multiple makers of this sweet, we always recommend Akashiya if you do plan to get some as souvenir. 

NameAkashiya Karukan Main Store
Opening hours9:00 am – 7:00 pm
Address4-16, Kinsei-cho, Kagoshima-shi鹿児島市金生町4-16Google Maps

#3 Katsuo Chanja from Chinmi Kago-ya

Image: Katsuo Chanja by rika_tin.tin_rika @ Instagram

Tried okonomiyaki or takoyaki and loved the brown flakes on top? Then you should not miss this at all!

The ‘brown color thin sheets that taste like seafood’ is actually known as katsuo, or in English, bonito. There is a city named Makurazaki in Kagoshima that specializes and is popular because of katsuo. Hence, Katsuo Chanja is made with the insides of a bonito. It has a salty flavor so suits people who like salty food. 

Also, due to the closeness of Kyushu to Korea, this paste is also based on the Gochujang (Korean red chili paste)! So, it has the sweetness along with the chili and salty taste that would suit Malaysian tastes! 

NameChinmi Kago-ya
Opening hours10:00 ~ 18:00
Address5-8-2 Takeoka Kagoshima-city Kagoshima prefecture (Google Maps)

#4 Bontan Ame (Bontan Rice Candy) from Kagoshima Airport

Image from ritsukobando @ Instagram

Sweets that are almost 100 years old and still popular? Why not getting them?
Bontan Ame has been a Japanese favorite ever since they were first released all the way back in 1924 by Seika Foods.

Whenever Bontan Ame are bought, their other famous candy Hyoroku Mochi too are bought together! If you are choosing a gift for someone who misses Kagoshima, or your Japanese friend that has been long abroad, this is a good choice!

NameBLUE SKY (Kagoshima Airport)
Opening hours6:50 am – 8:30 pm
Address822, Fumoto, Mizobe-cho, Kirishima-shi, Kagoshima鹿児島県霧島市溝辺町麓822番地Google Maps
Telephone(Japanese only)+81-(0)995-58-4680

#5 Satsuma Shochu from Ohkuchi Shuzo Kabushikigaisha

Image by glocal_bar_vibes @ Instagram

While there are a lot that we’d recommend you to try in forms of snacks, if you’re up to drinking, then you should try the Imo-shochu (alcoholic spirit distilled from yam) from Kagoshima!

Satsuma-shochu comes from Satsuma in Kagoshima, and yes, if you remembered from our article in the past, we recommended Satsuma Imo tarts – it’s the same Satsuma! 

Kuro Isanishiki is one of the famous brands, produced by the Ohkuchi Shuzo. It has a special richness with its unique fragrance that you have to try to understand its popularity in Kagoshima. You can even make a reservation to see the production process for Kuro Isanishiki! 

NameOhkuchi Shuzo Kabushikigaisha
Opening hoursN/A
Address643, Ookuchiharada, Isa-shi, Kagoshima Prefecture 895-2506〒895-2506 鹿児島県伊佐市大口原田643番地Google Maps
Telephone(Japanese only)+81-(0)995-22-1213

#6 Satsumaage from Kanba Kamaboko-ten

Image: Satsumaage

Satsumaage is so good that we had an article about Satsumaage itself

Originated from Kagoshima, this fish cake is a specialty in the Satsuma region and is known by different kinds of names across Japan. It is made of Surimi, a kind of paste generally made of fish, and flour. Simple ingredients but are absolutely delightful to eat after seasoning it with salt, sugar and some other spices, then molding it into different shapes.

Of course, there are more than just a single type of Satsumaage. If we are talking about the classics, they are fried until you see a beautiful golden brown layer on the outside with whites in the inner side. 

There are many places that sells Kagoshima, but if there’s a place to recommend, we’ll recommend Kanba Kamaboko-ten! 

NameKanba Kamaboko-ten (Main branch)
Opening hours8:00 ~ 18:30
Address40 Asahimachi Ichikikushikino-city Kagoshima prefecture〒895-2506 鹿児島県伊佐市大口原田643番地Google Maps
Telephone(Japanese only)+81-(0)996-32-4423

#7 Kurozu Black Vinegar from Sakamoto’s Kurozu Tsubobatake

Image: Kurozu Vinegar

Yet another item that deserves a full article, Kurozu Black Vinegar is something so popular it’d be weird if we don’t include it in this list at all!

We typically see transparent vinegar, but Kurozu is a type of amber rice vinegar. The fermentation process is unique, as it use black ceramic pots to ferment and age the vinegar. It also gave Fukuyama of Kirishima an iconic scene, a unique add on towards the picturesque Kagoshima.

The vinegar itself costs from 1,500 yen ~ 3,000 yen, if you love to try things out for culinary skills, then give this a try!

NameSakamoto Kurozu Tsubobatake
Opening hours10:00 ~ 17:00 (Restaurant)
Address3075 Fukuyama, Fukuyama-cho, Kirishima-shi, Kagoshima 899-4501〒899-4501 鹿児島県霧島市福山町福山3075Google Maps
Telephone(Japanese only)+81-(0)995-54-7200

#8 Kiriko Cut Glass from Satsuma Kobo 

Image from: Kagoshima Sightseeing Alliance

A kind of unique Japanese craft, these cut glass are manufactured by the Satsuma clan from the final years of the Edo period to the beginning of the Meiji period. The colors and patterns are clear and vivid, making it not just an ordinary drinking glass.

Edo Kiriko glassware is made by cutting the surface of a two-layered glass to create intricate patterns, so it is beautiful to see from any corner!

NameEkimachi Itchome Kagoshima
Opening hours08:00 ~ 21:00 (Depending on the shop)
Address2-4-10 Higashitaniyama, Kagoshima, 891-0113, Japan〒891-0113 鹿児島市東谷山2-4-10Google Maps
Telephone(Japanese only)+81-(0)99-267-9395

#9 Oshima Tsumugi Textile Products from Amami Oshima

Image: Authentic Oshima Tsumugi Textile

You might have heard of kimono, but did you know that there are many types of kimono out there?

If you are looking for something unique, then consider Oshima tsumugi textiles! A type of kimono yearned by many Japanese fashionistas, this kimono is all made with traditions and efforts – each piece can take a year to complete!
There are a few traits on the kimono that helps you to know if it is Oshima Tsumugi, and they are pretty easy!

  1. The fabric must origin from Amami Oshima of Kagoshima
  2. The fabric’s dyeing method is only Dorosome (mud-dyeing)
  3. The threads must be 100% silk
  4. The weave must be plain weave (horizontal and vertical only)

While there are definitely a lot of places to purchase if you are at Amami Oshima, but if you aren’t going there, consider buying some from the city! It can be made into coin purses, business card holders, or more! Ekimachi Itchome in the city has plenty of shops to choose from!

NameEkimachi Itchome Kagoshima
Opening hours08:00 ~ 21:00 (Depending on the shop)
AddressKagoshima, Kagoshima, Chuocho 1-1-1〒890-0053 鹿児島県鹿児島市中央町1丁目1−1Google Maps
Telephone(Japanese only)+81-(0)99-259-3185

#10 Satsuma-yaki from Shimadzu Gallery

Image:  Satsumayaki by Kagoshima Sightseeing Alliance

Satsumayaki is a type of traditional Japanese pottery from Satsuma of Kagoshima. Now, you can find two distinct types of the pottery art: early Satsuma with dark clay that are made in the 1600s, and Kyo-Satsuma that are elaborately decorated on its ivory bodies for export to various Japanese cities starting from the 19th century.  

Kyo-Satsuma became one of the most recognized wares after the adoption of gilded polychromatic enamel overglaze designs, as these beautiful designs appealed to the tastes of western consumers, they became important export products during the Meiji period.

Now, there are many other types of Satsuma wares, such as Shiro Satsuma with white glaze that originally were used for daimyo’s (powerful feudal lords) household; Kuro Satsuma with a black body and dark glaze; Jakatsu with a mixture of blue, yellow and black glaces; Blue and white Satsuma with landscape patterns inspired by the Chinese wares; Mishima Satsuma that are made of clay with bluish-grey glaze, and much more. 

One way to recognize many Satsuma ware would be the kamon (family crest) of the ruling Shimadzu Clan that has a red cross within a red circle that are placed above any signatures or stamps. There are also other ways and marks to recognize this craft, so you can consider learning more as you visit the Shimadzu Gallery, or even getting one as a souvenir there.

NameRegistered Tangible Cultural Property – Shimadzu Gallery
Opening hours08:30-17:30 (Hours may change)
Address9698-1 Yoshinocho, Kagoshima, 892-0871, Japan〒892-0871 鹿児島県鹿児島市吉野町9698-1Google Maps
Telephone(Japanese only)+81-(0)992471511

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