[Kyushu 100] Kagoshima Gourmet Spot Top 20

“Kyushu 100” is the project to introduce the fascinations of 100 spots representing Kyushu chosen by traveler’s review. In order to let you know more fascination of Kyushu beyond 100 spots, we introduce the spots for “Eat” ,”Play” and “Stay” of 7 prefectures in ranking order.

Surrounded by the East China Sea and the Pacific Ocean, Kagoshima, consisting of two peninsulas, offers abundant gourmet cuisines using the local seafood. Additionally, there are so many Unagi restaurants and Sushi restaurants as well. Also, when talking about Kagoshima, we cannot miss Satsuma Kurobuta-Berkshire pork. Including Shabu-Shabu and Tonkatsu, the taste of the cuisines using this pork is completely different from the ones in Honshu-main island of Japan. Here is a line-up of popular restaurants top 20 to be loved by local people in Kagoshima as well as travelers.

Shiroyama Gardens Suiren (Kagoshima City)

Located on the 1st floor of Shiroyama Kanko Hotel in Kagoshima City, this restaurant offers local Satsuma cuisines such as Keihan (dish of seasoned chicken with rice), and furthermore, Shabu-Shabu and Sukiyaki Pot using Kagoshima Black beef. Having lunch while admiring the waterfall or garden in the hotel is also recommended.

Photo by そら東京

Photo by Herowoman

Had a fantastic banquet meal whilst staying at the hotel. More than enough great Japanese and less expensive than you’d expect for this quality.
Review from Peter W

Hirataya (Kagoshima City)

Kagoshima local sweet “Janbo-mochi” can be served here. “Jan” comes from Chinese, which means 2 (two) and Jam (2) Bo (rod in Japanese) means 2 swords (a long one and a short one) carried by Samurai at the waist. The uniqueness is 2 thick skewers pierced in the round rice cake flavored with salty-sweet sauce. The old-fashioned simple taste is attracting many people.

Photo by 白熊爺

Photo by 白熊爺

A must visit if you’re in the Senganen / Iso beach area. Jambo mochi is a traditional dessert of Kagoshima. It’s their version of mochi. I mean how can anyone really not like mochi? It’s only $5USD with the nice family serving you tea with the mochi. Review from pipokun

Satsumaaji (Ibusuki City)

A local restaurant, within a distance of 6-minutes from Ibusuki station, is popular with the set menu featuring the local cuisines. Super stars of Kagoshima Cuisines such as Kibinago (silver-stripe round herring), Satsumaage (deep-fried cake of ground fish), Satsumajiru (meat chowder) gather together. “Ontamaranndon”, the marinated seafood on the vinegared rice is also popular and limited up to 10 persons at lunchtime.

Photo by Clematis0502

Photo by koji3reve

I enjoyed the rice with sashimi bowl of today’s recommendation, Satsumaage and skewed grilled pork at lunchtime. Everything was delicious and reasonably priced! I highly recommend this restaurant for your lunchtime. Review from Yangasu

#4 Myokenishiharaso (Kirishima City)

Myokenishiharaso, located in Miyoken Onsen, is the high-grade Ryokan representing Kagoshima. Every cuisine to be served in the semi-private room of “Restaurant Ishikura” is decorated on the beautiful plate in an elegant way. The seafood, freshwater fish and edible wild plants prepared carefully by chef are of superb taste.

Photo by trip_memo

We stayed here using our long holidays. The price was a little bit high, but we were completely satisfied with their quality of service. Of course, the meal dishes made with local ingredients were superb. The regrettable point was only elevator and corridor of the main building. They were so narrow and not good atmosphere. Review from tocchini

#5 Tonkatsu Taketei Kanoya (Kanoya City)

You can enjoy the authentic great Tonkatsu (deep-fried pork cutlet) here. The crispy Tonkatsu cooked with specially blended oil makes your mouth so juicy with its gravy every time you take a bite. “Top-grade Tonkatsu set meal” features the special roast of selected Kagoshima Black pork.

Photo by ジェダイ

When you visit Kagoshima as a traveler, you should come here. We decided to order roast fillet double tonkatsu with a set meal and it was so good. The owner as well as staff have good personalities. It was the best pork cutlet with homemade style. I am sure you will be satisfied! Review from 03030109

#6 Amami Kyoraumi Kovo (Amami City)

The stylish restaurant facing the ocean with a distance of 10 minutes” drive from Amami airport. While admiring the white beach and blue ocean, please enjoy Italian cuisines such as Pizza or Pasta using the local ingredients. In the souvenir section, there are unique items using the local ingredients such as the confectionery made of pure black sugar and jelly made of mango or passion fruits.

Photo by olive54121

They make pizza with stone oven and use very delicious cheese. Nice view! Review from mappoyan
This place has a beautiful location just in front of the beach, so you might just go for a beer!
Review from gbchan

#7 Hachimanjyu Chaen (Yakushima Town)

Located in the east side of Yakushima, the foot of Mt. Aiko marking temperature swings is appropriate place for tea plant. Hachimanju Chaen is selling the popular soft cream using the organic tea cultivated there. The rich flavor of green tea is so yummy and real green tea is also served with soft cream.

Photo by Yun0024

Stop by here after a hike for some delicious locally made organic green tea icecream…and a hot cup of green tea! You can buy many types of tea leaves, tea cookies etc. at the shop also. Review from nicolajones08
They are a tea shop. Not even a cafe but they have their own tea farm and selling tea and some souvenirs. But! They have this green tea soft ice cream which is amazing! They serve it with their green tea which is very nice as well. Worth to stop when you pass by.Review from yukilion

#8 Takian (Minami Kyushu City)

The restaurant renovated the whole traditional samurai house offers local cuisines of Chiran region such as Sake-sushi or Satsumaage assorted on a historical tray having been used from the administration of a clan. You can feel the reminiscent atmosphere of Edo Period from the townscape, the interior of the restaurant and the tray.

Photo by シロネコボンバー

When you would like to sit in a Japanese house with a Japanese garden with a lovely atmosphere, this is the best place for you. I highly recommend this place. The meals are very good too. Review from Zdeněk J

#9 Mekkemon, Dolphin Port (Kagoshima City)

Located on the 1st floor of Dolphin Port in Kagoshima City. Although even it is a Kaiten-sushi (Conveyor belt sushi) restaurant, you can enjoy the authentic sushi cooked by real sushi chef here. They always get in fresh local seafood from the fish market every morning and prepare the seafood ingredients for sushi inside of the restaurant.

Photo by Herman S

The sushi restaurant was next to the ferry terminal. I visited there at noon on weekday, but it was almost full occupancy. The restaurant was specialized for a rotating sushi, but we could order Sushi from Sushi chefs in the kitchen. I received some local fish and those were very freshness, excellent! It was obtained satisfaction with the good quality even though a rotating sushi. Review from mat_mak
My brother and I enjoyed this place very much. The sushi was reasonably priced (for a European traveler…) and really fresh and tasty. A must go if staying in or around Kagoshima. Don’t be shy to order specials at the chef. I recommend any of the grilled salmon or tuna sushi and also the unagi (eel) sushi. Review from djdavignon

#10 Horaku Manjyu Kagoshima Main shop (Kagoshima City)

Thick round small pancake filled with sweet bean jam blended with honey, which is referred to as Imagawayaki in Kanto region. A familiar taste for the local people from childhood time. The shaved ice with homemade syrup with honey is also popular, but limited only in summer time.

Photo by おうむ

The price of Manju (pancake) is only 100 yen and I could be full with only one. They have two different types of bean jam, one is red bean and the other one is white bean. Please try both. Review from yantommy

#11 Kagoshima Kurobuta Roppakutei (Kagoshima City)

Kagoshima Kurobuta (Black Pork) restaurant with a distance of 2 minutes on foot from Kagoshima Chuo Station. All pork used here is directly delivered from the contracted farm in Kagoshima prefecture. Raised with carefully selected feed, the pork has light fat and tender meat, which is free from affectation. You can enjoy the pork as “Kurobuta Shabu Shabu” or “Kurobuta Seiromushi- Steamed pork using a bamboo steamer”.

Photo by MANAQ2015

We visited here for lunch. We enjoyed black pork as shabu-shabu and pork cutlet. Sooo delicious! Also, they have a variety of drink menus, but I gave up because it was lunchtime. They don’t have any other meat such as chicken, but you should try the best Kurobuta here. Review from MANAQ2015

#12 Shimatofuya (Tatsugo Town)

The restaurant specializing in Tofu cuisines. “Shimatofu” means the coarse-grained tofu using bittern from Amami and natural sea salt. This restaurant offers a variety of menus using Tofu and Soya milk such as Tofu Hamburger Steak, Amami Yudoufu, Soya Milk Warabi mochi, Yuba Tempura.

Photo by Mia H

I didn’t know, that tofu can be so delicious and refreshing! For me it was the best and freshest tofu I ate in my life. Review from baikinman2001

#13 Minatoya (Amami City)

The restaurant specializing in original Keihan (Dish of seasoned chicken with rice) founded in 1946. The current Keihan Style to pour the chicken soup has been invented by this restaurant. The restaurant has a pride to use only the fresh soup made on the day using the local chicken whole.

Photo by Koji S

The soup for Keihan (Chicken rice) of “Minatoya” is clear, but has rich and condensed flavor. This restaurant is taking time to prepare this soup, I heard. Emperor Showa seems to have visited here to try Keihan. Traditional and well-established restaurant in Amami. Review from ikedahaj

#14 Tonkatsuno Taketei Tagami-branch (Kagoshima City)

Following Kanoya branch chosen as #5, Tagami-branch was also placed in a list. In spite of the long distance of 30 minutes walk from Kagoshima Chuo Station, Tagami-branch is always flourished with local repeat customers. Like the flagship restaurant, you can get free refills on cabbage and rice.

Photo by Natsumi O

I live very close by, but don’t eat out often. I’ve dined there three times, with each meal being satisfying. I’ve only ordered the ¥1000 tonkatsu set, but I’ve no doubt that the sets are equally tasty. The pork is nice and fatty, the cabbage plentiful (a refill on cabbage and rice are free, I think), and the miso soup a cut above most restaurant’s offerings. Review from Tavis A

#15 Kitahachi (Amami City)

The restaurant offering various local island dishes and brown-sugar shochu of Amami Oshima. As they don’t have any fixed menu, you should follow the restaurant’s recommendation. Every cuisine, including vinegared island cucumber, salted pork, Abura (oil) Udon, is good for your health and easy to eat. The heart-warming small restaurant with the cheerful proprietress and hospitality-minded staff.

Photo by ゆぎ

When we visited here without a reservation, but luckily found the seat in the small tatami room. We enjoyed a fine dinner prepared carefully with local ingredients. They don’t have a menu, but you can rely on the restaurant proprietress’s recommendation. It was a relaxing atmosphere. niconico2525

#16 Lafonte (Tatsugo Twon)

Gelato shop in the lovely white building standing on the right hand side of route 82 heading for the airport. Directly operated by Izumi Nouen Farm, the shop always offers 10 sorts of gelato made of seasonal vegetables and fruits. Without any synthetic perfumes or artificial coloring, they are preparing the products made only with natural ingredients.

Photo by yukari m

10 flavours on sale – great coffee and cappuccino in a light, refreshing atmosphere. Don’t miss this if you are driving down from the airport (you’ll go past it) or if you’re staying nearby. We went twice! Yum. Review from YokohamaGeezer

#17 Chojuan (Ibusuki City)

Nagashi somen (flowing noodles) is one of the summer features representing Ibusuki. “Chojuan” is located by the river stream in Tosenkyo Park. The somen flowing with cold natural water of Tosenkyo gorge is a special delicacy. Other than somen noodle, they have a set meal with seiro (Japanese buckwheat noodle) or Nabeyaki-udon (udon noodle with vegetables, fish and meat cooked in a hot pot.)

Photo by cyango

Love the noodle and the fried sweet potatoes especially. You can probably skip the carp sashimi dishes. Overall, great value for the food quality. You will need a car to reach this place thou. Review from Daniel_lawgg
Beautiful place. Prices were very reasonable. Great value for your money plus delicious food. Just about 25 yards from train station. Review from John M

#18 Unagi no Sueyoshi (Kagoshima City)

Traditional Unagi restaurant located on Tenmonkan Street in Kagoshima City. The Kabayaki, Okuma Unagi (eel) from Kagoshima grilled over a charcoal fire and dipped in the confidential sauce, is perfection itself.

Photo by みっちー770

Very popular joint strictly for Eel rice . Can have the set where the grilled eel us put on top of rice or have the grilled eel and rice separate . Come in 3 sizes small, medium and lunch Service is efficient . Grilled eel is fat and juicy . Excellent in taste and value.Review from Happy258
The shop is a little hard to find. Seemed to cater for Japanese speaking only, not foreign tourists. Eel was really good, crunchy and tender at the same time. Good flavor too. All in all a satisfying meal. This is an old famous shop in Kagoshima, worth a try. Review from RRla

#19 Ajimori (Kagoshima City)

Founded in 1978, this restaurant is the birthplace of Kurobuta (black pork) Shabu-Shabu as a pioneer challenged to revive the Kurobuta which had been in an extremely precarious position. The Shabu-Shabu served in this restaurant is cooked in the broth made from bonito and eaten with the broth and beaten egg without using the ponzu (soy sauce with citrus juice) or Sesame sauce that are generally in eating the Shabu-Shabu. You can enjoy the natural flavor of meat in this restaurant.

Photo by botanist London

We enjoyed our meal at this restaurant. We had the black pork with veggies. You cook your own meat in a hot pot. They style is called shabu shabu. It was a set meal and we choose the basic one. Our total bill with wine was just over $100. Our server was from Nepal and she was very nice. Review from SonomaRichard
My wife and I got a chance to taste a legendary “Kurobuta Shabushabu” on the 3rd floor (tatami room) of Ajimori. The staffs were friendly, and the tatami room was quite relaxing. The Shabushabu was, of course, delicious, but compared with other restaurants of the same kind it is relatively expensive. On the 1st floor there are various dishes other than Shabushabu. Review from Kimitaka S

#20 Satsuma Jokiya Kagashi Yokocho (Kagoshima City)

Located on Tenmonkan street in Kagoshima City, the shop is operating the confectionery on the 1st floor and café on the 2nd floor. As the name “Yokocho” (lane) suggests, the length of the shop is almost 50 meters. The popular “Kasutadon” and “Tenmonkan-yaki-Doughnut” are appropriate confectioneries for walk and eat.

Photo by 執事セバスチャン

“When i got in, thinking it was any other ‘cake/snack’ shop, so i was browsing around. Not until i tried their donut-shape like cake snack. It was fresh and heavenly. My 2 cents worth – a must try! Soft and not too sweet like many Japanese snacks/desserts. On my last day in Kagoshima, should have taken out at least 1 or 2 dozens to bring it home – this is not sold in the airport terminals.
There are various fruits and cakes too. Try them all! “Review from ota001

Every spot of “Kyushu 100” chosen by travelers is full of fascination. Now, let’s go and experience 100 spots chosen by travelers!

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Ranking method:” Kagoshima Gourmet Spot Top 20″ was aggregated by the unique algorithm based on the review evaluations in Japanese posted during July 2015 – June 2016 in terms of
Gourmet Spots in Kagoshima.