Kagoshima Prefecture, which is located in the southernmost tip of mainland Japan, is a prefecture lush with nature, that spans 600 kilometers from north to south. It has a history of having adopted western culture quite early in time compared to other prefectures in Japan.
Beautiful traditional glasswork, and the World Heritage Site Yakushima, are some things that you can only see in Kagoshima. We will also introduce delicious dishes that are special to Kagoshima.
Satsuma Kiriko – A traditional craft in Kagoshima
Glasswork that uses beautiful shades of color is called Satsuma Kiriko.
Kagoshima Prefecture, which has put a lot of effort into adopting western culture in the 19th century, refined the art of cut glass as a product to trade abroad. When the artisans shave colored glass by hand it generates color gradients.
Buying this traditional Japanese craft as a souvenir is surely going to make people happy, so when you are visiting Kagoshima, make sure to get some Satsuma Kiriko cut glass!
Also, you can make your own glasswork, which is surely going to make good memories.
You can cut glass by yourself at Satsuma Vidro Craft, and you can make your own original Satsuma Kiriko accessory at Glass Workshop Deshimaru.
The World Natural Heritage Site of Yakushima
Yakushima, which is an outlying island in Kagoshima with 90% of its area made up of forest, was the first place in Japan to be designated as a World Natural Heritage Site. The famous Jomon Sugi is an old cedar tree that has been around so long that there are theories of it being 4000 years or even 7000 years old. It is 25.3 meters tall with a 16.4-meter circumference, making it the thickest cedar tree in Japan. The roundtrip to see Jomon Sugi takes around 11 hours, so for those who are not confident about their stamina we recommend visiting Kigensugi cedar tree, which can be reached by car. It is also an old cedar tree that is estimated to be around 3000 years old.
There are so many different plants to see, that Yakushima is sometimes called the oriental Galapagos. Therefore, watch your step as you explore the island.
The forest that appeared in the Ghibli movie Princess Mononoke was modeled after Shiratani Unsui Gorge in Yakushima.
Food from Kagoshima
Kurobuta pork is often associated with shabu-shabu (a Japanese hotpot dish) in Kagoshima! Kurobuta is fed sweet potatoes, and it is raised longer than a normal pig. It makes delicious and crispy meat.
Another dish, that is also popular among foreign tourists, is sushi. You should try eating some of the fresh sushi, such as tuna and sea urchin, that are harvested from the seas of Kagoshima. Let’s enjoy the delicious dishes together with some sweet potato Shochu, which is a distilled liquor that has been made since the Edo period.
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