The Top 20 Kagoshima Souvenirs Anyone Would Love to Receive!
Kagoshima is one of the most popular sightseeing destinations in the Kyushu area, and there's a lot of souvenirs to choose from here! The choice can be overwhelming, so we've compiled a guide to the 20 best souvenirs you can buy in the Kagoshima area. We've chosen a wide range of both classic and new souvenirs, with selections of everything from sweets to lifestyle goods, so read on for your guide to the best Kagoshima souvenirs around!
Aug 26 2019 (Sep 09 2020)
Top 10 Kagoshima Souvenirs: Sweets and Snacks
1. Jokiya Kasutadon
Jokiya Kasutadon is a classic Kagoshima souvenir that has been loved for many years. These fluffy, custard-filled sponge cakes have a mild sweetness that makes them popular with men and women of all ages. Each cake is individually-wrapped, so they're also perfect if you're looking for a souvenir to share at work or school.
A popular trick to eating these is to freeze them so that the texture changes to something like a frozen sherbet. If that sounds good to you, definitely give it a try!
The shelf life is a little short, at only around 10 days, so if you're giving them as a gift, make sure to let your recipient know when to eat them by.
2. Akashiya Karukan
Karukan are sweets made from Japanese yam, and are famous as a Kagoshima souvenir. The type sold at Akashiya Karukan is a traditional product that has been loved for many years. Its moist, springy texture is very unique, even among other Japanese sweets, and its mild sweetness makes these very enjoyable to eat.
These lovingly-crafted sweets are made with a carefully-selected variety of Japanese yam, and the red-bean filled Karukan Manju are another popular choice.
There are many places to buy karukan in Kagoshima, but we highly recommend trying the ones made by this long-standing store.
3. Festivalo Lovely
The Festivalo brand makes a number of sweet potato sweets, but the most popular among them is the Festivalo Lovely. These sweets come in packs of 5, 10, and 25, and are sold frozen. There are a number of ways to eat them. If you partially defrost them, they have an ice-cream like texture, but take on a creamy, cheesecake-like texture when fully defrosted.
Festivalo has many other varieties of sweets available, including many limited-edition types. So, if you come to Kagoshima, why not give a few a try and find your favorite type?
4. Maruhachi Fukure Pastries
Fukure Pastries are known for their soft and fluffy, chiffon cake-like texture. These are a local Kagoshima cake, and their mild sweetness means you really could eat them all at once! These cakes are all individually handmade with no preservatives or colorings added.
These cakes are great topped with ice cream, and the Maruhachi Fukure shop is always bustling with customers who come to enjoy these popular treats.
There are seven flavors available, including cocoa and brown sugar, and their variety-pack set is always a very popular choice.
5. Kougetsu Pancakes
Kougetsu Pancakes are inspired by the flavor of the popular Kagoshima sweet, Shirokuma (Polar Bear) shaved ice, which is topped with condensed milk and fruit. The fruit and condensed milk-flavored cream filling is easy to eat, and the pancake dough is moist and delicious as well, making this a popular snack with everyone from children to adults.
These pancakes look a little like dorayaki, another type of traditional Japanese snack. A pancake based around a type of shaved ice flavor is definitely unique, so this is perfect if you're looking for a souvenir that makes a real impact! Kougetsu Pancakes are also popular on Instagram thanks to their cute packaging.
6. Bontando Saigo Senbei
If you ask someone in Japan to name a famous historical figure from Kagoshima, the first name that springs to mind for many would be the legendary samurai, Saigo Takamori. As famous as he is, you still might be surprised to hear there is a rice cracker based on him! Called Saigo Senbei, both the packaging and flavor of these crackers is both simple and a little retro, and the depiction of Saigo Takamori's slightly mysterious expression is definitely striking.
The senbei rice crackers also have Saigo Takamori printed on them, which looks a little surreal! People of all ages are sure to enjoy them, and while there are two crackers per individual packet, their simple, crunchy texture means they probably won't last you long!
7. Bontan Ame (Bontan Rice Candy)
Bontan Ame, sometimes called Bontan Rice Candy, is a very popular sweet, but not everyone knows it actually originates from Kagoshima! In Japan, you'll find these candies in convenience stores and supermarkets all over the country, but you'll probably want to pick up some when you're in their homeland of Kagoshima, too. The classic flavor of these candies with their edible dissolving wrapping is something you suddenly start to crave whenever you remember them.
These sweets have been popular in Japan ever since they were first released all the way back in 1924. Seika Foods, the company that makes Bontan Ame, also makes another famous candy, Hyoroku Mochi, and many people choose to buy both together. This would be a great nostalgic gift for the older generation!
8. Satsuma-Imo Tart
Satsuma-Imo Tarts are made with Kagoshima sweet potatoes, called satsuma-imo in Japanese, and are a classic souvenir from this area. Only mildly sweet, the moist tart pastry and creamy sweet potato go perfectly together.
Made by the Kagoshima company Yamafuku Seika, these tarts are made from carefully-selected ingredients, so they make a perfect snack you can eat with peace of mind. Another good point about Satsuma-Imo Tarts is that they have a long shelf life of 40 days, which is unusual for baked goods like these.
9. Tabi Suru Maruboshi (Traveling Maruboshi)
Tabi Suru Maruboshi, made by Shimozono Satsuo Shoten, has a shelf life of around 6 months, so this is the perfect souvenir for someone you don't have the chance to see as often. The glass jar packaging is very stylish, so while maruboshi (dried sardines) may have a slightly old-fashioned image, a gift of these is sure to please anyone.
These are great as a snack or as part of a light meal. There are a number of flavors available, so choosing the perfect one is also fun. Make sure to take one of these stylish Kagoshima souvenirs home with you!
10. Satsuma Choco Chips
Satsuma Choco Chips are particularly popular with kids and young people thanks to their addictive sweet and salty flavor. Many choose them as a travel snack for their trip home, too. The deep sweet potato flavor and affordable price point has made them a big hit, and you'll likely find yourself reaching for one after another!
These are an easy to eat snack, but their luxurious packaging also makes them a stylish souvenir, too.
Patisserie Yanagimura has many other delicious sweets on offer, so be sure to check them out when you're in Kagoshima.
Top 5 Kagoshima Souvenirs: Local Foods
1. Tsukiagean Satsuma-Age
Satsuma-age is one of the most famous local foods in Kagoshima. Originating in the Satsuma area, these are a type of fried fishcake. The fact that they're good either as a side dish or as a snack on their own makes them a really useful item to give as a souvenir.
There are many places to buy satsuma-age, but at Tsukiagean you can find classics like burdock root and sweet potato varieties, as well as some more unusual types made with ingredients like corn or edamame.
The variety packs are a great way to try a range of types at a good price, and many people choose to pick up one of these sets up as a souvenir. The Tsukiagean website also has some great recipes using satsuma-age, so if you can read Japanese, definitely check it out below!
2. Aka-Kirishima Sweet Potato Shochu
In Japan, Kagoshima locals have a bit of a reputation for being strong drinkers. Sweet potato shochu (Japanese alcohol) is very popular in the area, and one of the most famous varieties among these is the Aka-Kirishima brand. This alcohol is very aromatic, and makes a great souvenir for anyone who likes a drink. With an alcohol content of 25%, though, you might want to make sure your recipient can handle it!
Aka-Kirishima is made with variety of purple yam called murasaki-masari. This alcohol pairs perfectly with the local satsuma-age mentioned above, so you might want to pick up both as a set as a little souvenir for yourself, too. If you haven't tried this type of strong alcohol before, why not take the challenge while you're in Kagoshima?
3. Skipjack Tuna Chunja
Did you know that Kagoshima is famous for its skipjack tuna? This skipjack tuna chunja, or pickled fish innards, is very popular right now. In Japanese, the jar is labeled Katsuo Chunja. This is a great edible gift for anyone who doesn't have much of a sweet tooth.
This snack pairs well with a drink, and also makes a really appetizing addition to rice. Katsuo Chunja is so popular many people stock up on it, so if you haven't tried it before, don't miss picking a jar up while you're in Kagoshima.
Have you heard of akumaki before? This is a traditional Kagoshima sweet made from sticky rice wrapped in bamboo peel. Its flavoring is very simple, but quite distinctive thanks to the fact that it's cooked in lye. Many people find the flavor a bit of an acquired taste at first, but once you're used to it, it's easy to get hooked.
It has a traditional flavor that may seem somewhat familiar, even if you've never tried it before. Akumaki also resemble chimaki, or Chinese zongzi dumplings, which are wrapped in bamboo leaves rather than the peel. Topped with kinako (sweet soybean powder) or brown sugar, they're a very satisfying local food, so if you're curious about the flavor, make sure to try it for yourself in Kagoshima.
5. SHIROYAMA HOTEL Kagoshima Milk Jam
Milk Jam has become the topic of attention in the media recently, and it's trending as a stylish and delicious souvenir, too. Three flavors are available: Chiran green tea, Chiran black tea, and Annou sweet potato, all of which are named after their Kagoshima producers. Among them, Chiran green tea is the most popular. It has a gentle tea fragrance, and is an original product of Shiroyama Hotel.
They also have bread on sale at their store, so grab some as a set with the jam and you won't be disappointed! You can also eat these jams mixed into yogurt or milk. These individually-handmade jars of jam make a perfect present for a special person in your life.
Top 5 Kagoshima Lifestyle Goods Souvenirs
1. Kojohanya Zakkaten
Kojohanya Zakkaten sells a range of stylish ceramics including stackable mugs made by the famous Hasamiyaki ceramic brand, Maruhiro, and mugs made in collaboration with the popular NHK historical drama, Segodon. This drama is about the famous samurai Saigo Takamori, who we mentioned earlier in this article. Mugs featuring another famous samurai, Okubo Toshimichi, are also available. There are a range of exclusive mugs available here, so stop by to check them out if you're in town.
There are plenty of other Kagoshima themed goods to choose from too, so this is a great place to visit if you want to pick up some Kagoshima-style lifestyle goods. You may find you've lost track of time as you browse all there is to see here!
Have you heard of the Baripa brand, Kago-Mania? This stylish shop sells a range of exclusive goods, including a line of t-shirts that became a hot topic after the famous actor, Ryohei Suzuki, came to the store.
Characterized by cute, simple illustrations with a Kagoshima theme, this line has become popular even among Japanese celebrities. Famous comedian Ryota Yamasato, best known overseas as a commentator on Terrace House, even bought one of these shirts and posted it on Instagram. Other popular products from the store include their metal badges and canvas bags.
3. Satsuma Kiriko
Satsuma Kiriko is a traditional glass studio with a deep-rooted popularity thanks to their beautiful appearance that draws many people in. They're characterized by their bright colors and gorgeous sense of translucency. Their drinking glasses are particularly popular, and make any drink poured into them look especially delicious.
These are famous products that make for a perfect, high-quality souvenir. These would also be great as a thank-you present or as a gift for an important celebration, too. They're sold packaged in wooden boxes, so their presentation is also very high quality. This is one souvenir we highly recommend choosing from Kagoshima.
4. Satsuma Tsuge
Satsuma Tsuge are a type of comb that has been around since the Edo Period, and are known for giving the hair a silky and shiny appearance. These are a wonderful souvenir for women, and their easy to carry, compact size makes them very popular.
Some people who have used these combs report that the quality of their hair has improved, so even though they're a little on the expensive side, if you try them once you'll understand their value. These combs are definitely a quality product that will last you a lifetime. There are many shapes and types available to choose from, so make sure to take the time to pick out the perfect one.
5. Bungu no Shinpuku
Bungu no Shinpuku is a stationary store that has been open in Kagoshima for many years. You'll find everything from classic Japanese stationary brands to exclusive Kagoshima-only items here. Stationary lovers are sure to find this store irresistible, and when shopping for souvenirs you might find yourself getting distracted by picking up some items to use yourself!
Popular choices here include Saigo Takamori fountain pens and writing paper. These items, themed after the legendary local samurai, definitely make for great souvenirs, and are sure to please stationary fans. You could also buy some stationery here to write letters or cards to go with your other souvenirs!
Find the Perfect Kagoshima Souvenir!
There are so many sightseeing destinations with a wealth of souvenirs to choose from in Kagoshima. Have any of the items we've recommended in this article caught your eye?
It's fun to shop for souvenirs for friends and family, and to pick up a keepsake for yourself as well! We hope you'll come across a Kagoshima souvenir that makes you really glad you found it!
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.