Sunday, November 29, 2009

11/25/09: Day 6 in Japan, Part I - Kagoshima

The next destination on my itinerary was Kagoshima, the southern-most prefecture on Kyushu. As it would take 2.5 hours to get there, I picked up Chicken Namban lunch...

...and side orde of Yakisoba for the rail trip.

The Satsuma Clan, based in Kagoshima, was one of the more progressive power in Japan. During the Meiji Restoration, they sent 15 students to England to study the western technologies such as steam power to help modernize Japan. For their contributions, they are honored with a statue outside of the Kagoshima Central Station.

Not too far down the Napoli Street is the Meiji Restoration Museum. Spending one hour is a great way to understanding role of Kagoshima in shaping modern Japan.

Crossing the bridge to the museum, you can see the beautiful Sakura Jima.

After the museum, I headed down to the area called Dolphin Port to catch the glimpse of Sakura Jima up close. Sakura Jima is a picturesque island/volcano located in the Kagoshima Bay, and is featured in some Kagoshima-based drama such as Atsuhimé.

As the sun set, I began to make my way back towards the train station. At the intersection where the Tenmonkan Dori and Izumi Dori crossed, I couldn't help but notice the heavily westernized buildings that were lining the street.

For dinner, I decided to go two blocks north to Tenjin Baba Dori to look for a local flavor. As Kagoshima is famous for their Berkshire Pork, this lantern caught my attention.

Tonkatsu Jubei has been in business for over 40 years, and it's located on a second floor of a building, tucked away in the back.

I ordered the roast cutlet set (1,550 yen).

The Kagoshima pork was very tender and juicy, cooked to perfection. They were served with miso sauce, tangy tonkatsu sauce, and salt/pepper to enjoy in different ways.

As I was the first customer in, the chef came out and entertained me. He made ballerina out of tissue paper (right), cut outs of two swans kissing (bottom), hawk (left), and deer (top).

Here is the photo of ferris wheel above Kagoshima Central Station.

I ended up staying in a town called Sendai (川内). After getting there, I saw a Christmas light display in the shape of Doraemon.

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