Japan is a small country, about the size of California, yet each prefecture and region has its own local food and the Japanese treasure these regional products. There is no better expression of the diverse terroir of Japan than its local commodities. Kombu harvested from the rich mineral waters of Hokkaido. The southern prefecture of Kagoshima is famous for its sweet potatoes, which are the base for its heady imo jochu (sweet potato shochu).
Antenna shops act as both stores offering items that are often hard to find outside of the region as well as public relations office offering brochures about the local area. From local beverages like sake or shochu, pickles, sweets and meats, these antenna shops offer great finds and are worth carefully perusing. If you are looking for pottery from a certain region, for example the pastel glazed Hagiyaki from Yamaguchi, then these regional antenna shops are a good place to start.
Some shops will have restaurants featuring local foods, kyodo ryori (郷土料理) and these too are a great way to try food you normally would not have the chance to.
Kagoshima Yurakukan かごしま遊楽館
Chiyoda-ku, Yurakucho 1-6-4, Chiyoda Building 千代田区有楽町１−６−４千代田ビル
10:00 – 20:00 (10:00 – 19:00 weekends and holidays)
Kagoshima also on Kyushu is famous for its shochu, in particular imo jochu from sweet potatoes, of which the shop has an unusually large selection. The cuisine is rich with kurobuta (Berkshire pork) products, Satsuma age fish cakes and more. The restaurant on the second floor, Ichi nii san, serves up a kurobuta based menu in a variety of presentations including tonkatsu or shabu-shabu.
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Rats!! We were just there!