What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word Japan? For most people, it’s Tokyo, Kyoto, sushi, or anime. Most travelers who visit Japan follow the standard route, but if you are looking for something different, you should consider visiting Kyushu.
Kyushu is the most southern of Japan’s four main islands. Kyushu has a subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and mild winters. If you want to avoid heat, you should plan your trip during the spring, autumn, or winter. Whenever you come for a visit, you can expect to eat some of the highest quality and most delicious Kyushu specialties. I know it’s hard to decide which food to try since so many options exist. You’ll often feel overwhelmed when researching the best Kyushu food, but don’t worry! I compiled a list of the top 5 Kyushu food that you must try!
Kyushu is known for its cuisine, including the famous dish Tonkotsu ramen. Tonkotsu ramen is a type of ramen that is made by simmering pork bones for hours in water to create a rich and flavorful broth. The noodles are usually thin and curly, but they can also be straight. It’s a great treat that will satisfy your ramen cravings and give you an energy boost to continue exploring all Kyushu offers.
Basashi is a dish that is made of raw horse meat. Yes, you heard it right. This time I’m not talking about seafood, noodles, or anything like that. I know it’s a bit unusual, and there are definitely people who wouldn’t like to try raw horse meat, but if you want to try new stuff, then look no further!
Basashi is usually served in bite-sized pieces. You have to dip thin slices in soy sauce, and it often comes with ginger and onions. Slice meat has a slightly sweet flavor. The color of meat varies, and it depends on maturity. It can range from pink to dark red.
Chanpuru is a dish that originated in Kyushu. It consists of a variety of ingredients, most commonly including tofu in combination with vegetables, fish, or meat. The dish was first created by Japanese-Americans living on the island of Okinawa during the Meiji era as a fusion dish with American cuisine. In the Okinawan dialect, champuru means “mixed”. Initially, people used to mix various (and often cheap) ingredients, such as tofu, pork, eggs, carrots, and onions. Nowadays, the dish is popular all around Japan.
Champon is a rice dish, and it’s one of the foods that should be on your “must-try” list when visiting Kyushu. It is made of rice, eggs, and vegetables. Champon is unique because it is usually considered a noodle dish in the rest of Japan, while Kyushu champon has rice instead of noodles. The dish is typically served with soy sauce and pickled vegetables.
Kagoshima ramen is a type of ramen dish famous for its thick and chewy noodles. The noodles are served in a bowl of soup with toppings such as sliced pork, pickled bamboo shoots, and green onions. The dish is often seasoned with soy sauce or miso paste. Locals love it, but it’s not so popular in the rest of Japan. If you are in Kagoshima, make sure not to miss this opportunity!
I hope you enjoyed my compilation of the top 5 Kyushu foods you must try. I believe that some items on the list surprised you, especially Basashi. When you visit Kyushu, you’ll have a hard time choosing which food to try since there are so many options, but I hope my list will help you make a decision!