While in Kagoshima, be sure to try its local dishes, known as Satsuma ryori (Satsuma was the original name of the Kagoshima area). This style of cooking supposedly has its origins in food cooked on battlefields centuries ago; if that's the case, it certainly has improved greatly since then. Popular Satsuma specialties include Satsuma-age (ground fish mixed with tofu and sake and then deep-fried), tonkotsu (black pork that has been boiled for several hours in miso, shochu, and brown sugar -- absolutely delicious), sakezushi (a rice dish flavored with sake and mixed with vegetables and seafood), and Satsuma-jiru (miso soup with chicken and locally grown vegetables including Sakurajima radishes). Kibinago is a small fish belonging to the herring family that can be caught in the waters around Kagoshima; a silver color with brown stripes, it's often eaten raw and arranged on a dish to resemble a chrysanthemum.

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