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47 Prefectures from A to Y KAGOSHIMA a b c d e f G h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z 30 KAGOSHIMA Drawing on the Power of the Earth Located at the southern tip of the Satsuma Peninsula, Ibusuki City is a 95-minute ACING the ocean at bus ride south of Kagoshima Kyushu’s southern Airport. The area is known for tip, Kagoshima has its natural sand baths, where long formed the guests put on a traditional nexus of Japan’s interaction yukata before being buried with other cultures. Even in black sand warmed by an when the nation’s ports underflow of hot spring water. were closed during the The barefoot sand diggers, Edo Period, Kagoshima or suna-kake-san, carefully maintained an independent prepare a bed at 50 degrees link to the world through Celsius, where 10 minutes the Ryukyu Kingdom, now of pressurized heat is said to Okinawa. It was through ameliorate a variety Kagoshima that sweet of ailments. potatoes took hold in Japan, Sand-steamed eggs while introduction of Western crown an Ibusuki specialty engineering precipitated the dubbed ontamaran-don modernization of Japanese - a combination of the industry. expressions for ‘boiled egg’ MIKE KANERT F Sengan-en and Sakurajima (ontama) and ‘So good I can’t stand it’ (tamaran). At Aoba restaurant, a block north of Ibusuki Station, the sweet- yolked eggs of ontamaran-don are supported by tomatoes, bean sprouts, okra and soft Berkshire pork (kurobuta), the iconic meat of Kagoshima Prefecture. Soil on the Satsuma Peninsula was considered infertile prior to the arrival of sweet potatoes. Toshiro Asechi is head of the distillery at Shiratsuyu Shuzo, which has been making imo-jochu (made by shochu) from the sweet root plants since 1730. “I think imo-jochu is synonymous with the history of Kagoshima,” he grins. “People here have a long tradition called ‘dareyame,’ in