Kyushu’s people approve! Top recommended delicacies from 6 prefectures in Kyushu

Kyushu’s people approve! Top recommended delicacies from 6 prefectures in Kyushu

There are many delicious things to try in the land of gourmet Kyushu! Mentaiko (seasoned cod roe), ramen, pork meat from black pig - there are so many local specialties that one wonders “What to buy?” when shopping for souvenirs. Most of them can be bought at Kyushu’s entrance points Fukuoka Airport and Hakata station, so don’t miss a chance! I will introduce a selection of recommended delicacies from Kyushu’s prefectures.

Kyushu’s kitchen Fukuoka

kyushu’s people approve! top recommended delicacies from 6 prefectures in kyushu | kyushu’s kitchen fukuoka

Fukuoka is famous for the tonkotsu ramen (noodles with broth made from pork bones) and motsunabe (a stew with meat and vegetables). It is the prefecture where you will be most confused about what to buy. The first thing that comes to mind is the mentaiko cod roe, but that is hard to take back home without using a fridge. What I recommend instead is the dried roe “Kanjuku mentai”. Its name comes from the process in which the roe dries and ferments over a long time. The final product is not only dry, but puffy and tasty like the “karasumi” dried roe. Goes best with sake. There are hardly any direct retailers, but you can buy it at Hakata station and Fukuoka Airport.

And if talking about sweets, then the item to look for is Sakaeya’s “Nanban Ourai”. The 512 layers of the puff pastry are an extraordinary gourmet experience. Simply try it once and you will get addicted. There are also seasonal versions with chestnut and blueberry jams.

It’s not just the castella in Nagasaki!

kyushu’s people approve! top recommended delicacies from 6 prefectures in kyushu | it’s not just the castella in nagasaki!

Many people associate Nagasaki prefecture with the castella sponge cake, but nowadays you can buy it from department stores everywhere in the country. What I choose to introduce here are the sweets “Otakusa” sold mainly in Nagasaki by the local maker Kaho-Karakusa. They are distantly related to the scientific explorer Siebold who came to Nagasaki centuries ago. “Otakusa” is another name for hydrangea and therefore the little pies are in the shape of flowers. Crispy and light, they are enjoyed by both kids and elderly people. Moreover, Nagasaki is famous for growing Japanese medlar, so jellies and puddings using the fruit are delicious too.

Saga prefecture with its plenty of established sweets shops

kyushu’s people approve! top recommended delicacies from 6 prefectures in kyushu | saga prefecture with its plenty of established sweets shops

Saga actually has many sweets makers, with their old, traditional and idyllic shops. One of them is Kitajima which have been operating ever since 1696 and produce the soft and delicious “Maru-boro” cakes. Using selected local ingredients and baking with care so that the cake melts in your mouth is a specialty of Kitajima. There is also a version with jam called “Hana-boro” which is very popular. And for those who like sweet bean jellies, “Mukashi-yokan” with its sugar coating is highly recommended.

Kumamoto, the land of Kumamon mascot

kyushu’s people approve! top recommended delicacies from 6 prefectures in kyushu | kumamoto, the land of kumamon mascot

Kumamoto prefecture is a popular tourism destination, rich in mountains and sea, with major spots such as Aso and Amakusa. It is also one of those places where you get confused what to buy for a souvenir. One brand of sweets, popular even among elderly people and excellent in quality as it can last long, is “Homare no Jindaiko”. Made of large azuki beans and rice flour, it leaves a mild taste in your mouth. You can eat it chilled in the summer for an even greater experience. Every single piece is nicely wrapped which makes this confectionary an ideal souvenir gift for a business company. There is also a special and cute Kumamon package version called “Happy Jindaiko Kumamon”, in which 9 pieces are aligned as on the crest of the local historical figure Hosokawa.

Many delicious products also in Kagoshima and Miyazaki

many delicious products also in kagoshima and miyazaki

Kagoshima prefecture became easily accessible with the start of Kyushu bullet train’s operation. With its many hot springs, the prefecture enjoys great touristic popularity. It is also the home of special brands, such as the “karukan” confectionary and Chiran tea. One recommended brand which makes people want to try more is Satsuma-Jokiya’s “Kasutadon” - a delicate sponge cake filled with custard. It goes very well with coffee.

In Miyazaki prefecture many souvenirs make use of typically southern products like mango. If you go there, you should definitely try Hidaka maker’s “Nanjakora Daifuku” because it unfortunately cannot be purchased in Fukuoka. Not simply a typical rice cake with bean jam, it also has a strawberry, chestnut and cream cheese inside, resulting in a surprisingly good combination. The way these ingredients complement each other is fantastic! I recommend also the cake version “Nanjakora Shu” which can only be found in Hidaka’s shop.


Many of Kyushu’s popular sweets can be bought in Hakata station’s Deitos souvenir market or in Fukuoka Airport. However those products which cannot last long can only be tasted locally. Enjoy Kyushu’s gourmet travelling through eating and buying for home.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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