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22.10.13

Kagoshima 「鹿児島」: Dolphins & Tonkotsu


Amazing things are often unexpected.


The last early morning call (5:30AM, once again) marked the end of our days in the forest island of Yakushima. Bye Japanese cedar, green forests and never ending walks in dreamland. Hello ferry, bus, plane, train rides. With the scary thought of going back to work, after almost a week of sleeping a lot less than enough, on the background.




Here's how the island looks like from the small harbour in Anbo 「安房」. You can tell, I wasn't happy at all.



Everything comes to an end, so better take it with a pinch of salt and focus on what's up next.



Before 10:00AM, we were in Kagoshima「鹿児島」in the southwestern tip of Japan.  Facing the harbour, is the island of Sakurajima 「桜島」that has an active volcano, having small explosions throughout the day. That's why the streets are so dirty. It's no dust, but ash. 




We walked and found the Dolphin Port, right by the second harbour on that area. We first thought that these guys were trying to rescue the cat. But later realized that the cat actually lives in the underground and these fellas take care of the dolphins!



Yay! We just arrived at breakfast time!



Three dolphins came. The fishes made them very happy.



I was shocked by the size of the dolphins. I mean. Usually, we see the fin or the nose, but is not that easy to see them jumping around. These guys were HUGE! Probably, they belong to the Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin species that grows up to 230kg.



Bye to the dolphins and hello to another ferry. This time, to Sakurajima 「桜島」the scary volcano island. I still don't understand why that cheesy name (cherry tree island) when it should be called something like "killer active volcano island". We talk about the sightseeing around there, in another post.



We were back to Kagoshima「鹿児島」right on time for an extremely late lunch (5PM?) or an early dinner. But the guys got to try the Tonkotsu Ramen 「豚骨ラーメン」which is local speciality of Kagoshima. Actually, I believe you can find it anywhere around Japan, but for some reason is like religion for Japanese people to "eat the local speciality when they are in that place and find the restaurant recommended by XX guide, YY friend or ZZ gourmet site"



Tonkotsu (豚骨, "pork bone" is not to be confused with tonkatsu "fried pork") is a type of ramen that usually has a cloudy white colored broth. It has a thick broth made from boiling pork bones, fat, and collagen over high heat for many hours, which suffuses the broth with a hearty pork flavor and a creamy consistency that rivals milk, melted butter or gravy (depending on the shop). The noodles are thin and straight, and it is often served with beni shoga (pickled ginger). In recent years the latest trend in tonkotsu toppings is māyu (sesame oil), a blackish, aromatic oil made from either charred crushed garlic or Sesame seeds. Actually, it is from Hakata-ku, Fukuoka (sometimes called "Hakata ramen") but since both are in Kyushu, you can find it all over the prefecture.

Don't ask me whether it was delicious or not. The people around me said so, but I cannot comment myself.
It's not clean food, even the restaurant stated 700kcal per bowl. I wouldn't touch ramen, even with a stick.
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