JAPAN TRAVEL: Tenmonkan Mujaki, Home of Shirokuma Kakigori
Aside from kurobuta pork, one of the must-eats in Kagoshima would be their famous shaved ice dessert.
While walking along Tenmonkan, Kagoshima’s shopping street, you would’ve probably noticed the giant white bear statue in front of one of its shops. Holding a sign that says “Have a nice day and Good luck,” this cute polar bear has successfully attracted many passersby to welcome them into the store.
The shop where this polar bear can be found is called Tenmonkan Mujaki, the birthplace of Shirokuma Kakigori.
Shirokuma, which means white bear in Japanese, is a type of shaved ice dessert that is famous all over Japan.
Shirokuma was invented in 1954 by Kubo Take who created this dessert by using only simple ingredients that were available during that period.
Since then, Shirokuma Kakigori became more and more popular, and newer flavors were developed. Although different flavors have emerged through time, nothing beats the original one.
The order of how the ingredients are placed plays an important role in creating Shirokuma Kakigori. It creates a perfect balance of flavors so that it’s neither too sweet nor bland. To create their special kakigori, they first put the fruits and beans at the bottom of the bowl. After that, a huge chunk of shaved ice is put on top of it.
Shirokuma Kakigori (¥667 and ¥473)
After the ice is perfectly placed on the bowl, milk and honey are drizzled all over it. These melt the ice, turning it into a fluffy texture that melts in your mouth.
Chocolate Kakigori (¥667 and ¥473)
To add more flavors, they add fruits such as cherries, peaches, and oranges on top of the dessert. Lastly, raisins are put on top of the ice which makes Shirokuma’s face.
Matcha Kakigori (¥667 and ¥473)
Shirokuma Kakigori can be overwhelming in size, which is why they have smaller versions for solo eating.
Nankai no Kurokuma (¥667 and ¥473)
There are many other kakigori flavors available in Mujaki. Savory dishes are available too. Next time you go shopping at Tenmonkan, drop by Mujaki shortly after your shopping spree for a taste of this refreshing dessert!
How to get here
By tram: Take the tram at Kagoshima Chuo Station and get off at Tenmonkandori stop.
By bus: Take the Kagoshima City View Bus and get off at Tenmonkan.