January 25, 2024

JAPAN TRAVEL: Tenmonkan Mujaki, Home of Shirokuma Kakigori

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  • 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.

    IMAGE from Philippine Primer

    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.

    IMAGE from Philippine Primer

    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 / IMAGE from Philippine Primer

    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 / IMAGE from Philippine Primer

    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 / IMAGE from Philippine Primer

    Shirokuma Kakigori can be overwhelming in size, which is why they have smaller versions for solo eating.

    Nankai no Kurokuma / IMAGE from Philippine Primer

    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.

    General Information

  • 5-8 Sennichi-cho, Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture
  • +81 99 222-6904
  • 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (open from 10 am on Sundays, holidays, and July-August)
  • Cash only
  • www.mujyaki.co.jp
  • tenmonkanmujyaki
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