old aging pots at Hayashi
I would not be exaggerating if I said there were chickens clucking in the yard with a 4x4 up on blocks, but this isn't the U.S., this is Japan, so instead there was a decrepit k-truck tucked under a tarp and a lithe cat warming itself in the sun. There was no activity, though I spied a middle aged man through a 2nd floor window of the old home. He quickly turned and disappeared from sight. Read More...
Kampai.US is very proud to be hosting 7 shochu makers from Miyazaki, who have dubbed themselves the Seven Shochu Samurai, at OKA Restaurant in Murray Hill. This event is from 6-9pm on Saturday, March 3rd. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. These same 7 makers have visited NYC each year since 2016. Each year they bring slightly different portfolios. This year there will be 23 brands available to try, several of which have never been introduced in NYC before. Please come out to try these delicious shochu styles for one night only at Oka. Oka is… Read More...
Had I known it was the last time I’d be sleeping in a bed for the next 10 weeks, I would have enjoyed the moment more. I found myself at 5 a.m. wide awake staring at the ceiling in my small hotel room in Amami City. It still hadn’t hit me how much different Amami is than the Japanese mainland. Read More...
I arrived in Amami still jet lagged and confused on where to go. My phone wasn't working. I had no place to stay. No English translations to rely on. No idea which bus to catch (there are no trains in Amami). Read More...
fukurou izakaya
Fukurou is the first US outpost of a Japanese izakaya chain, but you'd never guess this was a corporate location from the experience. It's a tiny space with a few counter seats and tables that are almost always reserved by Japanese patrons or foodies. Read More...
I just spent 2 months in Amami-o-shima, an island off the coast of Kagoshima Prefecture in southern Japan. I went there to learn how to make kokuto, or black sugar, shochu. How did I get there? Well, that’s kind of a long story. Let me start at the beginning. In fact, before that. Read More...

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