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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...

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...

Shochu’sday renews in 2018 with a similar schedule to last year. One per month, always with a theme. Check this page for updated dates, times, and locations along with increased details. Tuesday, January 16: Food Pairing Shochu’sday @ Teisui (246 5th Avenue – entrance on 29th Street, west, of 5th Avenue, Flatiron) 5:30-7:30pm. We will pair some drinking snacks with shochu available on Teisui’s menu. Teisui is a beautiful space dominated by a counter. It started as a yakitori spot, but has now expanded to sushi service as well. Monday, February 5: Oyuwari Shochu’sday @ Uminoie (86 East 3rd Street, Read More...

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