Hidden deep in a limestone cave in Kin Town, Okinawa, is an awamori cellar where shelves upon shelves of this traditional Japanese alcohol are aged. Each bottle with its own hand-written label or photo attached, the shelves resemble a library out of a fantasy novel, while the cave itself belongs in an Indiana Jones film.
But before descending into this cavern of awamori, you’ll first visit one of Okinawa’s 47 awamori distilleries, Matsufuji Distillery, which still uses the traditional small-batch method to make the island’s famous alcohol.
Previously used as an American military hangar, the building was repurposed as a distillery. But that’s not all that makes Matsufuji Distillery unique–it’s also one of the only awamori companies with a woman founder!
Here, you’ll learn all about the production of awamori with interpretation from your bilingual guide, Junko, and enjoy an awamori tasting. See how quintessential Okinawan alcohol is made from black koji and Thai arabica rice, and learn about the similarities and differences between nihonshu and awamori.
Next, you’ll hear about Asamu Toyokawa who manages the awamori caves, and dive into the cellar. It was her eccentric, entrepreneurial mother who came up with the idea to start aging awamori underground, using the awamori caves to promote local Okinawan culture in an area that was once only known for its U.S. military base.
After returning from the awamori caves, the Okinawa tour will continue with a tasting of tofuyo (a tofu dish that is fermented in awamori in the very same caves). Sample it like a fine cheese, savoring the nutty flavor and richness. This is followed by lunch with local Okinawan food.
9:45/13:45 Matsufuji Distillery
11:00/15:30 Awamori cave (tofuyo tasting is first for the afternoon tour)
12:00/15:00 Tofuyo tasting
12:45/16:45 Pick from:
A- Vegan ramen
B- Okinawan sweets
C- Okinawa soul food, taco rice (meat)
Souvenir: mini bottle of awamori
Bilingual local guide
Tour of Matsufuji Distillery with awamori tasting
Exclusive tour of the awamori cellar hidden in a limestone cave
Tofuyo tasting & Okinawan regional food
Exploring Okinawa, it is essential to have your own vehicle due to lack of reliable public transportation
If you don’t feel comfortable driving rental car, chartered taxi is available with additional fee
Additional food and drink other than provided in the tour
Meeting Point and Meeting Time
The meeting point can be changed upon request
Please note that the legal drinking age in Japan is 20 years old