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What to Eat in Amami Oshima

The southern island of Amami Oshima is best known for its tropical-style beaches and laid back atmosphere. The cuisine on the small island should not be overlooked in favor of its neighboring, more famous food of Kagoshima and Okinawa. Amami Oshima has its own culinary history and some up-and-coming favorites that are sure to capture the taste buds.

  • Brown Sugar Sweets and Kokuto Shochu

    Brown Sugar Sweets and Kokuto Shochu

    Brown Sugar Sweets and Kokuto Shochu

    Amami Oshima has been harvesting sugar cane since the 17th century. The residents have now perfected the art of caramelization and create brown sugar snacks and sweets to go with any meal or beverage. Sweet with a slight nutty flavor, these snacks make the perfect souvenir for friends and family back home. Brown sugar is also the main ingredient in Kokuto shochu, Amami Oshima’s national beverage. There are twenty-five breweries that make Kokuto shochu on all the Amami islands. The shochu has a soft taste and is perfectly refreshing after a long, hot day at the beach.

    Brown Sugar Sweets and Kokuto Shochu

    Brown Sugar Sweets and Kokuto Shochu

  • Gelato at La Fonte

    Gelato at La Fonte

    Gelato at La Fonte

    What’s a day at the beach without ice cream? Or, in La Fonte’s case, gelato. There are ten flavors of handmade gelato that range from the domestic passionfruit and brown sugar to the autumnal maple. The cafe has a large balcony and wide, open windows, so diners can gaze out at the idyllic countryside while enjoying their cold treat. La Fonte also serves a variety of espresso drinks. The cafe uses products from a nearby farm, creating fresh gelato with no preservatives or additives.

  • Kazbo Burger

    Kazbo Burger

    Kazbo Burger

    For a western option, Kazbo Burger beats most burgers both in Japan and abroad. Located in a surf and stand-up paddling school, Kazbo Burger sells a variety of large hamburgers with delicious extras, including avocado, egg, or bacon. The shop is very small, with only a few bar seats, so take out is encouraged. Since the shop is located on the beach, many customers grab the burgers to go and eat them in between surf breaks. Kazbo also provides a vast drink menu with soy smoothies and freshly squeezed juice.

  • Uken Shokudo

    Uken Shokudo

    Uken Shokudo

    Uken Shokudo is the perfect place to taste local cuisine and take a quick lunch break. There are plenty of options, all Japanese food, to please each palate. The most popular dish is Keihan, Amami Oshima’s national dish. Keihan is a rice bowl topped with chicken, a variety of local vegetable, and egg. The diner then mixes the ingredients together and pours chicken broth on top, to make a rice porridge. The simple ingredients and delicate flavor make it a refreshing dish ideal for hot summer days. Uken Shokudo also serves classic teshoku sets, using all local ingredients, to create an island spin on the classic Japanese lunch.

    Uken Shokudo

    Uken Shokudo

  • Hikari Coffee

    Hikari Coffee

    Hikari Coffee

    Also located in Uken Shokudo, Hikari Coffee is inside a traditional Japanese coffee shop but serves modern cuisine. Hikari serves some of the best coffee on the island, letting the customers choose which bean they would like and creating the coffee by hand. Hikari is also open for lunch and dinner. For those looking for more fusion food, Hikari is the place. The miso ground beef and onion pizza is a stand out option, mixing the umami flavor of the meat with the creamy cheese. The grilled mushrooms are a good pairing option with the pizza.

  • Passion Fruit

    Passion Fruit

    Passion Fruit

    Since Amami Oshima is an island, tropical fruits are plentiful in the stores and restaurants. However, the most popular fruit with both visitors and locals is passion fruit. Found sold in bulk, mixed with gelato at La Fonte, or soaked in the brown sugar Kokuto shochu, passion fruit is ubiquitous on this tropical land.

  • To Go Keihan

    To Go Keihan

    To Go Keihan

    Didn’t have a chance to try the national dish of keihan? Luckily, it is served neatly in a box and can be eaten whenever! This freeze-dried meal comes in ten small packages, so visitors can indulge in the warm taste of Amami Oshima whenever and wherever they feel like.

  • Monsoon Café

    Monsoon Café

    Monsoon Café

    Try Monsoon Cafe to try a seafood twist on the classic Japanese Western omurice. The cafe is small and located off the beaten path. Diners are rewarded with turquoise ocean views and lush greenery. The cafe serves hearty portions of Tokyo favorites such as hamburg and omurice. The dishes are given the Amami spin with fresh ingredients and plenty of seafood and vegetables.

    奄美大島
    Address
    鹿児島県奄美市名瀬朝戸-大島郡
    Phone
    La Fonte
    Address
    Kagoshima Pref. Oshimaguntatsugouchou Akaogi 1325-3
    Phone
    0997623935
    The Villa Kazbo
    Address
    Kagoshima Pref. Amamishi Kasarichouyouan 1252-8
    Phone
    0997630115
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