Where it's from
Where it's from

Ryukyu Awamori is from Okinawa image 1

Ryukyu Awamori is from Okinawa

You may have a bottle of "Authentic Ryukyu Awamori" which says it's a "product of Okinawa Japan". Awamori is a spirit from the Ryukyu Islands, a chain of Japanese tropical islands in the East China Sea stretching from the Japanese mainland to Taiwan. Okinawa, Japan's southernmost prefecture encompasses some 160 islands with its capital, Naha, on the largest island, confusingly also named Okinawa.

The islands span over 1,000 kilometres and boast a tropical climate with hot humid summers and comfortably warm winters. Coupled with pristine broad white sandy beaches and coral reefs teaming with marine life in crystalline waters, the islands are understandably popular with divers and snorkelers.

Okinawa's most famous tourist attraction is Shuri Castle (pictured above), the restored royal palace of the ancient Ryukyu Kingdom, which flourished from the mid-15th century for approximately 450 years ruled over Okinawa. This is the origin of karate, the martial art along with performing arts and crafts which are also still practised to this day.

Despite being part of Japan, the Okinawa Prefecture islands have their own distinct identity with culture and beliefs stemming from the Ryukyu Kingdom quite different from the rest of Japan.

Okinawa's rich cuisine combines ingredients and dishes from centuries of trade with China and other Asian countries. Typical dishes include Okinawa Soba (pork broth with flour noodles), Tofu Yo (a traditional appetizer), grilled fish, and Rafute (braised pork slowly-simmered in sweet and savoury sauce). Awamori is drunk with all these dishes usually served "mizuwari", cut with water or soda and with ice.