Awanami: Okinawa’s Rarest Awamori Sake Brand

Japanese rice wine “sake (酒)” has gained popularity in many countries in recent years, but the total consumption in Japan is on the decline.

By the way, speaking of sake, have you ever heard that Okinawa, the southernmost prefecture of Japan, has a unique alcoholic drink made from rice called “Awamori (泡盛)”?

Awamori is a traditional Okinawan beverage with more than 300 years of history. It has a high alcohol content compared to ordinary sake.

Awanami (泡波): Awamori from Haterumajima Island

Haterumajima Island Awanami Awamori

As Awamori has a long history, today it comes in many brand names. Just like regular sake or Nihonshu, the taste of Awamori varies depending on the brewery.

But unlike Nihonshu, the alcohol content of the Okinawan spirits has a wide range, from about 20% to over 40%.

Among such products, there is a brand dubbed “Phantom Awamori” in Haterumajima, Japan’s southernmost island with residents. 

This is mainly because the Awamori “Awanami (泡波)” has little supply as the tiny island Haterumajima only has a small population.

Hateruma Brewery producing Awanami Awamori

Hateruma Brewery producing AwanamiImage:

Additionally, Haterumajima is visited by lots of tourists from the main island of Japan, and many know the value and rareness of Awanami.

Therefore, it is quite difficult to obtain the Awamori if you stay there for only a short period of time.

In fact, the 600ml bottle of Awanami only costs about 1,000 yen (about 9 USD) in Haterumajima Island, but because of the rareness, it is sold at prices as high as 10,000 yen (about 90 USD) in the mainland of Japan.

Awanami Awamori Sake

As for the taste, despite having 30 percent of alcohol content, Awanami has a pleasant sweetness with a refreshing aftertaste and is really easy to drink.

How to Drink Awamori 

How to drink Awamori is basically the same as whiskey. Hence, you can enjoy the Okinawan spirits in various ways, such as “straight”, “and water”, “on the rocks”, “and soda”.

Of course, it is also good to make a cocktail with it.

(Reference Page: Wikipedia 泡盛 )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

2 Responses

  1. VA says:

    Do you know of a place in New York that sells Awamori?

    • Tomo says:

      Thank you for your comment!
      Sorry,I don’t have information about that.But if you really want to get it,I recommend Rakuten Global Market.Rakuten Market is a major Japanese online shopping site,where you can find a variety of Awamori in English!

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