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Hand-crafting the liquor only made on Amami

Nowhere else in the world

Our story begins way back in 1885 when our forefathers started producing awamori on the island of Okinawa some 300 kilometers south of Amami Island. Awamori is the native spirit of Okinawa and
Moritoshi Nishihira brought the craft to Kikai Island with his wife—the distillery's first head distiller—
Tomi, in 1927. Sadly, the Kikai distillery was destroyed during wartime air raids and the operation
was relocated to Naze, Amami Island in 1947. Though we continued to produce awamori for some
time, it was around this period we shifted to kokuto shochu production, a liquor made with traditional
dark sugar extracted from the sugarcane. After the Amami Islands were returned to Japan following the war, kokuto shochu became a geographically exclusive product and permission to produce this fine drop was restricted to the Amami Islands, an expanse incorporating 56 islands and 25 distilleries over five of them. Harnessing the science of koji, we mash our moromi in earthen pots before adding our kokuto sugar to the mash and distill in the traditional way via single atmospheric distillation. This helps retain the innate goodness of our ingredients and ensures our unique character.

A family-run operation spanning four generations, we pride ourselves on history, quality, and  handcrafting each and every bottle ourselves. Our dreams are big, and we look forward to bringing an exciting new range of products to the table. Stay tuned for what we have in store for the world!



In 1927, our first head distiller, Tomi Nishihira, began making our spirits. In 2021, our fourth generation head distiller, Selena Nishihira, continues the tradition. 

"Connecting the World to Kokuto Shochu and Amami"


Our mission is to show the world the unique quality and potential of kokuto shochu and Amami. We aim to do this through the creation of superb products and designs, and improved communicate to increase the recognition of the amazing assets we have in kokuto shochu and Amami. 

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Our Way

Blessed with the bounty of an island paradise, we craft our liquor with the mineral-rich waters of Amami, domestic short grain rice, koji, and additive-free kokuto sugar. We then adopt earthen pots for our first mash.


We are a small family-run distillery, and each and every bottle contains hand-crafted shochu made with care and greatness.


From our very traditional drops such as Kana and Sango, to our new and exhilarating ISLAND and Mashu labels, we do our utmost to extract the fine traits of the island, its history, our history, and the innate goodness of the ingredients that go into our lineup.


Enjoy an array of distinctive flavours in each and every bottle, enjoy a rare drop only made on the Amami Islands. Enjoy what we call kokuto shochu—Amami island liquor.

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1. Only made on the Amami Islands

Coinciding with the return of Japanese sovereignty on December 25, 1953, the Amami Archipelago was assigned regional exclusivity to produce kokuto shochu on the condition that it was made with rice koji and kokuto sugar. 

2. Only 25 Distilleries Produce this Rare Drop

The Amami Archipelago is made up of 56 islands, 5 of which produce kokuto shochu. Each distillery boasts their own unique flavor and provides for an excellent way to enjoy the diverse characteristics of kokuto shochu.

3. Zero Sugar

Although kokuto shochu is made from the sugarcane, it contains zero sugar due to the process of fermentation and distilling. That as it may be, the unique flavor and aroma of kokuto sugar is delicately delivered to the shochu via the skills of the craftsmen and distiller.  



KOKUTO SHOCHU: Amami's Gateway to the World

Kokuto shochu is profoundly emblematic of Amami's history and culture. As a island distillery, it is our mission to become a force connecting kokuto shochu and Amami to the greater world. We hope to do this through delivering exceptional products, improved communication, and pioneering new, unforeseen endeavors


SHOCHU & MUSIC is our uniqueness, it is our strength. We harness these key traits to produce an exciting lineup of outstanding Amami liquor.


Boasting a long line of musicians involved at the distillery, our aging room doubles as a music hall and we are in the process of creating a line of SONIC AGED products matured in barrels to a variety of intoxicating music. This project is set to deliver a very unique and highly characteristic product to the world. A whole lot of goodness is being created at our little distillery.  

Copyright©2022 NISHIHIRA DISTILLERY All rights reserved.

Copyright©2022 NISHIHIRA DISTILLERY All rights reserved.



CEO/Master Distiller
Serena Nishihira


Executive Director/CFO
Shonosuke Motome


Production Manager
Yuya Kawaguchi


Factory Director
Minoru Tsuneda


Office Manager
Miho Kawamoto


S.A. Supervisor
Takuto Nishihira


Sound Director
Yasumichi Mori


PR Manager
Sanae Kasahara


John Manolito Cantu




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*The legal drinking age in Japan is 20 years. ​*Drink driving is illegal.

Copyright©2022 NISHIHIRA DISTILLERY All rights reserved.

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