Okinawa Prefecture is the southernmost prefecture of Japan, and is its own separate island with very separate and unique food and drink traditions. It has a very rich culture with its own economy and language. Okinawa is known for Awamori, a local distilled spirit made with only Thai long grain rice. According to locals, this type of rice is unsuitable for eating but is great for alcohol production. Awamori is distilled with a traditional technique using Okinawan black koji, resulting in a richly flavored and herbal spirit. Awamori is often aged and is considered “kusu” if aged over 3 years. Many people travel a long way to try local Awamori paired with tropical Okinawan cuisine!