The Root of Amami Oshima Kaiun Shuzo

Our Aim at Amami Oshima Kaiun Shuzo

Our founder was born and raised in Uken Village, at the base of Mt. Yuwan, which is the sacred mountain of the Amami Islands. He aimed to build an industry in his home village, which was experiencing depopulation, and increase the number of people engaged there. This was the beginning of Amami Oshima Kaiun Shuzo.
The vision to build a village of food and healthcare, which combines safe, high-quality agricultural products cultivated by taking advantage of local resources, the development of food items and ingredients based on local culture, and living in a natural environment as a method of healthcare.
If you continue to wish for something, an opportunity definitely will come. The founder received an offer to purchase a small liquor company.
Uken Village has the highest-quality water—the key to brewing and distilling. The founder established Amami Oshima Kaiun Shuzo with the aim to start producing liquor in a natural environment. This is how a project for the development of food items and ingredients based on local culture started in 1996.

Our Aim at Amami Oshima Kaiun Shuzo

Our founder was born and raised in Uken Village, at the base of Mt. Yuwan, which is the sacred mountain of the Amami Islands. He aimed to build an industry in his home village, which was experiencing depopulation, and increase the number of people engaged there. This was the beginning of Amami Oshima Kaiun Shuzo.
The vision to build a village of food and healthcare, which combines safe, high-quality agricultural products cultivated by taking advantage of local resources, the development of food items and ingredients based on local culture, and living in a natural environment as a method of healthcare.
If you continue to wish for something, an opportunity definitely will come. The founder received an offer to purchase a small liquor company.
Uken Village has the highest-quality water—the key to brewing and distilling. The founder established Amami Oshima Kaiun Shuzo with the aim to start producing liquor in a natural environment. This is how a project for the development of food items and ingredients based on local culture started in 1996.

Our Aim at Amami Oshima Kaiun Shuzo

Story of Lento-Amami Black Sugar Shochu

There are 25 brown sugar shochu distilleries on the Amami Islands. We started as the smallest and last distillery among them. As a group of amateurs, we had a rocky start with product development, manufacturing and sales. However, our eagerness to overcome those challenges led to a lot of support from the public and private sectors, and many sympathetic young people joined us. As a result, quality improvement and sales channel expansion progressed gradually. It was in this context that we developed Lento, hailed as a groundbreaking brown sugar shochu.
Thanks in part to the unprecedented shochu boom, we received offers from dealers all over Japan to sell our products at extremely high prices. However, seeing the shochu from Amami Oshima Island purchased by dealers from all over Japan leaving the island, we dared to restrict sales to the inside of the island and began to concentrate on making local contributions, although we felt sorry for the dealers who offered to buy our products. Thus, we chose to maintain our original intent to have people live happily with good health by drinking our brown sugar shochu, instead of being profit-oriented. Our products were greatly beloved by the locals on Amami Oshima Island.
Because of our obsessiveness of selling products on the island, we lost a variety of sales opportunities in many other parts of Japan. However, we have no regrets.

Story of Lento-Amami Black Sugar Shochu

There are 25 brown sugar shochu distilleries on the Amami Islands. We started as the smallest and last distillery among them. As a group of amateurs, we had a rocky start with product development, manufacturing and sales. However, our eagerness to overcome those challenges led to a lot of support from the public and private sectors, and many sympathetic young people joined us. As a result, quality improvement and sales channel expansion progressed gradually. It was in this context that we developed Lento, hailed as a groundbreaking brown sugar shochu.
Thanks in part to the unprecedented shochu boom, we received offers from dealers all over Japan to sell our products at extremely high prices. However, seeing the shochu from Amami Oshima Island purchased by dealers from all over Japan leaving the island, we dared to restrict sales to the inside of the island and began to concentrate on making local contributions, although we felt sorry for the dealers who offered to buy our products. Thus, we chose to maintain our original intent to have people live happily with good health by drinking our brown sugar shochu, instead of being profit-oriented. Our products were greatly beloved by the locals on Amami Oshima Island.
Because of our obsessiveness of selling products on the island, we lost a variety of sales opportunities in many other parts of Japan. However, we have no regrets.

Story of Lento-Amami Black Sugar Shochu

From the island to global

After the shochu boom faded, we have been expanding steadily, driven by the strong support from people on the island and the great popularity of our products outside the island.
Although we were the last to begin, we now boast the largest sales volume of brown sugar shochu thanks to our customers' high evaluation and support for our products.
While many types of alcoholic beverages continue to decline year-on-year in terms of sales volume, we are thankfully continuing steady growth.
Our entry into overseas markets is also making steady progress. While struggling to overcome the differences in eating and drinking habits by country, we have been expanding our sales channels to the United States, China and Southeast Asia. In March 2019, Lento was introduced as a welcome drink, and was highly rated at the dinner party hosted by the Embassy of Japan in Colombia to commemorate the 110th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, attended by political and business leaders. One of our initiatives based on the vision of building a village of food and healthcare is spreading our wings around the world.
Our desire to revitalize the small village of Uken remains unchanged and we have embodied this in a variety of ways.
Currently, we are pleased to have many visitors in the village as Kaiun-no sato (a village of good luck). They enjoy the natural environment as well as shochu and food produced here by taking advantage of the characteristics of the local region.
We will continue to distill shochu here and expand the possibilities of food while adjusting our original intent to the changing times.

From the island to global

After the shochu boom faded, we have been expanding steadily, driven by the strong support from people on the island and the great popularity of our products outside the island.
Although we were the last to begin, we now boast the largest sales volume of brown sugar shochu thanks to our customers' high evaluation and support for our products.
While many types of alcoholic beverages continue to decline year-on-year in terms of sales volume, we are thankfully continuing steady growth.
Our entry into overseas markets is also making steady progress. While struggling to overcome the differences in eating and drinking habits by country, we have been expanding our sales channels to the United States, China and Southeast Asia. In March 2019, Lento was introduced as a welcome drink, and was highly rated at the dinner party hosted by the Embassy of Japan in Colombia to commemorate the 110th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, attended by political and business leaders. One of our initiatives based on the vision of building a village of food and healthcare is spreading our wings around the world.
Our desire to revitalize the small village of Uken remains unchanged and we have embodied this in a variety of ways.
Currently, we are pleased to have many visitors in the village as Kaiun-no sato (a village of good luck). They enjoy the natural environment as well as shochu and food produced here by taking advantage of the characteristics of the local region.
We will continue to distill shochu here and expand the possibilities of food while adjusting our original intent to the changing times.

From the island to global

The Underlying Strength as a World Natural Heritage Site

The natural environment of the Amami-Ryukyu region, consisting mainly of mountains, will soon be registered on the list of World Natural Heritage sites. It is a beautiful environment with valuable natural landscapes and terrain, and rare species of plants and animals in a unique ecosystem. Free from pollution created by contemporary society, the sources of life here have remained unchanged since the dawn of time. It is a natural sanctuary with Amami rabbits and Amami jays that are registered as Natural Monuments in forests and Ryukyu ayu-fish in rivers that only live on Amami Oshima Island.
Among the features of this beautiful environment, Mt. Yuwan creates a landscape reminiscent of primitive forests. It is called a sacred mountain because two gods—Amamiko, the god who created Amami, and Shireniku—are enshrined on its summit.
Mt. Yuwan is our emotional support, while the clean air from the deep forest, mild climate and humidity is the source of our brown sugar shochu production. Mt. Yuwan also blesses us with abundant water that cannot be purer and will never be depleted. This water is mildly alkaline and tastes mild and slightly sweet. We call it a gift from the gods.
It is our mission to protect and take advantage of this beautiful environment and deliver the brown sugar shochu that we produce.

The Underlying Strength as a World Natural Heritage Site

The natural environment of the Amami-Ryukyu region, consisting mainly of mountains, will soon be registered on the list of World Natural Heritage sites. It is a beautiful environment with valuable natural landscapes and terrain, and rare species of plants and animals in a unique ecosystem. Free from pollution created by contemporary society, the sources of life here have remained unchanged since the dawn of time. It is a natural sanctuary with Amami rabbits and Amami jays that are registered as Natural Monuments in forests and Ryukyu ayu-fish in rivers that only live on Amami Oshima Island.
Among the features of this beautiful environment, Mt. Yuwan creates a landscape reminiscent of primitive forests. It is called a sacred mountain because two gods—Amamiko, the god who created Amami, and Shireniku—are enshrined on its summit.
Mt. Yuwan is our emotional support, while the clean air from the deep forest, mild climate and humidity is the source of our brown sugar shochu production. Mt. Yuwan also blesses us with abundant water that cannot be purer and will never be depleted. This water is mildly alkaline and tastes mild and slightly sweet. We call it a gift from the gods.
It is our mission to protect and take advantage of this beautiful environment and deliver the brown sugar shochu that we produce.

The Underlying Strength as a World Natural Heritage Site

Our Staff Members, Who continue to Devote Themselves to the Production of Black Sugar Shochu

At the distillery of Amami Oshima Kaium Shuzo in Uken Village, 59 staff members, including those who have been with us since the foundation and those who newly joined us last year, continue to work together to devote themselves to the production of brown sugar shochu.
All of them love Amami Oshima Island, trust Uken Village, appreciate Mt. Yuwan and take pride in the production of brown sugar shochu.
The brown sugar shochu that we distill and mature here and send into the world is like our child and company.
We continue to take on a variety of challenges daily to meet the expectations of customers who enjoy our shochu.

Our Staff Members, Who continue to Devote Themselves to the Production of Black Sugar Shochu

At the distillery of Amami Oshima Kaium Shuzo in Uken Village, 59 staff members, including those who have been with us since the foundation and those who newly joined us last year, continue to work together to devote themselves to the production of brown sugar shochu.
All of them love Amami Oshima Island, trust Uken Village, appreciate Mt. Yuwan and take pride in the production of brown sugar shochu.
The brown sugar shochu that we distill and mature here and send into the world is like our child and company.
We continue to take on a variety of challenges daily to meet the expectations of customers who enjoy our shochu.

Our Staff Members, Who continue to Devote Themselves to the Production of Black Sugar Shochu

Overview of Uken Village

Uken Village faces Yakeuchi Bay, southwest of Amami Oshima Island. It is blessed with rich nature, with mountains making up more than 90% of the total area of the village. The summit of Mt. Yuwan, which is 694 meters above sea level, commands a view of islands in the Pacific Ocean and East China Sea.
Most of the mountains in the mountain range stretch from east to west on the island and surround Yakeuchi Bay. They shield the village from cold northern winds in winter, creating the unique, mild climate of Uken Village with an average temperature of 20.3°C.
The flat area is frost-free even in the middle of winter. Therefore, there are many tropical plants, not to mention temperate plants, growing in the village.
It is a small village with a population of 1,711 people (as of March 31, 2019). Because of the comfortable climate, however, professional baseball players and the national women's volleyball team choose the village as a place for training. Ms. Ai Fukuhara, a table tennis star, also stayed in the village for training before she retired.

Overview of Uken Village

Uken Village faces Yakeuchi Bay, southwest of Amami Oshima Island. It is blessed with rich nature, with mountains making up more than 90% of the total area of the village. The summit of Mt. Yuwan, which is 694 meters above sea level, commands a view of islands in the Pacific Ocean and East China Sea.
Most of the mountains in the mountain range stretch from east to west on the island and surround Yakeuchi Bay. They shield the village from cold northern winds in winter, creating the unique, mild climate of Uken Village with an average temperature of 20.3°C.
The flat area is frost-free even in the middle of winter. Therefore, there are many tropical plants, not to mention temperate plants, growing in the village.
It is a small village with a population of 1,711 people (as of March 31, 2019). Because of the comfortable climate, however, professional baseball players and the national women's volleyball team choose the village as a place for training. Ms. Ai Fukuhara, a table tennis star, also stayed in the village for training before she retired.

Overview of Uken Village

Tour of Our Distillery in Uken Village

On our distillery tour, we show visitors the process for producing Lento, the brown sugar shochu of Amami.
One of the features of Lento is the slow aging process called onkyo jukusei (acoustic aging), in which the shochu continuously listens to classical music, such as symphonies, for approximately three months via speakers mounted on storage tanks. Visitors are welcome to touch the tanks and feel the sound. After the tour, we offer a tasting of our shochu in the showroom.
*Note that a tasting of alcoholic beverages is not offered to drivers.
In addition, we also offer a sugarcane cropping experience and a tasting of sugarcane juice and brown sugar during the season for processing brown sugar (January to March).
Visitors are also welcome to visit our shop, which offers the brown sugar shochu that we proudly produce, cosmetics, food, sundry goods and many other unique products that are available only at this location.

*Feel free to ask our staff members about the tour details.
◆ Time when tours are available: 9:00 to 16:00 on weekdays *Excluding 12:00 to 13:00
For tours on Sundays and national holidays, inquire in advance.
◆ Contact for inquiries:
(Distillery) Tel: +81-997-67-2753 Tax: +81-997-67-2388
(Reservation) Tel: +81-80-8557-4497

Tour of Our Distillery in Uken Village

On our distillery tour, we show visitors the process for producing Lento, the brown sugar shochu of Amami.
One of the features of Lento is the slow aging process called onkyo jukusei (acoustic aging), in which the shochu continuously listens to classical music, such as symphonies, for approximately three months via speakers mounted on storage tanks. Visitors are welcome to touch the tanks and feel the sound. After the tour, we offer a tasting of our shochu in the showroom.
*Note that a tasting of alcoholic beverages is not offered to drivers.
In addition, we also offer a sugarcane cropping experience and a tasting of sugarcane juice and brown sugar during the season for processing brown sugar (January to March).
Visitors are also welcome to visit our shop, which offers the brown sugar shochu that we proudly produce, cosmetics, food, sundry goods and many other unique products that are available only at this location.

*Feel free to ask our staff members about the tour details.
◆ Time when tours are available: 9:00 to 16:00 on weekdays *Excluding 12:00 to 13:00
For tours on Sundays and national holidays, inquire in advance.
◆ Contact for inquiries:
(Distillery) Tel: +81-997-67-2753 Tax: +81-997-67-2388
(Reservation) Tel: +81-80-8557-4497

Tour of Our Distillery in Uken Village