Explore over 100 varieties of shochu from Kagoshima with a light meal here! Thanks to the shochu boom that began earlier this decade, finding a decent choice of this traditional Japanese spirit at restaurants and bars is almost never a problem. But for the real shochu fan, especially those who prefer imo-jochu (the potato variety), Satsuma is the Promised Land. This quiet pub, located near the Ohori Subway Station, offers 140 varieties representing nearly every one of the 100 shochu distillers in Kagoshima Prefecture. Not sure which to order? Owner Nakazono-san has created a system that makes it easy: bottles marked with a green tag are the premium brands (¥990 per glass), red (¥600) and yellow (¥450) are good but won’t break your bank, and unmarked (¥300) are a bang for the buck. Nakazono-san’s wife prepares a range of Kagoshima foods such as satsuma-age (minced fish and vegetable deep-fried dumplings), miso-marinated spareribs (¥300), and agegobo (deep-fried burdock), all of which go well with imo-jochu. Between 17:30 and 19:30 the dareyame set includes a glass of beer, the daily shochu, and your choice of four side dishes for just ｴ1,500.
3-4-22 Otemon, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
Open: 17:30 ~ 23:00
Closed: Sun. and Nat. Hol.
Prices: ¥300 charge (includes snack), daily side dishes ¥350~, shochu ¥300 ~
Originally published in Fukuoka Now magazine (fn103, Jul. 2007)