One of the most enjoyable aspects of traveling in Japan is Japanese cuisine. We would like to introduce you to a Japanese restaurant dedicated to ingredients produced in Kumamoto Prefecture that offers a generous selection of sake to enjoy alongside their dishes.

In the corner of a building at Kamitori street in Kumamoto, a master with an artisan’s pride and a mistress with a heartwarming smile, together they prepare the Japanese cuisine served at the restaurant Fukiya.

The interior of the restaurant is made with local Kumamoto timber, giving it a warm feel, although decorative carvings and timber joinery give the space a hint of luxury. Calming colors make the space feel like a hideaway for grownups. The paintings on the wall were made by the master himself to complement the seasonal cooking, and the place brims with hospitality, making customers feel at home.

Just looking at the kitchen, kept meticulously clean, with its polished pots and neat arrays of spices and seasonings, you cannot help but think, “I bet the food here is delicious.”

Fukiya is particular about its Kumamoto sake. Not only do they serve it for drinking, but they also use Kumamoto sake in creating their dishes. One example is akazake, a traditional sake of the Kumamoto region that carries on the ancient Japanese method of adding wood ashes to the sake during the brewing process. In Kumamoto, akazake has long been loved by the locals as otoso: a ritual sake used to celebrate the New Year. Used in cooking, it has the property of not hardening proteins, and at Fukiya, akazake is used instead of mirin (sweet rice wine) for some dishes, depending on the ingredients.

Every year, the proprietors together carefully prepare and marinate flathead mullet roe to make the delicacy karasumi (dried mullet roe), using akazake in the marinating process. This is a specialty of Fukiya, which you can enjoy trying and comparing with vintage items.

While the master’s meticulous artistry is superb, the real appeal of Fukiya is being able to enjoy moments of relaxation and refinement with the welcoming, kind-hearted owners. When in Kumamoto, make sure to pay Fukiya a visit!