April 26, 2019
The 10 Best Izakaya You Must Visit in Kumamoto, Japan
Kumamoto is in Kyushu. Kumamoto is very popular for sightseeing because they have historical sightseeing spots such as Kumamoto-jo Castle, hotsprings such as Kurokawa Hotspring, and Nabegataki you can overlook the great natural view. What do you do at night when you go sightseeing? Don’t you relax at hotel? Ihotel, nstead of staying at hotel, you have a lot of things to do! You should go out to the town and communicate with the people there! Then, we will introduce the best Izakaya you must visit in Kumamoto.
At “Torio”, the lave rock-grilled Oaso chicken is very popular. They have many repeaters. Usually, the charcoal-grelled rocal cheken is tasty when it’s hot, but isn’t so tasty it gets cold. However, the chicken at “Torio” is different. The chicken at “Torio” will get the taste and softness back by heating again, even if it gets cold once. It’s very soft and tasty.
At night, the Izakaya with many dishes is full of not only rocal people but also the people who go from far to have Basashi(Horse sashimi) and charcoal-grilled dishes. Oguni-cho is a famous cedar production area. The Izakaya is built in Japanese style with only Oguni cedar and Japanese cypress. You will relax the rich scent of trees. Of course, they have a lot of rocal Sakes. Even families can relax and enjoy there because they have some private rooms.
Not only the charcoal-grilled dishes but also the fried chicken is popular. You can take it out. Moreover, Aso’s red beef bowl is popular. How about enjoy the tasty dishes in the mountain village: you can’t feel the same way as in the city.
Address: 1561-1, Akababa, Minami-Oguni-cho, Aso-gun, Kumamoto
Access: 30-min. by car from Aso Station
Map: map to Torio
“Irifuku” is a Izakaya with over 40 years history, located in Chuoshinmachi with many restaurants and various shops in Amakusa. It’s known as a Izakaya offering fresh rocal fishes. Not only the fresh sashimi but also “Sakana(fish) no Fuwafuwa” is very popular. It’s a fried dish with grated shrimps and yam. Some peple order this dish every time they go there. Also, “Renkon(lotus root) Manju” is popular. It’s a grated and boiled lotus root ball with Japanese dashi(soup stock). It’s so tasty that you want to have more.
This Izakaya’s charm is that they have a great commitment about Sake: Kumamoto is famous for Japanese Shochu. There, you should have the dishes with Sake, though you can have Shochu, too.
Their commitment is so great that they have 200 Sakes and Shochus all over Japan and change the dish bowls according to the Sake they choose. They have the rare Sakes that even heavy drinkers have never drinken. Those rare Sakes go well with the fishes in Amakusa. With tasty Sakes and the rocal fishes, you can enjoy night in Amakusa.
Address: 3-22, Chuoshinmachi, Amakusa-shi, Kumamoto
Access: 120-min. by car from Kumamoto Station
Map: map to Irifuku
“Izakaya Kan” is located near the center of Kumamoto, Hanabatake Station. Although it was damaged by the earthquake in Kumamoto, now, it’s recovered and taking measures of the endurance from earthquakes. Once you enter into the Izakaya, you will first see the line of Shochus over the counter. They have usually over 300 kinds of Shochus. Heavy drinkers will be excited by the Shochus. Also, they have some private rooms with sunken Kotatsus. The Japanese modern atmosphere will make you relax.
Moreover, the Izakaya is a sister store of a famous Baniku(horsemeat) specialty shop in Kumamoto, “Kumamoto Baniku Dining Umazakura”. So, you can have awesome Basashi(horsemeat sashimi) there. Horse liver sashimi with the the rich taste is recommendable. You can enjoy Chinese dishes because they have some Chinese cooks they scouted from China. All the dishes have high quality and excellent decoration.
They are considerate to a solo customer at the counter seat: they have the special menu for the solo customer who wants to eat various dishes. They will make both group customers and a solo customer happy.
Name: Izakaya Kan
Address: 1-11-20, Shita-dori, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto-shi, Kumamoto
Time: weekday: 18:00~4:00 holiday: 17:00~4:00
Close: no regular holiday
Access: 3-min. walk from Hanabatake Station
Map: map to Izakaya Kan
“Torigura” is locatied near Minato-wan Bay. They remodeled an old warehouse: it’s very interesting with the beam on the ceiling and many decorations such as the big-catch flag and the goods related with the sea.
They offer the once-extinct rocal chiken in Amakusa, “Amakusa Daio”. You can enjoy the elasticity and the juicy chewy of “Amakusa Daio”. The rocal people will recommend “Chicken liver sashimi”. You will feel the fresh and melting texture for the first time. They serve “Chicken liver sashimi” with sesami oil and salt. You can have beef liver and horse liver at the other Izakaya, too. However, you can’t have chicken liver so easily in Amakusa.
Besides, you can have fresh sashimi and fish dishes in Amakusa, Kumamoto’s fresh horsemeat sashimi, and other tasteful dishes in Kumamoto at the same time. How about enjoying the bay taste in Amakusa surrounded by the sea.
Address: 5-15, Minato-cho, Amakusa-shi, Kumamoto
Access: 11-min. by cay from Amakusa Airport
Map: map to Torigura
HERO Umi Hikari no Mori branch
“HERO Umi” is located in a new development area in Kumamoto along Kikuyo Bypass, “Hikari no Mori”. They have 4 other branches except for Hikari no Mori branch. You will soon find the flashy Izakaya when you drive there. In the Izakaya, they welcome you with the big Ikesu( fish-tank) and the over 11000 seashells decoration shining like shandeliers. Families can go there without hesitation because they have some private rooms.
5 ex-classmates from Ushibuka located in southern Amakusa started “HERO Umi”. They buy fresh fishes directly from the fishermen every day. They have a confidence in the freshness of the fishes because they buy the fishes which was swimming in the sea till the morning.
Also, they have the topical fish that Kinki University developed these days, “Tenku Maguro(Tuna)”. “Tenku Maguro” is farmed in Ushibuka, and caught and brought to HERO every day. They have high quality farmed fishes, too. Except for the seafood dishes, they offer various Izakaya dishes. We recommend the No.1 dishes from the start of the Izakaya, “Torimarubutsukaraage( big fried chicken)”. You can enjoy the various parts of a chicken and the texture of crunchy outside and soft inside. The seafood bowl at the lunchtime is popular, too. It may be a good idea to first go there at the lunchtime.
Name: HERO Umi Hikari no Mori branch
Address: 4-20-24, Musashigaoka, Kita-ku, Kumamoto-shi, Kumamoto
Time: 11:30~14:00/ 17:00~25:00
Access: 10-min. walk from Musashizuka Station
Map: map to HERO Umi Hikari no Mori branch
“Hamankura” is located near Amakusa second Bridge when you go from Kumamoto-shi. Along the main road, you will easily find the Izakaya with the flashy appearance and the baloon doll. It’s famous for the fresh seefood bowl. At the lunchtime, it’s so crowded that there’s no space to park because customers go there outside and inside of Kumamoto. Then from the evening, it changes to an Izakaya. You can enjoy drinking!
When you enter into the Izakaya, you will first find the line of Ikesu(fish-tank). Of course, you can have the famous seafood bowl and other Amakusa’s fish dishes. They offer various dishes from the common Izakaya dishes to grilled-chikens.
Also, they have set meals, so you can visit there to have light dinner. Anyways, you should have fresh sashimi if you go all the way to Amakusa. If you order the sashimi platter, you can have several kinds of fishes. The fishes that you can have change according to the status of the buying up. If you ask “What can I have today?” without any hesitation, they will tell you their recommendation. We recommend there if you want to go to Izakaya in Kumamoto.
Name: Hamazaki sengyo Hamankura
Address: 4416-13, Oyano-cho-naka, Kamiamakusa-shi, Kumamoto
Close: no regular holiday
Access: 21-min. by car from Misumi Station
Map: map to Hamazaki sengyo Hamankura
“Kinari” is located by Seven Eleven Tamana Ritsuganji branch, 5-min. by car from Shin-Tamana Station, and a little far from Tamana Hotspring Street. They remodeld a container to a Izakaya. “Kinari” has an American Western taste with bourbon. They have a unique style that you can enjoy the Shichirin( portable clay cooking stove) BBQ.
Of course they have common Izakaya dishes, but we and the store manager recommend “Basashi(horsemeat sashimi)”. You will be surprised at the amagingly tasteful Basashi, though you can find many other Basashi restaurants in Kumamoto. Some people from Kumamoto-shi and Fukuoka-shi go all the way to the Izakaya located in an inconvenient place.
Kumamoto is famous for “Basashi” and you can find many restaurants serving Basashi. However, only regular customers will tell if the Basashi is really tasteful. Even the Basashi in famous restaurants may not be so tasteful… We can tell that the Basashi in “Kinari” has the high quality. Because they have a special buying-up route, you can have a rare part of horsemeat, which isn’t available so easily.
Also, thanks to the mass purchasing, you can have the dishes at the reasonable price. The Izakaya manager had studied cooking in the kitchen of a Japanese hotel, so he can serve high quality dishes. You can enjoy not only Basashi but also other Izakaya dishes.
Address: 1433-2, Ritsuganji, Tamana-shi, Kumamoto
Time: 11:30~14:00/ 18:00~22:00
Access: 6-min. by car from JR Shin-Tamana Station
Map: map to Kinari
“Santoka” is located near the sightseeing spot in Aso, Aso-jinja Shrine. The Izakaya has a Japanese old house style. The entrance is a little small, so be careful not to hit your head. The old decoration and goods inside of the Izakaya are interesting. All dishes there are tasteful. It’s so popular for the rocal people.
The popular dishes are an original dish, “Stuffed Pepper, Pepper Boat” that sweet meat ball is stuffed in an ungrilled pepper, and “Summer Roll with Spicy Chilli Sauce” with spicy taste.
Also, they have a commitment of offering fresh fishes. They recommend sashimi platter despite the Izakaya is located in Aso mountain. The Izakaya manager go directly to the fish market and choose the fish by seeing the freshness and quality. You should visit there!
Address: 1951, Miyaji, Ichinomiya-cho, Aso-shi, Kumamoto
Close: no regular holiday
Access: 4-min. by car from Miyaji Station
Map: map to Santoka
Izakaya Kinosuke Yatsushiro branch
“Izakaya Kinnosuke” is a Izakaya owned by “Soseki Group” which manages some restaurants in mainly Yatsushiro, Kumamoto: Soseki Natsume’s real name is Kinnosuke. They have a branch in Hikari no Mori, Kumamoto-shi, too. You may worry, “Don’t they use frozen food?” or “Don’t they offer so tasteful dishes?”, but don’t worry. Each dishes is handmade and tasteful!
Contrary to the exterior in Showa Retro style, the interior is in Japanese Modern style. They have many private rooms over the counter. The private rooms are so spacious that you can relax. At “Kinnosuke Yatsushiro branch”, they’re trying to use the rocal foodstaff such as ths fresh fishes in Yatsushiro Sea and Salt Tomato. Of course, they offer the standard rocal dishes like Basashi(horsemeat sashimi) and Karashi Renkon(mustard stuffed lotus roots), so the people away from Kumamoto can enjoy, too. You should try the dishes there.
Name: Izakaya Kinosuke Yatsushiro branch
Address: 1-2-31, Honmachi, Yatsushiro-shi, Kumamoto
Access: 6-min. by car from Yatsushiro Station
Map: map to Izakaya Kinosuke Yatsushiro branch
“Sharaku” is located in the very convenient place for the traveller by bus, 5-min. walk from the Kumamoto Transportation Center Bus Tarminal. The entrance is gorgeous like a Ryotei(Japanese luxurious restaurant). However, you don’t have to hesitate to enter there. The interior based in black will make you relax. All of the rooms are private rooms or semi-private rooms with the soft lightning.
They offer widely from the rocal dishes to Izakaya dishes, so the people away from Kumamoto can enjoy them to the full extent. The people in Kushu usually like the sweet soy sauce for sashimi, but they have the basic soy sauce, too.
When they have the squid from Yobiko in Saga, you should try “Ikezukuri(the living sashimi)”. You can see the freshness of the squid. They make the leg of the squid Tempura or Grill with salt. If you want to have the leg with Sake, we recommend Tempura!
Address: 2-8, Shin-shigai, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto-shi, Kumamoto
Access: 2-min. walk from Karashimacho Station
Map: map to Sharaku
Let’s go to the Izakaya we recommend in Kumamoto!
How do you like Kumamoto? This time, we introduced the most recommendable ten Izakaya to go when you visit Kumamoto. At each Izakaya, you can have tasty dishes with a lot of rocal fresh foodstaff and sake. In Kumamoto, they have many sightseeing spots such as Kumamoto-jo Castle. You should visit and enjoy Kumamoto!