Amami would not be the same without shima uta: a traditional form of island folk music. The two go hand in hand, and there is nothing like marrying the local food, liquor, and awe-inspiring music of the Amami Islands. They say a picture can speak a thousand words, but shima uta offers a million emotions. Seeing is believing and adding a live performance to your stay will surely create a trip to remember. Inquire about adding a private shima uta performance to your tour.
The native textile of the Amami Islands is known as oshima tsumugi, a traditional fabric regarded as one of the world's three most extraordinary textiles. Only on Amami can you find such fine quality fabric made from silk and a unique form of dying known as dorozome (performed in special mud fields). You can even try your hand at some dorozome during your stay. Used for kimono and other high-end garments, oshima tsumugi is soft and delicate and said to last three generations.
One of the island's best-kept secrets is the uncharted drop from the Amami Islands, Kokuto Shochu. There are many reasons why Amami Liquor is so special, but one of the standout reasons—beyond it tasting so good—is that it is regionally exclusive and only made on the Amami Archepligo, nowhere else in Japan. Made from a traditional dark sugar known as kokuto, this little gem is right up there with the best spirits in the world and staggeringly hard to find anywhere else in Japan. A true island spirit, kokuto shochu is made at two-dozen distilleries spanning five islands and aged in earthen pots, tanks, and barrels. A must-try for anyone who enjoys a tipple or seeks something highly unique.