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Karii! Japan’s Oldest Spirit Returns to the 2019 Okinawan Festival

(Sponsored) Customize your own awamori cocktail and enjoy bites by 12 local chefs on Friday, Aug. 30, at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.


Karii! An Awamori Experience

photo: courtesy of lotus spirits


The 37th annual Okinawan Festival returns to the Hawai‘i Convention Center on Saturday, Aug. 31, and Sunday, Sept. 1, to share Okinawa’s unique food, culture and traditions. On Friday, Aug. 30, eventgoers will once again have the chance to experience Okinawa prefecture’s native spirit with the festival’s second-ever awamori tasting.


Karii! An Awamori Experience

Friday, Aug. 30, 6 to 9 p.m.

Hawai‘i Convention Center, Fourth Floor

Buy Tickets


“Karii” is a toast offering happiness and good fortune in the Okinawan language, and this event will showcase some of the traditional—and not-so-traditional—ways Japan’s lesser-known spirit can be enjoyed, Karii! An Awamori Experience will feature eight different types of awamori, customize-your-own cocktails using flavors such as pineapple, shiso and ume, plus dishes by 12 notable Hawai‘i restaurants with awamori pairings. Many of the chefs will be making one-of-a-kind dishes inspired by Okinawa. 


Participating Restaurants:

53 By The Sea

Bamboo Catering

Chef Chai

Feast (Jon Matsubara)



Mud Hen Water

MW Restaurant

The Pig and The Lady


Tango Contemporary Café



Lyft will be offering special ride-share discounts all weekend, Aug. 30 through Sept. 1: Use code OKIFEST2019 for $2 off your first 10 rides (new users only) or OKIFEST2019 for $5 off a Lyft XL ride (existing users).


What is Awamori?

An alcoholic beverage native to Okinawa, awamori has been a part of Okinawan culture since the 15th century. The liquor is distilled from rice using a traditional process and typically ranges between 30–60 proof. Like Champagne, which is produced exclusively in the Champagne region of France, Japanese law mandates that all awamori must be made in Okinawa. Today, there are only 47 distilleries crafting the beverage.


Karii! An Awamori Experience takes place on Saturday, Aug. 30, 6 to 9 p.m. at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. To purchase tickets, visit hnltix.com/events/awamori-tasting. For more information on the Okinawan Festival, visit okinawanfestival.com.


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