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Izakaya Hama Chan

Good quality Japanese food at an izakaya

Evoking Kumamoto Castle and its castle town by its black walls and senbon koushi (traditional Japanese window frame) is the impression you get when you first see Izakaya Hamachan. The sign outside says “izakaya (bar + tapas)”, but don’t let’s its casual language deceive you, for it is the high quality Japanese food that it is known for. The owner and chef is Mr. Hamamura, who has practiced and experienced traditional Japanese cooking as an itamae chef for almost 30 years. He realised his long lived dream of opening his own business in November 2018. Its first year anniversary is coming up and he gratefully mentioned that this was only realized because of visits from loyal customers.

He seldom uses pre-made ingredients so that you enjoy his original flavour. They offer the freshest sashimi, dishes made from seasonal ingredients, as well as Kumamoto’s local delicacies such as basashi (horse sashimi) and fugu (puffer fish) sashimi if booked in advance. These beautiful dishes are created with the finest ingredients and his cooking skill. Translucently thin fugu sashimi, farmer’s fresh produce flavoured with crunchy textured tempura and slow cooked offal stew all looks beautiful and taste amazing. They have a large variety of foods but friendly Mrs. Hamamura would assist you if you’re not sure what to order.

The good thing about this izakaya is not only about enjoying Japanese food but also spending time on drinking. Mr. Hamamura is such a liquor lover that there is a great selection of sake, shochu and wine. You might learn something interesting from him like the way he matches food and alcohol.

On the table there is a vase filled with seasonal flowers, while above, the face of Ebisu (the god of commerce) and Daikoku (the god of money) on the matcha green wall watches over their restaurant. The simple interior creates a clean and pure space. The four seats at the counter along with the two long tables ensure a personal service for the small group of diners, so make sure you book in advance especially on weekends. Mrs. Hamamura can also assist you in English.

Getting there

Driving on the Kyu-Hamasen Bypass (route 104) towards Higashi Bypass (route 57) and turn right at the traffic light after Inabatenmangu.

There is a car park for diners.

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Sleiman Azizi 4 years ago
I had some basashi years ago and quite enjoyed it. Anyway, the idea of not using pre-made ingredients is something to respect. Good on him.
Sleiman Azizi 4 years ago
Admittedly, it's been many years since I ate it but my memory of it was nice. Look forward to trying it again and yes, the personal touch is much better!
Kim 4 years ago
I love how they plate fugu sashimi! It really is beautiful to look at.
Yui Yamaguchi Author 4 years ago
It's a real piece of art!
Bonson Lam 4 years ago
This would be a great place to go before or after the Rugby World Cup game between France and Tonga in Kumamoto on Sunday 6 Sep.
Bonson Lam 4 years ago
Shochu is a unique experience, warm, flavoursome, and homely.

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