What is "Keihan(Chicken rice)", a local dish of Amami Oshima? Where can I eat?

One of the things you want to enjoy when you go to a new place is the local cuisine. On Amami Oshima Island, a local dish called "keihan" (chicken rice) is famous. The gentle taste unique to Amami is sure to leave a lasting memory of your trip. In this article, we will introduce you to Keihan and the recommended Keihan restaurants.

What is "Keihan(Chicken rice)"?

Keihan is a dish similar to chazuke. It is served on white rice topped with various ingredients and condiments, and topped with a broth made from whole chicken. Ingredients include loosely chopped chicken, broiled egg, shiitake mushrooms, pickled papaya, tangerine, and mandarin orange peels. Condiments include green onions, chopped laver, sesame seeds, and red ginger. The most common way to eat it at restaurants is to put the ingredients and condiments on the rice and pour the soup over it.


Origin and History

The origin of Chicken Rice dates back to about 400 years ago, when Amami Oshima Island was under the rule of the Satsuma Clan. Chicken rice at that time, which was made to entertain government officials, was different from today's rice with chicken cooked in it. It is said that it was a luxury food that the common people could not afford.

In 1946, Iwashiro Kine arranged the previous chicken rice, and the current style of rice topped with ingredients and served with soup was born. In 1968, the then Crown Prince and Princess of Japan enjoyed the chicken rice on Amami Oshima Island, and it was a great success. This led to the spread of chicken rice as a representative dish of Amami Oshima to households, and it is now a popular school lunch menu for children.

4 recommended Keihan restaurants in Amami Oshima

1)The best place to go! Minato-ya, the birthplace of Keihan.

To bring out the best flavor, whole chickens are stewed from early in the morning every day. The rich yet refreshing and delicious soup blends beautifully with rice and other ingredients. The restaurant closes as soon as the soup is gone, so early hours are recommended.

Address〒894-0513 鹿児島県奄美市笠利町外金久81
Business Hours11:30ー Only those who accepted the offer will be served. 10 pairs only. Ends when materials are gone.
Regular closing daynon-scheduled holiday
Number of Seats10
Access from Amami Airport10 minutes by car
「元祖 けいはん」の銘板が特徴的な鶏飯みなとや の店構え

2)"Keihan Hisakura", an ingredient of particular interest

Located on the way to Nase from Misu Port, the restaurant is easily accessible and popular with tourists. The restaurant is characterized by its particular focus on ingredients. It uses carefully selected ingredients such as thick yet light soup made from jidori chicken raised by the owner himself, jidori chicken meat and eggs, and papaya and tangcans handmade without pesticides.

Address〒894-0101 鹿児島県大島郡龍郷町屋入511
Business Hours11:00 - 20:30 (last order 20:00)
Regular closing daynon-scheduled holiday
Number of Seats164
Access from Amami Airport19 minutes by car

3)"Tori Shin", a popular izakaya among locals

In addition to regular Keihan, Izakaya "Torishin" offers a variety of island cuisine such as chicken rice bowls, oil somen, pork cubes, grilled skewers and sashimi. The chicken rice here is hearty in terms of soup, ingredients, and rice. The soup is simmered for about 10 hours and is packed with flavor.

Address〒894-0021 奄美市名瀬伊津部町12-6
Business Hours11:00-23:00
Regular closing daynone
Number of Seats67
Access from Amami Airport1hour by car

4) Voluminous chicken rice "Tecchan"

Tecchan, a yakitori and island cuisine restaurant, has two branches, Nase and Ryugo. The chicken rice here is also quite hearty and satisfying. In addition to the regular chicken rice, there is also "Keihan Ramen," which is a ramen version of Keihan.


Address〒894-0026 鹿児島県奄美市名瀬港町3-5
Business Hours11:30 - 23:00
Regular closing daynon-scheduled holiday
Number of Seats30
Access from Amami Airport42 minutes by car


Address〒894-0105 鹿児島県大島郡龍郷町大勝75-2
Business Hours11:00 - 23:00 (last order 22:30)
Regular closing dayMonday
Number of Seats50
Access from Amami Airport22 minutes by car


Keihan has a long history and has become one of the most popular local dishes on Amami Oshima, and everyone from children to adults can enjoy eating it. If you visit Amami Oshima, please enjoy the warm taste loved by both locals and tourists!

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