Watch CBS News

Inside SoCal: A Taste of Japanese History (3/31)

Inside SoCal: A Taste of Japanese History (3/31)
Inside SoCal: A Taste of Japanese History (3/31) 05:00

After being mislabeled and nearly impossible to find, this beverage steeped in Japanese history is finally making a name for itself in the States.


If you haven't heard of shochu, you aren't alone. While it's been made in Japan for around 500 years, shochu is just becoming known here in the U.S. Thanks to the passing of AB416, shochu which had often been labeled under the Korean spirit Soju, will now be properly identified, helping to demystify the spirit. Still, shochu isn't the easiest to find. In fact, Paul Nakayama decided to start his own shochu beverage company, Nankai, simply to be able to import it and enjoy it here in the States. It's a distilled spirit (ABV 24%) that differs in flavor based on the ingredients used. There is much to explore with the spirit and Paul hopes the L.A. community who is interested in spirits (and is of legal drinking age) will try shochu. In his words, "you might be pleasantly surprised." To learn more Nankai about the history of shochu and how it's made, visit


In 2016, an idea was put into action in Los Angeles to help promote the culture and appreciation for Japan using all 5 senses – sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. Japan House Los Angeles showcases innovation and technology, as well as art and design through exhibitions that rotate in the gallery space. They also host special events, like yearly Oscar celebrations featuring Japanese films and nominees. While at the onsite restaurant, Uka, you can explore the world of Japanese gastronomy and try the kaiseki haute culinary tradition of a multi-course, intricate Japanese dinner. Reservations can be made HERE.

To see what Japan House Los Angeles is currently exhibiting, visit Japan House locations can also be found in London and Sao Paulo.

Japan House Los Angeles is located at Ovation Hollywood:                  

6801 Hollywood Boulevard

Level 2 & Level 5

Los Angeles, CA 90028

1 (800) 516-0565

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.