Michito Kaneko, the owner of The Lamp Bar in Nara, defeated a global collection of bartenders in possibly the most competitive World Class Global Final ever. Representing Japan, he was crowned the world’s best bartender at the Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year (2015) competition, held in Cape Town, South Africa.
After four days of challenges, judged by leading figures in the world of bartending, Michito was picked out from an original complement of 54 contenders.
While a laborer in construction, he did part-time work at a friend’s bar. One visit to the most famous bar in the area changed his life forever. The cocktails were so good that he knew he had to become part of that world. Within a month, he quit his job and began working at the bar that had inspired him. Growing up in a family of ceramic artists high up in a mountain in the City of Nara, nature, art, aesthetic, beauty and craftsmanship were always going to be a part of his life. The creativity involved in cocktail making continues to be the most rewarding part of his job.