Our Story

Kampai Japanese Steakhouse is the first Japanese restaurant in the Southern Tier and one of the oldest operating in Upstate New York. It was opened in 1975 by Richard Matsushima from Himeji, Japan. After a long search for the perfect place to open his restaurant, he arrived in Binghamton and immediately fell in love with the area, with its rolling hills and valleys reminding him of his hometown. Today Kampai has been passed down to the next generation, and is owned and operated by his sons Michael and Andrew.


The name Kampai comes from the word “cheers” or more literally “bottoms up” in Japanese. For 46 years we have prided ourselves on being a place to celebrate. We have witnessed countless birthdays, anniversaries, and even engagements right in our dining room. It is our highest pleasure to host these special life events for you, your family and your friends.


As you enter through our doors, we welcome you into our own special world that is Kampai. Inspired by Japanese philosophy and aesthetics, the restaurant was designed with many details to transport you to Japan. Set in Vestal, New York, Kampai has its own unique culture and traditions. One thing is for sure – there is no place quite like it.


Thanks to your patronage, we have enjoyed nearly five decades in business and we look forward to serving our amazing community for many more years to come.


Thank you

Arigatou gozaimasu


old vintage family photo
family photo