January 03, 2018

Dedicated Sake Bottles

Matsuo-taisha Shrine, Nishikyō-ku, Kyōto
Fujifilm Finepix X100

Matsuo Taisha (松尾大社) Shrine, sometimes known as Matsunoō (松の王), is an interesting ancient shrine on the outskirts of Kyōto that offers a little more to see and do than most of the often visited shrines in the area. It is also less crowded. Located near Arashiyama (嵐山), Matsuo Taisha was founded in 701, almost 100 years before the founding of Kyōto. It was founded by the head of the Hata clan (秦氏), an immigrant clan that ruled the area before the moving of the capital from Nara. The Hata also founded the famous Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社). The Hata were instrumental in bringing sake (酒) brewing techniques from Korea, and the shrine has a deep and long association with sake brewers, who still take water from the sacred well Kame no I (亀の井), located in the shrine. The shrine grounds are home to 3,000 Japanese kerria (山吹, yamabuki) which are in bloom during April and May.

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