I’m visiting Kyoto this year to attend the 2010 Sake Samurai Ceremony and was lucky enough to get a chance to visit the Matsuo Taisha (松尾大社). Founded in 701 A.D., it’s an ancient Shinto shrine on the outskirts of Kyoto City that has a special connection to everyone who loves sake. You see, this is one of the sacred places in Japan where the Gods of sake making are enshrined. As such, sake brewers from across Japan come here to pray and honor the “Sake no Kami-sama”.

It’s a beautiful, timeless and spiritual place that really does stir the soul of any sake lover. There are magnificent gardens, a large display of sake casks offered to the Gods by sake breweries and much smaller crowds than you’ll find at other shrines. So if you’ve ever sipped a magnificent sake and felt a connection to the divine, take the time to visit Matsuo Taisha on your next trip to Kyoto and offer a special thank you for the delights sake brings to us all. I’m glad I did.


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