A ball of Japanese Cedar (Sugi or Cryptomeria Japonica) branches that is hung outside of a sake brewery at the start of the brewing season. The needles change color from green to brown as the brewing season progresses. This change in color is a symbolic marker of the progression of sake production. Sugidama can also be seen hanging in front of or inside any shop, restaurant or business as a symbol that that business specializes in sake. In the case of liquor store or restaurant settings, many suigdama are artificial decorations. This type of cedar branch ball is also sometimes called a “Sakabayashi“.

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