El Fushimi Inari-Taisha

May 7, 2016

El Fushimi Inari-Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) es el principal santuario sintoísta dedicado al espíritu de Inari, y está en Fushimi-ku, es un distrito de Kioto, Japón. El santuario se encuentra situado en la base de una montaña también conocida como ¨Inari¨. Inari es el dios del arroz y por consiguiente el patrón de los comerciantes, ya que en la antigüedad se asociaba tener una buena cosecha de arroz con tener prosperidad en los negocios.Hay miles de torii (una estructura que normarmente marca la entrada a un santuario) a lo largo de un camino de cuatro kilómetros, un camino muy famoso que es visitado por muchas persomas.

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Lo bueno de este santuario es que siempre está abierto y entrar es totalmente gratis. El Fushimi – Inari está perfectamente comunicado con Kioto, ya que está a cinco minutos andando desde la estación de Fushimi inari de Keihan, y a tres minutos de la estación inari de la línea JR de Nara.

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Fukakusa

by Manami Otahara & Miki Sawai

Our travel dairy: Fukakusa’s loves story

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We visited Fukakusa to see Fushimi-inari shrine. It is very famous shrine, so people visited to there from around the world. People visit to see many Torii. Torii separates gods and humans. Torii looks like shrine gate made of wood, the color is bright red. Fushimi-inari shrine is the main shrine of all the inari shrines in Japan. Other Famous place is Fuji-no-mori shrine, it has to with Japanese emperor Tenno.   This shrine is famous Ajisai festival and the god is known for having luck in games, so people visit this shrine. When we visited this shrine, we saw may beautiful Ajisai. Ajisai is one of the flower in summer. Next place was main the temple for this trip. This temple is Gonjo-ji temple. Gonjo-ji temple is has to with our report.

Fukakusa’s love story

 

The place we visited is called Fukakusa. It is called Fukakusa because a long time ago, a person named Shosho-Fukakusa lived there. He loved Onono Komachi. She was most beautiful woman in Japan in Heian period. He loved her, but she didn’t love him, so she got an idea. The idea was very simple, he met her every night for 100 days. Her house and his house were far away. The distance was about 7 km, but he would like her to be his wife, so he met her every night. First day, second day, 97th day 98th day 99th day, he met her with peanuts. On the 100th night, she waited for him. However, didn’t come. That day he died because of heavy snow. The next day she found out that he died. She was very sad, so she was planted his nuts in her village. Later the nut grew and the tree is believed to be 1,000 years old.

Gonjo-ji temple

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Gonjo-ji temple is a very important place. This is where Fukakusa lived.   There is a pond and this pond is where he looked at himself. There is a big Buddha in this temple, and Fukakusa and Komachi are buried here. Her house was in Yamashina. Yamashina is a town on the border of Kyoto and Shiga, so her house and his house were far away. However when she heard that he died, she was very sad. Therefore when she died, she was buried in this temple.

Access

Fushimi-inari shrine

68 Fukakusa Yabunouchi-cho, Fushimi-ku Kyoto

Fuji-no-mori shrine

609 Fukakusatoriizakicho, Fushimi-ku Kyoto

Gonjo-ji

1038 nishimasuyacho, Fushimi-ku Kyoto

Japanischer Reiswein (Sake) – Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum

von Rina Watanabe

Haben Sie schon einmal Reiswein (Sake) probiert? Reiswein ist ein traditionelles, alkoholisches Getränk in Japan. In Kyoto gibt es etwa 80 verschiedene Hersteller. Hier möchte ich Ihnen diese Spezialität vorstellen, besonders die in Kyoto sehr berühmte Marke Gekkeikan.

Die Sake-Brauerei Gekkeikan wurde im Jahr 1637 von Jiemon Okura in Fushimi, Kyoto gegründet. Auf Deutsch bedeutet der Name „Lorbeerkranz“, also das Symbol für Sieg und Ehre, wie zum Beispiel bei der Olympiade. 1905 wurde Gekkeikan als Reisweinmarke zum eingetragenen Warenzeichen. Gekkeikan ist nicht nur eine Reisweinmarke, sondern auch eine Aktiengesellschaft. Ziel der Brauerei ist es, den besten Reiswein der Welt zu produzieren.

 

Die Gebäude der Gekkeikan-Brauerei haben ebenfalls etwas sehr Traditionelles und Japanisches. Sie wurden im Jahr 2008 vom Ministerium für Wirtschaft und Industrie als Kulturerbe der industriellen Modernisierung anerkannt und stehen unter Denkmalschutz. Das Museum „Gekkeikan Okura Kinenkan“ stellt die Geschichte des Reisweins vor und erklärt, wie man Reiswein brauen kann. Auch das zum Brauen nötige Handwerkszeug ist dort ausgestellt. Nach der Besichtigung kann man zwei Reisweinsorten und Pflaumenwein probieren. Wenn man einen Tag im Voraus im Gekkeikan Okura Kinenkan anruft und reserviert, kann man auch die kleine Sake-Brauerei Gekkeikan Sakekobo besichtigen. Dort produziert man 40 Hektoliter Reiswein pro Jahr.

 

Das Wasser für den Reiswein (Sakamizu) Sake besteht aus nur Wasser und Reis. Die Stadt Fushimi ist seit alten Zeiten reich an Wasser, das von auserlesener Qualität ist. Es gibt dort etwa 24 Brauereien.

 

 

 

 

Im Museum kann man auch Reiswein-Fässer (Sakadaru) sehen. Das feierliche Öffnen eines Fasses wird Kagamibiraki genannt und gehört eigentlich zur Zeremonie an Neujahr. Ab und zu wird diese Zeremonie auch abgehalten, wenn man einen Neubau errichtet oder eine Hochzeit feiert. Nach der Öffnung der Fässer trinkt man zusammen Reiswein. Kagami bedeutet Friede und Biraki bedeutet Ewigkeit. Natürlich kann man auch in einer japanischen Kneipe (Izakaya) oder im Restaurant Reiswein trinken, zum Beispiel Gekkeikan oder Umeshu -Pflaumenwein. In Japan trinken wir normalerweise warmen Reiswein (Kan) und nur wenig kalten Reiswein (Hiya). Doch Achtung: In Japan darf man erst ab 20 Jahren Alkohl trinken. Viel Spaß und Prost bei Ihrem Besuch in Kyoto!

Information

Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum (月桂冠大倉記念館)

Adresse: Minamihama-cho 247, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto

Telefonnumer: +81-(0)75-623-2056

Öffnungszeit: 9:30~16:30

Geschlossen: Jahresanfang, Jahresende, Obon-Ferien (Mitte August)

Eintrittsgeld: Erwachsene 300 Yen inkl. Probierglas Reiswein (180ml)

Schüler (Mittel- und Oberstufe) 100 Yen inkl. Postkarte des Museums

Kinder und Grundschüler kostenlos

Verkehrsanbindung : 5-7 Minuten Fußweg von der Station Chushojima (Keihan Linie)

oder 10-15 Minuten Fußweg von der Station Momoyama Goryo-mae (Kintetsu Kyoto Linie).

URL: http://www.gekkeikan.co.jp/english/products/museum/index.html

Kyoto’s Top Sake Maker: Gekkeikan

by Yuria Shinya

Gekkeikan (月桂冠) is one of the most famous brands of sake, or rice wine, in Japan. The Gekkeikan brand is the result of a very long history; the Gekkeikan company has been brewing sake for more than 370 years in the southern part of Kyoto in area known as Fushimi.

Fushimi is an ideal place for sake brewing because of its natural environment. Appropriate temperatures and good-quality water are required to brew sake. In Fushimi, both of these important factors exist.

The city of Kyoto is set in a basin, surrounded by mountains on the north, east and west. These mountains keep Kyoto very chilly in wintertime. A cool temperature of around 5℃ is important to mature sake in a brewery. So cold winter temperatures created by Kyoto’s natural basin is why sake brewing became so deeply rooted here.

Photo 1. The Gokougu spring

Also, especially in Fushimi, there is a lot of high-quality groundwater that has been there since ancient times. One day in the Heian period (794-1185), rare and fragrant spring water started flowing out at a shrine in Fushimi. It was christened “Gokougu” (御香宮, see Photo 1.),by the Imperial Court. This water was soft and full of rich minerals. Sake made from this groundwater felt really smooth on the tongue.

 

 

Photo 2. Large casks

 

Sake used to be matured in huge wooden barrels (see Photo 2). Unfortunately, these are no longer used and sake fermentation is controlled by computers now.

 

 

 

 

 

Photo 3. Gekkeikan Sake Kobo

However, today it is still possible to see the casks and a traditional brewery, which was built in 1906, at the Gekkeikan Okura Kinenkan(月桂冠大倉記念館),which is where the Gekkeikan Memorial Hall is located. This brewery is named Gekkeikan Sake Kobo(月桂冠酒香房, see Photo 3). Here, we are able to see the process of sake– making throughout the year. At this brewery, 40 kiloliters of sake are brewed per year even now.

 

 

The Process of Making Sake

The traditional way of making sake is so complicated, however I will explain in a simple and concise way now.

STEP 1. Wash the rice

→ The grade of sake often depends upon the percentage of polished rice that is used. The rice grain husks are removed to make polished rice.

Casks for washing rice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STEP 2. Steam the rice

→The rice is steamed for around one hour.

Container for steaming

 

 

STEP 3. Making moromi (醪), the sake mash

→ Steamed rice, koji (rice mixed with the micro-organism aspergillus oryze), yeast, and water are put into barrels (see photo 2) and the mixture is allowed to ferment for 20~30 days. Koji  helps turn the rice starch into sugar content; yeast helps to turn the sugar content into alcohol.

STEP4. Squeezing the sake mash

Moromi is put in a bag and squeezed by a big press. From this process sake gains a smooth texture.

Tool for squeezing sake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STEP5. Fermenting the sake

→ The sake is then is fermented for one year or more.

 

 

Kinds of Sake

More than 50 kinds of sake are sold by Gekkeikan. Each of them tastes a little different. It is fun of to try many different kinds in order to find your favorite one. Below are two kinds of sake and one plum wine made by Gekkeikan. It is possible to sample these at the Gekkeikan Okura Kinenkan(月桂冠大倉記念館).

 

 Tamanoizumi Daiginjo NamaChozosyu(玉の泉 大吟醸生貯蔵酒)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daiginjo means top-quality sake brewed at low temperatures from rice grains milled to 50 percent of weight or less. It is a really fresh and fruity taste. It is better to drink it well chilled.

Ginjosyu (吟醸酒, 甘口/slightly sweet taste)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ginjo means high-quality sake brewed at low temperatures from rice grains milled to 60 percent of weight or less. This is a good, full-bodied sake. The label and shape of the light blue bottle in this picture is a retro design.

Plum wine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This wine, or umeshu in Japanese,  has a delicate taste and flavor of plum. Many plum wines are served as an apertif.

 

 

Access

The Gekkeikan Okura Kinenkan(月桂冠大倉記念館) is in Fushimi ward in southern Kyoto. It is a 5 to 7-minute walk from Chushojima Station on the Keihan Line. Or it is a 10 to 15-minute walk from Momoyama Goryo-mae Station on the Kintetsu Kyoto Line. >> Access Map

It is open from 9:30-4:30PM. And it is closed over New Year holidays and the O-Bon Festival  in mid-August.

Admission: Adults (¥300); Children ,aged 12-17 (¥100); Children, aged 0-11 (free).
Please make reservations in advance for group visits.

TEL+81-(0)75-623-2056

There are more detail information on this website. >>The Gekkeikan Okura Kinenkan(月桂冠大倉記念館)

 

 

 

Daigo-ji

by Kenta Nakashima, Aya Suzuki, and Rie Susuki

History

Daigo-ji is a very famous and important temple of the Shingon sect of Buddhism in Fushimi-ku, to the southeast of Kyoto City. It was made a world heritage site by UNESCO, due to its wealth of national treasures and its historic importance.

This temple was founded in 874 by a Buddhist monk named Shobo, who, upon his death became known as Rigen Daishi (Great Master of Holy Treasures.) Shobo worshipped a local god here at Kamidaigo Mountain, and the simple hermitage he constructed was later to grow into the complex of temples known as Daigo-ji. This expansion came through the patronage of the imperial family, and notably the Emperor Daigo, who in 930 entered the priesthood after sickness forced him to abdicate. A very pious man, he was buried in the temple grounds just a few hours after he entered the temple as a monk, having taken the name Hokongo. Subsequent emperors, Suzaku and Murakami, also supported the development and expansion of the complex, with most of the main buildings being built in the 10th century.
The temple complex at Daigo-ji is spread out over two levels. The Kami Daigo is the upper level, and the Shimo Daigo the lower level. The five-storey pagoda here is a national treasure, and the oldest surviving building in Kyoto Prefecture, being built in the year 951. Kondo, the main hall at Daigo-ji, was originally built in 904, but arsonists set fire to it, resulting in its destruction in 1295. The present building was actually relocated from Mangan-ji, another temple in Wakayama Prefecture, and reconstructed on this site. One other great attraction at this temple, along with Sanbo-in, is the exquisite small temple building Benten-do, which sits serenely above the pond here, casting a majestic reflection on the still waters.

Along with many other temples in Kyoto, Daigo-ji was heavily damaged during the Onin War period between 1467 and 1477. However, much later, Toyotomi Hideyoshi pledged tremendous financial support, as well as personal involvement, in restoring Daigo-ji to its former greatness.

Sanbo-in

Built in 1115 by Shokaku, Sanbo-in is located in the central part of the Daigo-ji complex, and is the place where generations of Buddhist monks have traditionally resided. In Sanbo-in, the architectural detail is generally arranged for a specific purpose. A very good example is the main drawing room, Omoteshoin, which overlooks the whole garden. The design and aspects of this room are typical of the style of the Momoyama and Heian periods, when Shinden-zukuri, or mansion style architecture, was first introduced. This Omoteshoin is specified as a national treasure. The garden of Sanbo-in is also the garden that Hideyoshi Toyotomi designed himself for the grand ‘Hanami of Daigo’, a legendary flower viewing party.

Highlights

Aoi no ma (The Aoi Room)

Kyoto has three major festivals; the Aoi Matsuri, the Gion Matsuri, and the Jidai Matsuri. Depictions of the Aoi Matsuri are represented in paintings in this room.

Akikusa no ma (The Akikusa Room)

Landscapes presenting scenes with good examples of foliage that typify and illustrate the season of fall adorn this room.

The Chokushi room (Chamber for Receiving Imperial Messengers)

Images of a bamboo forest with flowers and birds are painted on the sliding doors in this room. The paintings are Momoyama period pieces, and are said to be the work of the Hasegawa group.

Karamon (Chinese Gate)

This stunning entrance, built in the Momoyama period, was intended for use as an envoy gate, said only to be opened when a messenger from the Imperial Court arrived. The entire gate was decorated in black Japanese lacquer work, with four large gilded crests of chrysanthemum and paulownia in kinpaku (gold leaf.)

Kamo no sanseki

These are three rare shaped stones in front of the pond here, each offering a different representation or meaning. The left stone expresses ‘rapid flow’, the middle stone ‘still water’, and the right ‘interrupted flow’.

Okushinden

Okushinden was built at the beginning of the Edo period. In this room, there is a fine example of ‘Chigaidana’, or staggered shelves, named “Daigodana”. The Daigodana is considered one of the three major works of shelves in the whole country, along with the Kasumitana of the Shugakuin Imperial Villa, and the Katsuratana of the Katsura Imperial Villa.

omikuji (a written fortune telling)

Hideyoshi Toyotomi & Hanami (Flower Viewing)

The viewing of flowers is a traditional and time-honored event in Japan, and this temple is particularly famous for its cherry blossoms. So much so, that there is actually a well-known phrase, “Flower Viewing of Daigo” in Japan. In 1598, Hideyoshi Toyotomi held a monumental flower viewing party in this temple, which became known as the largest flower-viewing event in history. He personally designed and landscaped a special garden in the environs of Daigo-ji Temple for this affair, and reformed and rebuilt the temple on a larger scale to include it within Sanbo-in. In spring, many kinds of flowers bloom here, along with the approximately 700 cherry trees that were planted for the hanami spectacular, for example, varieties such as Kawazu-zakura, Shidare-zakura, Someiyoshino, Yama-zakura, Yae-zakura, Obeni-shidare, and Oyama-zakura. It is possible to see the blossoms of these trees from around the last ten days of March to the first ten days of April. It is said that Hideyoshi invited many people to the big event: his legal wife, noblemens’ concubines, 1300 ladies of the house, his son Hideyori, a high ranking feudal lord, Toshiie Maeda, and many more dignitaries. For this major occasion, the women changed clothes at least three times, and eight teahouses were constructed around the site to cater for guests. The women could also take a bath in some of the teahouses, if they so wished. Hideyoshi died five years after this, but he certainly added to his legacy with this party.

Today, an event to commemorate this is held on the second Tuesday of April each year. The main attraction is ‘The Grand Procession’ (hotaikou-hanami gyouretsu). Selected people dress up as famous historical figures, like Hideyoshi, etc, and march in this procession. However, you will not see any samurai in armor or with warrior’s helmets. Instead, they wear loud, party type clothing for viewing the flowers and blossoms. If you go along, you can enjoy both the procession and the gorgeous blossoms. It is truly a case of killing two birds with one stone.
Many events are held at this temple, and it is possible to witness and enjoy a variety of scenes throughout the four seasons. I’d like to seriously recommend you visit here and enjoy one of the very best traditional Japanese events, “Hanami.”

Information and Access

Address:22, Higashioji-cho, Daigo, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto City
Tel:(075) 571-0002
Open:9.00 am ~ 4.30 pm
Fee: Sanbo-in 600 yen
Reihokan 600 yen
Garan 600 yen
Access: Take the Tozai Line subway to Daigo Station, and then walk east for 10-15 minutes.
Map: http://www.daigoji.or.jp/e/info/map.html

Japanese sake

by Yumi Moriya

Japanese sake tells us much about Japanese history and culture. Kyoto is very famous for sake because Kyoto has very clear water, so there have been many sake companies since ancient times, especially in Fushimi in the south part of Kyoto. Learning about Japanese sake is a good way to know about Japanese food culture. Also recently many people have tried to revive “slow food” in Japan. Japanese dishes are very healthy, and they go with sake very well, and Japanese sake is good for our health too.

At first, Japanese sake has a long history in Kyoto. In ancient times in Japan, sake was used for festivals and parties, but chiefly it was for the Japanese gods because sake is recognized as a pure drink. Of course, the people also enjoyed drinking Japanese sake at festivals because they believed that it was the will of the gods to share food and drink with the gods at festivals.

Still now, in Kyoto, each festival often has sake, and people enjoy festivals even more by drinking.


In Kyoto, there are two shrines which are famous for Japanese sake. Matsuo-taisha and Umemiya-taisha are shrines located in the east of Kyoto near Arashiyama. At Matsuo-taisha there is a god, called “Ooyamano-kuino-kami,” who is also well-known as a god of thunder, water, and agriculture. Every year in April, Matsuo-taisha holds a thanksgiving festival for the god, called “Chu-yuu-sai.” People pray for a rich harvest and the success of sake in the year. On the other hand, at Umemiya-taisha, there are the gods of Japanese sake called “Ooyamano-tsumino-kami” and “Kamuadatsu-hime.” When you go to these shrines,

you will find many barrels of sake because many sake companies offer them as thanks to the gods every year. Recently Japanese sake has experienced a revival in Japan because of its effects on our health, so sake is in the spotlight now. It is said that sake is effective in helping high blood pressure and allergies and as a beauty treatment.
Sometimes, people add sake to the bath for their skin because it will help our skin stay moist and warm. Japanese sake is not only for drinking, but also for a healthy life.

As I said before, Fushimi is well-known as the place where much good sake is made. There are over 30 sake companies in Fushimi because the water suits the making of sake well. Especially, sake made in Fushimi is appreciated by many people because the taste is sweeter than other sake, so it is easy to drink.

This is because the water in Fushimi, considered some of the best water in Japan, contains potassium and calcium. What’s more the traditional way of making sake results in the perfect Japanese sake.


Now there are some museums of sake in Fushimi where we can enjoy tasting sake, and we can learn the history of Japanese sake. I am sure that you can have a good time there because you can experience history of sake in the raw.
At last, I hope that people from other countries come to know about Japanese sake and love it because Japanese people are proud of sake. I believe that Japanese sake cannot be outdone by any other sake. It will reveal to you the depth of its history and also the history of Kyoto. Please enjoy drinking sake with the nice view in Kyoto.