Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fushimi: The Sake Capital of Kyoto

This past weekend I traveled to Fushimi located just south of central Kyoto to attend the 220th birthday of the Matsumoto Sake Brewery.

As part of the day's festivities, my very good friend and samurai extraordinaire, Joe Okada (see pictures above), gave the attendees a good dose of entertainment by showing off his sword wielding skills by cutting everything from a Japanese radish to apples to bamboo with the assistance of some daring onlookers.

After enjoying a perfect spring afternoon with Japanese sake and swords (of course the norm!), I said "sayonara" to the Matsumoto Sake Brewery and walked about 15 minutes to arrive at another Fushimi treasure, the Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum for a look back at the history and tasting of more sake.  

Just to put things in perspective, the Nada area of Kobe, which is one of the most famous places in Japan for brewing sake, started its operations in 1899.  Now Gekkeikan on the other hand in Fushimi has been involved in the manufacturing of sake since 1637.  With almost 375 years of experience under its belt, it should be safe to say that Fushimi knows sake.

For those wanting to get away from the crowds and frequented tourist destinations within central Kyoto, I highly suggest stopping by Fushimi to experience another side of Kyoto without all the hustle and bustle.