Experience two unique aspects of Japanese culture as you visit one of Kyoto’s most notable shrines, then learn about its thriving sake culture and taste a few samples of your own. This combination visit to Fushimi Inari Shrine and sake experience is a great introduction to some of Japan’s most unique cultural practices.
Start your excursion by meeting your guide at JR Kyoto station in the morning, boarding a commuter train for a quick 5-minute ride to Inari station. This quaint village, just a few short miles from Kyoto, feels worlds away from the big city.
Walk from Inari station with your guide to the area’s iconic Fushimi Inari Shrine, situated on the hills of Mount Inari. Originally a religious site dedicated to the deity of rice, today the shrine is considered a fortuitous location to seek blessings for prosperity. Many people that have their wishes grant dedicated a torii at the site as a show of thanks. Pass through the pathway leading up to the shrine, walking beneath the thousands of bright red torii covering the trail. This eye-catching sight is a favorite shooting location for TV and film crews.
After a 15-minute exploration of the shrine, head back 15 minutes by train to the Gekkeikan Sake Brewery, founded in Kyoto in 1637, to get a crash-course in the production and history of this beloved beverage, a drink that you’ll often find at Japanese celebrations and festivals.
Check out the Brewery’s museum, providing an introduction to the history of the drink, and then see the tools and ingredients used to make sake, the components of which typically include water, yeast, malt and steamed rice. Before you leave the museum stop to enjoy a sampling of 3 varieties. Then take a short walk to a local specialty shop, selling more than 80 different kinds, as you experience a special tasting session with the shop’s owner.
Take a few minutes to browse the nearby shopping arcade before returning by train to Kyoto station, where you finish your excursion. 宜しくお願い致します。