Saturday, June 5, 2010
Kyoto, Tama no Hikari, and The Festival of Ume Flower Blooms
My last visit to Kyoto, this February as part of my tour of sake breweries throughout Japan, started off with a visit to a storied and unique brewer, Tama no Hikari. They are located in the historic Fushimi district, with a centuries old tradition of sake making. Additionally, they are a nearly 350 year old company. Unfortunately, as my guests told me, they had to move from their home in Wakayama prefecture to Kyoto after WWII due to bomb damage to their original brewery.
Following this wonderful visit, concluded with trying several brands as yet unavailable in the US (but soon to be at Nombe anyway), I quickly set out to visit Kinkakuji, better known as The Golden Temple.
Though I've seen it several times before, to see its beauty and imposition up close is always mesmerizing and inspiring. Visions like these, or seeing Mount Fuji in its glory, make me long to be in Japan. The balance of beauty with mechanization, antiquity with modernity is a site that everyone should drink in once in a lifetime.
In looking for something fun to do for the evening, I consulted my cab driver, who told me that the annual Festival of Ume Flowr Blossoms was taking place at another nearby temple.