Picture a trip to Japan, and one of the things that will surely cross your mind is sake. Besides being a tasty beverage with a wide variety of flavors, sake is also an essential part of Japanese culture. Shimane is actually said to be the place where sake originated. It appears in the Izumo myths recorded in the Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters), the oldest historical record in Japan.
Saka Shrine, which enshrines the god of sake brewing, is located in the Hirata area of Izumo, and every year, on October 13th, sake brewers from around the country gather there to pray for successful, delicious batches of their product. Even the gods are said to enjoy sake while they feast at Mankusen Shrine after gathering for their yearly meeting at Izumo Taisha. In these ways, sake has a very close connection to life and history here in Shimane, and there are many kinds to enjoy on a visit to San’in.