Apr. 22, 2021 UPDATE
Story & Recommendation
God of sake breweries spiritually supports the people of Japan
At the far west end of Shijo dori is one of the oldest shrines in Kyoto, Matsunoo Grand Shrine, or as locals call it "Matsuo-san." Many locals, visitors, and business people visit the shrine to pray. Known as a place to worship for the success of sake production, the shrine is visited often by sake producers and locals for the spiritual support the shrine provides. There is a section of the shrine in the parking area where people can pray for cars and safety on the road. People pray for happiness, health, and prosperity at several alters inside the shrine. Couples have Japanese style weddings at this shrine and they offer several different wedding plans. Beautiful gardens and the surrounding scenery of nature give visitors a peaceful moment where they can forget about any worries they may have.
There are several tortoise statues in Matsunoo Grand Shrine. That is because tortoises are the messaging symbol of Matsunoo Grand Shrine’s gods, connoting longevity. The pureness of the surrounding water attracted many sake brewers and miso makers and to this day, sake brewers pray at this shrine for good production. When you see the tortoise statues, pet them for good luck!
The beautiful sounds of the water falling and the surrounding greenery from the mountain gives the area around the Reiki-no-taki waterfall a very spiritual atmosphere. The water streams down from Mount Matsuo in moderate amounts and at the right moment, flowers from the surrounding trees can be seen beautifully falling down. A well with spring water is named 'Kamenoi', and it is located near the water fall. The purity of this water attracts all types of people. Many sake brewers and miso makers used this water in the past as the foundation of their products.
Visit the Gardens
The gardens are finely maintained and incredible to observe! The three gardens inside Matsunoo Grand Shrine were built around 1975 to represent the past eras: Ancient Japan, Heian period (794 1185), and Kamakura period (1185-1333). After passing through the Kyokusui-no-niwa, make sure to stop by the Shinzo-kan, a room with a collection of ancient artifacts from the years 863 to 1200. It costs to enter the garden and museum, so make sure to stop by the reception counter before entering.
Pet the Lucky Tortoise for Good Luck
Pray for luck by petting the statue of this turtle. There is also a statue of twin fish as well. Note that the box is for inserting coins. Before making your prayer, put a coin (A 5 yen coin recommended as it symbolizes go-en or fate), then pet the statue, put your hands together and make your prayer.
- Manner & Tips -
To view the gardens of Matsunoo Grand Shrine, visit the garden reception desk (庭園受付) and pay the entrance fee.