Things to do / Cultural/Entertainment

Sake Spring × Saga Omotenashi Festa

One of the busiest sightseeing areas in Kyoto is the Togetsu Bridge over the Katsura River. Visitors flock to the bridge to take in the beautiful view of the lush Arashiyama mountains. The tourist area also offers the beauty of a well-known bamboo grove.

If that sounds a bit "been there, done that," spice up the experience with some Japanese sake. On Dec. 14 and 15, the winter edition of the Sake Spring festival will be held near Saga Arashiyama Station, offering the opportunity to enjoy with a variety of sake.

During the two-day event, sake breweries based in Kyoto, as well as some from other prefectures, will offer the best of their brews. There will be around 30 brands of traditional rice wine, including atsukan (warm sake).

It's never a good idea to drink on an empty stomach so make sure to indulge in the dishes and snacks offered beforehand. In addition to typical Japanese festival food such as taiyaki (fish-shaped pancakes), takoyaki (octopus dumplings) and yakisoba (fried noodles), you can gobble down steamed pork buns, minestrone and Taiwanese beef noodles.

You can enjoy food and drinks with a set of vouchers that includes an o-choko (a small sake cup). Of course, remember to pace yourself to avoid waking up with a headache the next morning. (Yuki Yamauchi)