Hasuzake wo Tanoshimu-kai｜ハス酒を楽しむ会
For those who are fans of historic temples and beautiful seasonal flowers, Mimuroto-ji in Uji City is a definite must. With a lovely hydrangea garden, a mountainside full of azaleas, and a water garden with 250 lotus pots, Mimuroto-ji is famous for its colorful blossoms and sees a lot of foot traffic in the warmer months. From early July to August the lotus flowers bloom in gorgeous shades of white and pink, and Mimuroto-ji has a wide variety of rare lotus breeds represented. Lotus flowers have long been associated with purity, beauty, and Buddhism, and it's said that where the Buddha Siddhārtha walked lotus flowers sprung up from his footsteps.
Not only does Mimuroto-ji offer expansive gardens, they also provide alcohol if you plan your trip right! In mid-July, Mimuroto-ji hosts the Hasuzake wo Tanoshimu-kai, or "Meeting to Enjoy Lotus Sake". Tradition says that drinking from a lotus leaf stem is good for health and long life, so in that hope up to three hundred people can be served their sake lotus-style. A large lotus leaf is used as a cup, and it can be lifted up to extend the stem, which serves as a straw. Even if you aren't the biggest fan of alcohol, this event certainly makes for a great new experience!
Things to See/Do
July 13th: Meeting to Enjoy Lotus Sake, 09:00 – 12:00
- General Admission: ¥500
- Primary School: ¥300
- General Admission: 08:30 – 16:30 (April – October), 08:30 – 16:00 (November – March) (last admission 30 minutes prior to closing)
- Closed: December 29th, 30th, and 31st