Japan Umeshu Festa｜全国梅酒祭り
Kitano Tenmangū shrine in northern Kyoto is famous for many things, and one of the most visually stunning is its vast plum grove. Ume (plum) designs show up in the shrine’s seal, on their tiles, and on their charms, and the real things can be purchased as dried umeboshi or as umeshu plum wine.
Recently, the shrine has even become the Kyoto host site of the Zenkoku Umeshu Matsuri (Japan Umeshu Festa)! Held over a three day period, this event brings together umeshu brewers from all over the country to offer samples of their products… And if you find a brand you like, then there’s bottles you can buy and take home!
The festival is designed to allow visitors to sample a wide variety of umeshu from several different categories beyond just traditional styles, including brew alcohol umeshu, brandy blend umeshu, nigori umeshu, citrus umeshu, and more!
Just 1,500 yen gets you a packet of sixteen “plum coins”, gold coins worth two and silver coins worth one, as well as a cup to use for tasting.
Each umeshu available is given a “price” according to how expensive it is, ranging in cost from one to five “plum coins,” so depending on your tastes you can sample up to sixteen different types of plum wine! The festival we visited had over 140 umeshu to choose from, and there’s water on hand to cleanse your cup between drinks, so put your palate to the test!
The festival offers not only umeshu, but also food and other drinks like umeshu beer, umeshu syrup drinks, umeshu ice cream, and dango (rice flour dumplings) are also available for purchase with either “plum coins” or cash. Before or after you enjoy the umeshu festival, don’t forget to explore the expansive shrine grounds and treasure hall!
And of course, have fun and drink responsibly!
Things to See/Do
Notice: the 2020 event was canceled to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
〒602-8386 京都府京都市 上京区馬喰町
- General Admission: Free
- Treasure Hall:
- General Admission: ¥300
- Junior High School, High School: ¥250
- Primary School: ¥150
- General Admission: 09:00 – 17:00 (07:00 – 21:00 on the 25th each month)
- Closed: No closing days