Encounter the history and culture that lie behind the Sake that the Japanese dedicate to the gods, visiting places such as a shrine where local Sakes are offered up as well as one of the few Zen temples in Japan that has all seven of the buildings required for a major Buddhist temple.

Shinkai Sansha Shrine

This shrine is said to have been the soja shrine for Sake and for the 3 manor estates and 36 villages of Saku, and the people’s ancestors who developed the Saku region are worshiped as deities here. They are also worshiped as gods of war, so an oral tradition exists concerning Minamoto no Yoritomo and the shrine, and there is also still in existence a prayer for victory in battle written by Takeda Shingen. The shrine has strong ties to local Sake brewing, and the Saku Sake Brewers’ Association has placed Sake barrels to decorate the shrine grounds in the hope that this will help Sake brewing to flourish in the area.

Miyashiro-2394 Taguchi, Saku, Nagano 384-0412

Shinkai Sansha Shrine


Founded in 1521, this old Soto Zen temple has all seven of the buildings required for a major temple. Whether what you are looking for is the austere ambience of a zazen hall, or a three-storied pagoda set off by brilliant autumn foliage, or the green of moss in early summer, this temple is a place where you can calm your heart amid the beauty of the seasons.

1380-1 Maeyama, Saku, Nagano 385-0046