A round ball hung down may look like a big honeycomb but it is actually Sugitama a traditional symbol of a sake brewery, also called Sakebayashi.
The brewers used to gather branches of sacred cedar and made a ball by combining and trimming and hung it under the eaves to notify that a new sake was produced.
Sugitama originated from Miwa Shinto shrine in Nara.
Mt. Miwa and cedar trees there were worshiped as the god of sake. Soft cedar has long been used for making buckets, barrels and measuring containers called masu for sake.
The fresh green color of the ball when sake was newly made gradually changes into brown signifying the matured sake.
Be sure to check the changing color of the Sugitama to see how matured sake is.
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