The origin of Kumano pilgrimage dates back to the Heian Period. The proverb "Ise e nana-tabi, Kumano e mitabi" (Seven times to Ise, three times to Kumano) characterizes a great zeal for making pilgrimage. Retired emperors and aristocrats, as well as ordinary people in the Edo Period, headed to the sacred places in Kumano. Round trip from the old capital Kyoto to Kumano took about a month. The look of peoples' walking in rows was called "Kumano pilgrimage by ants". It is said that chaya (teahouses) dotting along the ancient roads served sake and mochi (rice cakes) to visitors to Kumano. The trails have led numerous people who wish rebirth of their soul to the sacred place which is believed to realize reincarnation. In 2004, Kumano Kodo was registered to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites as "Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range" with its culture of prayer passed down until now being highly evaluated.
Suzumon has its roots in Kumano-Suzuki families, who worked as priests for Kumano Hongu Taisha shrine for generations. Descended from the family, Suzumon had already begun brewing in 1830's in Kumano, according to a record. Brewing Sake has been regarded as holy work since ancient times. It is said that gods drink Sake first and human next. People found Sake essential for shrine rituals to take the spiritual power of nature in their body. Our brewing has grown with the spiritual culture of Kumano. The reason why we named our leading brand "Kumano Kodo" lies in our hope to help you feel the unending ages that gods and people have lived together here. We will continue to make our history while conserving the traditional taste of Sake that has been cherished in Kumano.
Kii mountains are among the highest rainfall areas in Japan, and therefore there are a lot of fine water sources including Nonaka-no-shimizu pure water, one of the selected one hundred exquisite waters of Japan. We are proud to use quality underflow water in Kumano and Yamada Nishiki, widely considered the best rice for Sake brewing, as ingredients. The Sake is given a delicious and rich flavor the rice originally has, and you can feel a mellow texture with overall sharp dryness. We wish you will enjoy the taste, made possible by the vital energy of Kumano.