Transmission of Distinctive Culture

Cultures, Values, and Social Systems


Passing on the techniques

To maintain the fruit farming system in the Kyoto region, training systems for young people who want to become fruit farmers has been established and enhanced, and there is a thriving culture of self-directed learning through study groups formed by young farmers.

There is also an extensive range of activities aimed at promoting understanding of fruit farming among children, in whose hands the future of fruit farming lies, including hands-on learning in local elementary and junior high schools.

Traditional Culture Related to Agriculture and Wine


Rituals related to fruit production

In the Kyoto region, various agriculture-related festivals and events have been passed down from one generation to the next. These annual events have a distinctly agricultural character, ranging from preliminary rituals to pray for bountiful harvests through to harvest thanksgiving celebrations.

The Wisteria Cutting Festival at Daizenji Temple, where the Koshu grape is said to have originated, has been held continuously from the medieval period to the present day.

The Dosojin festivals are held in various places during the Little New Year (the first full moon of the new year) to pray for a bountiful harvests, and in the Kyoto region, people pray for bumper harvests of fruit in the coming year.

The Omiyuki Festival is said to have begun in 825, during the Heian period, as a ritual to pray for flood control, and is now held to play for plentiful water supplies, reflecting the low level of rainfall in the area.

Held in various places in the Kyoto region, the Sekison festivals are rooted in rain-making rituals.

Toriiyaki is held to pray for the eradication of harmful insects from grapes and other crops, and for a bountiful harvest that year. Although it used to be held as a ceremonial bonfire on the final night of O-Bon, it now takes place on the first Sunday of October in conjunction with the Katsunuma Grape Festival, a celebration of the grape harvest.


Distinctive wine culture

Winemaking began in the region in 1877 with the establishment of the wine company Dai-Nihon Yamanashi Budoshu. Two young men were sent to France, and began a full-scale winemaking operation after returning to Japan.

After that, more than a thousand individuals and groups began making and selling wine, which was known as “budoshu” in Japan. In addition to this, groups of producers established winemakers’ cooperatives (block winemaking), expanding the scale of winemaking operations. As a result, there are now more than 60 wineries of various sizes in the region, which has played an important role in the history of Japanese wine.