Locality Series- Higashi Honganji Project beer "Higashiru" 1

Our Locality Series is one where we don't make a large number of products, but we like to think that each has a significant relevance, being our series that focuses on our city, Kyoto.

This time around, the project didn't come from our proposal, but from an invitation to be a part of a project, the Ohigashisan Monzen Mirai Project, focusing on the renovation of the area in front of Higashihonganji, the temple a little north of Kyoto station, that houses one of the largest wooden structures in the world.

"Ohigashisan" is the affectionate name for the temple, and this project is largely focused on maintaining its future, but more than that it is about maintaining a connection to the local community, and providing support and a place that can benefit those around. In order to make this project have teeth, they decided to collaborate with various local organisations and companies, and we were honoured to be invited to be one of those.

What appealed to us about this project when we were invited was the idea of it. Japanese major cities aren't exactly rich with green spaces, and Kyoto can be included in this, despite being surrounded by mountains, and having two rivers running through it. The idea of tarmac being torn up in favour of a green space that the community can use appealed too much to turn down and so we got excited about what we could make as a part of the project.

One thing that has really been good about the project has been making connections with others in the local community, and this included being introduced to the gardeners of Shoseien. With all the work being put into creating this green space, it felt fitting to focus on making a beer that would be just what the gardeners would want to enjoy at the end of the day.

We'll share more in a subsequent blog next Thursday about the naming and the beer's concept.