Sugidama (cedar ball)

Photos | Images of Japan: Sugidama (cedar ball) outside Sake brewery, Yunotsu, Shimane, Japan

A sugidama (杉玉) or cedar ball is the recognized symbol of a Japanese sake brewery. The sugidama was originally put outside the brewery when new sake was brewed and the green leaves would gradually turn brown, thus showing the age of the sake on sale. Once opened, a bottle of Japanese sake should be drunk within a month.

Sugidama (cedar ball) outside Sake brewery, Yunotsu, Shimane, Japan.
Jake Davies

Japan Images: Sugidama (cedar ball) outside Sake Brewery Yunotsu Shimane