Suntory Kyoto Brewery's Bamboo Goods9 April 2014 - Business/Company
The Suntory Kyoto Brewery in Choshi, Nagaokakyo City, Kyoto Prefecture, has deep links with the city's forest preservation, and original bamboo goods made by a local bamboo craft company, such as coasters and chopstick rests, have gone on sale in the visitors' shop. With designs based on barley, yeast and the forest's goodness, these touches incorporating the characteristics of cedar and bamboo from Nishiyama are growing in popularity.
According to Suntory, of all their beer manufacturing bases nationwide, the only one to produce goods of its own accord with the local area is the Kyoto Brewery.
Wooden coasters, which sell for \530 including tax, are produced using cedar and Japanese cypress from Nishiyama, and each one has a different texture of grain to it. The bamboo chopstick rests and magnets are 420 yen including tax apiece, and each one is an example of subtle form, made using fine craftsmanship and workman's techniques.
In addition to water and forests, which symbolize the natural water essential for the beer production, hops, barley and yeast, which are also related to beer, have been turned into simple, abstract designs for each product. As both mementos of the factory and souvenirs of the locality, the designs for hops and barley seem to be becoming very popular with visitors.
The goods are made at Takano Chikko, Co. Ltd., in Shoryuji, Nagaokakyo City. The company also makes furniture for the Kyoto State Guest House, as well as taking care of decorations made of bamboo for stations and cinemas, not to mention that specialty craftsmen using high-level techniques also make tea ceremony implements, vases and interior trappings. "We concurred with Suntory's idea of strengthening ties with our area." said a Takano Chikko spokesperson.
Suntory Holdings has a land utilization contract with the Nagaokakyo City forestry cooperative, and is maintaining the Okukaiinji forest as a natural water forest. A forestry promotion organization in Nishiyama run by the local government and volunteers is also involved. Kyoto Brewery's products use local ground water.(translated by Galileo, Inc.)