Seek Spiritual Guidance Whilst Sipping Sake

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FOOD: Seek Spiritual Guidance Whilst Sipping Sake

A new trend in Japan sees monks leaving their
temples in favour of serving drinks behind the bar, in a bid to reconnect with
the local community. Identifying a problem with the younger generation no
longer seeking advice at the local temple, but rather heading to the bar
instead, a number of forward-thinking monks have opened their own drinking
holes with a view to offering spiritual advice, washed down with a glass of
sake. Here are two of the best.

There aren’t many places you’ll find a Buddhist
altar side by side with a fully-stocked bar, but tucked away down a quiet side
street beside Kyoto’s Honnoji Temple, Kyoto Monk Bar offers both worship and
whisky. Run by practicing monk Haneda-san, Monk Bar actively welcomes patrons
from all walks of life to join in spiritual debate whilst knocking back one of
over 300 varieties of whisky.

Kyoto Monk Bar: 526, yamadacho, Nakagyo-Ku, Kyoto-Shi

Similarly, in Tokyo’s Nakano Ward, Vow’s Bar
attracts visitors from across Japan, keen to discuss the bigger picture with a
team of monks and nuns who moonlight as bartenders after hours. A full cocktail
menu inspired by Buddhist teachings welcomes guests, and those in luck will
time their visit with the opportunity to sip their cocktail with the master –
Shaku Genko-san.

Vow’s bar: World Building, 2F, 5-55-6 Nakano, Nakano-Ku, Tokyo

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