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Kin Kannon Temple

Kin Kannon Temple, Kin Cho, Okinawa

Kin Kannon Temple is one of the most famous temples in Okinawa. According to legend Nisshu, a Japanese Buddhist priest was returning home from China in 1522. A typhoon hit his ship and he was rescued by villagers from Kin. During his stay he carved statues of Buddha, Yakushi (The God of Medicine), and Kannon (The God of Mercy). This is said to be the origin of the temple. He also heard tales of large snakes living in the limestone caves and offered prayers for the villagers to kill them.

Kin Distillery in the town Kin is producing Tatsu Awamori, an Okinawan specialty. Tatsu is the brand name and means Dragon, awamori is the name for rice liquor. While sake is produced from rice by a brewing process, awamori is destilled. Its like beer and whisky, just with rice as the source of starch. The destillery is owned by the master distiller Hisato Okuma.

The specialty Tatsu Awamori is, that it is stored for years inside Kin Shonyudo, a natural limestone cave on the premises of Kin Kannon Temple. Bottles filled with 1.8 liters 43% proof liquor are aged at the perfect temperature of 17 to 19°C. They are first sold for JPY 10,000 per bottle for five years storage or JPY 20,000 for twelve years, then tagged with the owner's name and the date they were put into the store. The owners return to get the bottles when the occasion they were intended for arrives, or it is send to them at the end of the storage. At the moment about 9,000 bottles are stored in a huge wooden underground storage.

The temple is the only one on island that did not get bombed to smithereens during the Battle of Okinawa so it's really quite old. This temple is dedicated to the Goddess Kannon who is the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy.

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Date Time : 2011:03:07 16:08:25

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