Nishinomiya is part of an area referred to as "Nada-Gogo(5areas of Nada)". In Nishinomiya, Nishinomiya-go and Imazu-go are two of the five brewery groups that make up the Nada-Gogo area. This area is widely known as a sake product district specializing in brewing of the "Raw Spirit of Nada". The history of sake brewing in Nishinomiya is quite long, and the "delicious sake of Nishinomiya" had been well-known as far back as the Muromachi era.
In the mid-Edo era, Nada's sake had become famous due to the increased frequency of transportation by sea to the town of Edo. Because of the advantage of Nada's location, which was along the coast, it was easy to load up a lot of sake in the "tarukaisen-ship" and send it to the town of Edo.
After that, discovery of "Miyamizu (sacred water)" had a great influence on brewing good sake. When this water was used for sake brewing, the quality of the sake became significantly improved, and the popularity of Nishinomiya sake came to be unshakable.
The event of "Nishinomiya Sakagura Renaissance and Food-Fair" has been held since 1997 to provide people a chance to enjoy Nishinomiya's sake and food.
Najio Washi (Japanese Paper)
Najio Washi is produced through a unique methodology that uses Ganpi (a kind of shrub) and very local fine mud in the process. Its characteristics are resistant to sunburn and fire, stays spot-free and pest-free, and can be preserved for long period of time. It has a special texture and gloss due to the loaded fine mud.
For this reason, it was valued as practical and beautiful for Fusuma doors or as paper for a clan note and its production flourished in the "thousand houses of Najio" in the Edo era. Currently, it is used for repairing cultural property or making gold leaf craftwork. It is appointed as an intangible cultural heritage of Hyogo Prefecture.
There are 2 kinds of candles, the Japanese candle and the western candle. The Japanese candle has a long history: they say it was imported from China along with Buddhism, but its popularity started decreasing in the Meiji era with the onset of competition from the mass production of western candles and the spread of electric lights.
As there are not so many specialty shops all over the country, here in Nishinomiya there is a Japanese candle store where a craft worker is making candles by hand with the "Shojokigake skill", one by one. It is a Traditional Craft Industry in Hyogo Prefecture.