In April 2016, a strong earthquake hit Kumamoto (熊本), Japan, killing at least 50 people and displacing many residents to temporary homes. One of the places that suffered a serious damage was the Kumamoto Castle (熊本城), which is considered as one of the three premier castles in the country. Even its distinctive stone walls collapsed into many pieces.
With the anniversary of the earthquake fast approaching, Sapporo (サッポロ) will be releasing a special edition beer that will help the castle with its recovery. Check it out below!
The earthquake that happened on April 14 and 16 of 2016 was a reminder that Japan is lying on an active fault line. It affected two major prefectures, Kumamoto and Oita (大分). Besides affecting Aso Shrine (阿蘇神社), it severely damaged Kumamoto Castle. Artisans think that it will take decades to rebuild the castle, but they are determined to complete the restoration at any cost. Many of the damaged properties are regarded as state-designated cultural assets, which were made with special techniques.
The key to the successful restoration of the castle is the experience of the artisans who will work on it; just one mistake will make it impossible to restore the walls. The repair work will seem like putting huge pieces of jigsaw puzzles together. It is also said that restoring the collapsed stone walls will mean dismantling immovable buildings, thus inevitably further damaging the original feel of the place.
Many efforts have already been made to financially support the reconstruction of the Kumamoto Castle, including a 3-billion yen donation from the Nippon Foundation (日本財団). Despite these, however, a bigger cost still needs to be covered. A long period of time is necessary for the total recovery, thus making it important to use the restoration process to attract tourists.
To continue supporting the recovery of the castle, Sapporo Beer will be releasing a special edition beer aimed at funding the castle’s restoration called “Sapporo Draft Beer Black Label 「Kumamoto Castle Reconstruction Assistance Can」(サッポロ生ビール黒ラベル「熊本城復興応援缶」)”. Surely, you’ll be able to identify the beer can immediately with the picture of the Kumamoto Castle and cherry blossoms blooming gorgeously against the blue sky on its label.
An amount of 10 yen will be given to the fundraising activity for each can of Sapporo Black Label sold. For a limited run from March 22, 2017, you can find this beer in the following prefectures of the Kyushu region: Saga (佐賀), Fukuoka (福岡), Kumamoto, Oita, Nagasaki (長崎), Kagoshima (鹿児島), Miyazaki (宮崎), and Okinawa (沖縄); all of which are are excellent areas for travel, especially during the spring season. Having a beer can in your hand will add up to that refreshing feel whilst traveling. Just imagine visiting Kumamoto Castle a couple of years from now when it is finally fully recovered – you’ll surely thank yourself for doing a favor.
If you’ll be traveling in Japan this spring 2017, make sure to visit the aforementioned areas where you can buy the special edition beer cans. Not only will you enjoy the cherry blossom trees in their full bloom, but you will also be supporting one of the country’s cultural assets. It is a perfect time to enjoy a can of beer with your family and friends while helping the nation’s efforts!