If you visit the traditional areas in Japan, you will see that in front of some shops there are some unusual, pretty big globes.

These globes are called sugidama(杉玉)or sakabayashi and they are made of fresh leaves of cedar trees.Traditionally, a new, green sugidama was hung in front of sake shops when a new lot of sake was made. When the sugidama turns brown, it shows that the sake has aged enough and it’s ready to be savored.

These days sugidama is used to point out a traditional sake shop.