Sake Matsuri

You may heard about Oktoberfest, which is one of the biggest event in Germany. In a country like Japan, whose people love sake and beer so much, they also have Sake Festival in many places, where you can find many kind of beer, Japanse sake, shochu etc and also local food. The one I went this year was held in Saijo,Higashi-hiroshima. Saijo is a sake town because there many breweries here.

A cute mobile coffee vendor

This vending machine seems like it's selling Japanese tea, but it's actually soup stock (called Dashi in Japanese) which could be used as the base for many food like udon, oden, steamboat etc

It's cool to see the bartender shaking the cocktail on the street in the noon time.

 The name on the chimney represents the brand of each brewery. So, just follow the chimney, you will find sake.

People were queuing for sake tasting.

If you found that the sake is suitable for you, you can purchase them on the spot. And, usually each brewery release limited edition of sake during the sake matsuri, that means you can only get them here.

See! another chimney.

Apart from sake, you could find many street food too, which could be the best companion for your sake.

One of the must-eat food is Bishunabe (美酒鍋). They usually stir fry the chicken and vegetable, add in the sake simmering for a while and seasoning with pepper and salt. It's simple and very nice, i think it's suitable for children too because the sake is not strong and it will evaporate during the cooking process.

For those who love tomato, may be you can try this. It's mixture of tomato juice and sweet sake (甘酒).

The mascot

 Aside from sake, you also can find some foreign alcohol like the German beer, sparkling wine etc

 It's time to go to the sake square ( 酒広場)after filling our stomach a bit.

Only people above 20 year-old allowed to go into the sake square. The ticket costs 2000 yen and drink all you can, it's cheaper if you buy the ticket beforehand.

Everyone is given a " sake handbook" and a small cup.

The origin, sake name, alcohol concentration, description of each sake are all printed in the sake handbook.

To order your sake, you just need to go to the booth based on the origins of the sake you want and tell them the number of the sake.

If you don't see the number of your sake hanging there, that means the sake is 'sold-out' (unavailable)

You can stay in there until it ends but once you exit the sake square you cannot get in again anymore unless you buy another ticket. 

At the end of the matsuri, I saw quite a number of drunk men sleeping on the street or bother people on the street, which was the unpleasant part of the day. But overall, it's enjoyable and fun to go sake matsuri with your friends or your family. 


Lee Ming

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