Food-heavy Hokkaido Festival latest event in Yoyogi Park

Have you ever been to Hokkaido? The latest event in Yoyogi means you might not need to… But you should.

In many ways, Hokkaido is different from the rest of the country. Vast and underpopulated, Japan’s largest prefecture is covered in rolling fields, high mountains and dairy farms. Hokkaido is considered to be Japan’s “last frontier” and there are still areas of wild, untamed nature. Not surprisingly, Hokkaido is also famous for its flavourful local food.

If you haven’t visited Hokkaido (or if you have and loved it), now is the chance to get a taste of the northern region’s food, as countless rows of aromatic stalls are awaiting you at the Hokkaido Festival. From the Yoyogi Park summer festival series, Hokkaido is a favourite of ours, and last year’s whopping 280,000 visitors may also agree.

Hokkaido is particularly well known for the freshness and high quality of the its seafood: crab, scallops, sea urchins, salmon roe, salmon, herring, flounder, cod, squid, octopus, shrimp, abalone, surf clams and kelp… oh my. The crab in particular is exceptional, and you can sample a few varieties at the Festival.

Other famous Hokkaido fare includes its mouthwatering ramen, ishikare-nabe (a hot pot in which chunks of salmon are stewed with vegetables, tofu and konnyaku in a miso broth), ‘Genghis Khan’ (barbecued mutton, named after the man who founded the Mongol Empire in the early 13th century because, apparently, of the Mongolian soldiers’ practice of stewing the meat in their helmets…), dairy produce (fresh milk, and creamy butter and cheeses), as well as its homegrown beer (Sapporo the most famous, of course!).

If all those flavours are not enough to convince you, there is also a pony on-site which kids can ride, as well as a few Hokkaido musical performers. Yet, if you love food, you should get there early and beat the crowds to get a bowl of crab soup.

Hokkaido Festival (see official website here, Japanese only)

When: Oct. 5-8, 10:00-18:00

Where: Yoyogi Park Event Space (see map)

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