11th Annual Tsuchiura Curry Festival

When: November 15-16, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kawaguchi Exercise Park Athletic Field, Tsuchiura

20141115 Tsuchiura Curry Festival

Tsuchiura’s connection with cheap and delicious curry goes back over 80 years. In 1929, when the German airship Count Zeppelin was flying around the world, it visited Tsuchiura. According to the ship’s log, the crew were welcomed to the city with curry made entirely from local ingredients.

At the Tsuchiura Curry Festival you can sample curry from all over Japan –  there will be stalls from Furano City in Hokkaido, Yokosuka City in Kanagawa, Omachi City in Nagano, Kitakyushu City in Fukuoka, and many more. Of course, you can also try a variety of Tsuchiura Curry made from locally grown ingredients. You can’t have Tsuchiura Curry without lotus root, and during the festival there will also be a Lotus Root Cuisine Fest, a Yuruchara Festival, and many more events to enjoy while you eat the delicious curry on offer. Be sure to come with an empty stomach, because you certainly won’t be leaving with one!

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Kanto’s Biggest Nabe! Yamagatajuku Imoni Party!

When: November 15, 10am – 3pm (Rain date: November 16)
Where: Seiryuu Koen, Yamagata (Hitachiomiya-shi, Yamagata 530)

Imoni is a thick meat and potato soup commonly eaten outdoors in autumn. At the Yamagatajuku Imoni Party, 5000 servings of imoni will be made at once in a giant, 3.5m diameter nabe (cooking pot). This delicious Imoni will be made with local ingredients such as Okukuji shamo, taro, tamakonnyaku, scallions, and burdock root.

You can enjoy a bowl of imoni for 300 yen, or purchase a spot in the Imoni Tea House and enjoy the beautiful autumn leaves and a variety of local cuisine, including imoni, ayu no shioyaki (salted and fried sweetfish), gomoku gohan (five ingredients cooked with rice), potato skewers, Hitachi Aki Soba (famous buckwheat noodles from the Hitachi region), and local sake. You can purchase tickets on the day for 3000 yen. Seating is limited to 200 people though, so get in fast!

There will also be a raffle, and potato skewers and local products on sale. Don’t miss out on being a part of this unique event!

Seiryuu Koen is a five minute walk from Yamagatajuku Station on the Suigun line, and a 40 minute drive on National Highway 118 from the Joban Expressway Naka Interchange.

Daigo Light – Light and Sound Festival

When: November 1 – February 15
Where: Fukuroda Falls and other locations around Daigo

Starting November 1 and continuing on weekends and holidays* until February 15, Fukuroda Falls will be transformed into a mystical space by the skills of highly acclaimed lighting technicians HIKARI ASOBI CLUB and DJ/Photographer Hiroshi Watanabe, who will be in charge of music. This year’s theme is ‘the four seasons’. The illuminations will commence at sundown and finish around 8pm, except on New Year’s Eve, when the event will continue until 2am. Parking is available on site for a fee and is limited to 900 vehicles. Be careful of ice on the road during the colder months.

Furthermore, a number of other locations around Daigo will be illuminated throughout autumn and winter from sundown until 9pm. The Okukuji Daigo Service Area will light up the sky with a ‘Daigo Dragon’. Yu no Sato Park will be transformed into spring with LED flowers putting the cherry blossom trees in full bloom. Hitachi Daigo Station will welcome visitors with warm yellow lights decorating the building.

*Between December 23rd and January 4th the falls will be illuminated every night

11th Annual Red Brick Lights and Gingko Festival

When: November 8-9, 12-8pm
Where: Area around the Former Machiya Hendensho (Townhouse Substation)
(Hitachiota-shi Nishigoutoshimo-cho 1382-1)

20141108 11th Annual Red Brick Lights and Gingko Festival

Head down to the Machiya Hendensho in Hitachiota to see it and the surrounding area lit up by a hundreds of beautiful lights and lanterns and enjoy exciting stage performances and exhibitions throughout the weekend. Don’t forget to sample the delicious food from the stalls in the festival square!

The Machiya Hendensho was once a working substation linked to the Hitachi Mine, which was once one of Japan’s four major copper mines. It was the transformer substation of a hydroelectric power plant built for the Hitachi Mine in January 1909. The mine was closed and the buildings around it were torn down, but the Machiya Hendensho alone remains as a valuable historical building. As most buildings without a use were torn down, it is a miracle that this remnant from 1909 is still standing. Don’t miss your chance to see this historical building glow!

Parking is available on site and nearby. See here for a map of the venue.

Stage Schedule

Saturday
2:00 Aina Hula Aloha Group
2:30 BErgamot Velmail Sole
4:00 Tokai High School East Ocean Jazz Orchestra
5:00 Aina Hula Aloha Group

Sunday
2:00 Kids Hip Hop Dance (BIG MINI and CHOCOLACHIP)
2:30 Ocarina Nishiyama
3:00 Uno Yoriyuki and the Suifu All Stars
3:45 Satomi Taiko Group
4:15 Banjo Doji
4:45 Araki Group

23rd Annual Okukuji Daigo Festival

When: November 9th, 9am – 3:30pm
Where: Daigo Town Hall parking lot and other areas around town

20141109 Daigo Festival

Daigo is one of Ibaraki’s most picturesque towns, and there is no better time of year to visit than autumn, when the colours of the changing leaves paint the town red. Head down to the Okukuji Daigo Festival and enjoy Daigo’s delicious local cuisine against this brilliant seasonal backdrop! Baked Okukuji Shamo (a type of game fowl) rice bowls and prize-winning Ryugasaki Croquettes are just a couple of the sumptuous foods you can try at the festival. There will be a Yosakoi dance performance on the street in front of Daigo Station (Daigo eki mae doori), an Ibaliger show, and you can even try riding a Segway!