A warning, this post is not recommended for vegetarians or vegans.
Japan is well known for it's love of festivals. You have everything from festivals where sumo wrestlers make babies cry to log riding festivals where people sometimes get killed (that one only happens ever 7 years so you might have to wait for a post on that one) to festivals where a naked man runs the gauntlet of a throng of people who believe it gives them good luck for the rest of the year if they touch him to penis festivals in Kawasaki (that one was a couple of months ago so you might have to wait until next year for a post on that). If you can think it, Japan has a festival for it! Last year I went to a couple of the more traditional festivals, the Kawagoe festival and the Oeshiki festival. I decided to go this year to a festival for the taste buds. Nikufes (Meat festival).
Each year in Tokyo at the beginning of May they have Nikufes (http://nikufes.jp/ website is in Japanese only, but then language doesn't matter when the website has so many delicious pictures!), a festival of meat in a few different locations. I went along to the one held in Komazawa park with a couple of friends. It was my first visit to Komazawa park which is a huge park near Komazawa Daigaku station on the Denentoshi line, not far from Shibuya. Komazawa park is home to some of the facilities that were built for the 1964 Olympic games (and are still being used to this day). Festivals like this are always popular, and more crowded than a Tokyo train at peak hour. We therefore decided to go along at a later time and we arrived at 5pm, a little dismayed to find so many people still there!
Oh, well, meat awaited so we pushed our way in and started searching for our first target. We were a group of three so we got a collection of dishes and shared so that we could spread the love and try as many dishes as possible.
As one of us lined up to go for the Brazilian...........barbecue (on the left)
I lined up next to that to try the fried chicken.
The fried chicken (from Oita) was nice, but a little dry (I guess it is difficult to make it perfect every time when you are catering for hundreds of thousands of people).
The Churrasco was great, the bacon nice and smokey and juicy!
We sat around for a few minutes deciding our next plan of attack and my friends went for a beautifully juicy and tender hamburg (meat pattie).
I went for an aged beef skewer dish as my next selection.
This was a beautiful dish, the aged steak had a firm yet tender texture and had that amazing flavour that Japanese marble beef has.
The crowds had started to dissipate slightly (although it is difficult to tell from this picture.....)
as had our hunger pangs so we decided to go for something a little more refreshing,
a selection of craft beers and sake from Osaka. Perfect!
Next up was another juicy hamburg and a couple of wonderfully smokey Frankfurters
while my friends went for some melt in your mouth Australian beef with garlic butter
and some deliciously marinated yakiniku (barbecued) wagyu beef buns.
We were all now relishing our meat high and sat down for another round of craft beer and sake to finish off the meal.
If you are ever in Tokyo at the beginning of May, I thoroughly recommend braving the crowds and heading to Nikufes. The dishes are a little expensive, but in my opinion, definitely worth it!
Thanks for reading this little mini post. Leave a comment below if you like, and let me know if there is anything you would like me to write about or show.
See you next time.