KUMAMON              The Japanese archipelago is currently in the midst of winter. 80% of Japan recorded sub-zero temperatures last week with the mercury plunging to -23ºC in Hokkaido, 290cm of snow blanketing Aomori, and Tokyo recording its lowest temperature of the year of 0.7ºC.


              Hot events are currently being held in chilly Tokyo. If you are in Tokyo until the 19th of this month (Sunday) and want to experience festivals from all over Japan, The Furusato Matsuri 2014 Tokyo to be held in the Tokyo Dome (Suidobashi, Tokyo) is an event worth considering.


              The highlight of this event is the 18 festivals assembled from all over the country. Giant floats and lively dance performances from various regions of Japan that can normally only be seen in the summer and fall can be enjoyed in the one place. Amongst them is a festival where you can borrow a happi coat (a traditional Japanese straight-sleeved coat usually made of indigo or brown cotton and imprinted with a distinctive crest) and join in – this would make a great memory of your trip!


              The enjoyment of festivals is the taste of home – you will be able to enjoy tastes from all around the country at this event. One of the unique events to be held is the “national local donburi championship”. A total of 15 donburi (rice bowl dishes), 5 previous champions and 10 bowls that have won qualifying events, will vie for victory. Your vote will decide the winning donburi. The lineup includes donburi preferred by Muslims such as unimeshi (sea urchin) donburi, fried white shrimp donburi, Yonezawa beef steak donburi, and kanburi (yellowtail) donburi.


              This event opens at 10:00am and the closing time varies depending on day of the week. Tickets on the day are 1,500 yen and evening tickets are available for 1,000 yen from 4:00pm onwards. Tickets can be purchased from the website, travel agencies such as JTB, and convenience stores such as FamilyMart and Seven Eleven.


Link: Furusato Matsuri 2014 Tokyo