Festivals, fairs, and celebrations are a big thing in Japan as we all know. However, there are several unique ones that you wouldn’t expect to see. Case in point: the Pickle Fair. This is an annual fair held on the 19th and 20th of October near the Takarada Ebisu Shrine. People travel from all over to attend this fair as you’ll see from the crowds.
Directly outside the Kodemmacho Station you’ll find hundreds of vendors set up on the streets. Most of the vendors are selling bettarazuke which are pickled daikon radishes. These radishes are what the festival is all about. Dating back to the Edo period, this fair celebrates the selling of products for the Ebisu-ko ceremony. The god Ebisu is honored on October twentieth. Aside from the bettarazuke vendors, other stalls sell handmade goods and traditional Japanese street food. You can get freshly made yakitori and even yakisoba. Watching the vendors make the food right in front of you is quite neat too!
At the many bettarazuke vendors, you’ll see large pieces of the daikon radishes lying on the tables. They’re some of the freshest radishes you’ll find. Many visitors stock up on radishes and walk away with bags of them! You may find it hard to buy just one small piece as a lot of the time they’re sold in bulk.
You surely won’t walk away hungry from this fair! Every vendor gives away samples to try their products. With hundreds of stalls lining the streets, you’ll feel full within minutes. The actual bettarazuke have a crunch with a sweet and salty taste.
Although this is titled a Pickle Fair, it’s quite different than you might imagine. There aren’t any traditional American dill pickles in site. That aside, if you’re in Japan around the 19th-20th of October, you don’t want to miss this fair. It’s only around for two days out of the entire year!
For more information, check out this website.