A teetotaler’s guide to the annual Sakagura Street “Sake Festival” in Saijō, Hiroshima!

On October 11th and 12th, about 250,000 people visited the “have fun without drinking” themed 2-day Sake Festival event. This “mum-writer”, who cannot drink alcohol due to raising a baby, joined the festivities.



“Oysters just started today!!! C’mon!!!”


I was lured by the perky voice and the look of the stand – fresh Hiroshima oysters lined-up on the grill.



Saijō’s famous “Bisho-nabe”…



… and sausages and bacon from Ōyama, Tottori.



Delicious Sake needs delicious tidbits, right? Street vendors offer really great chow – even if you can’t drink, you can enjoy the food.


From an old Sake brewery, I heard drum and jazz music.


It was a jam session between jazz musicians and “Kagura” artists (Hiroshima’s traditional performance art).



Both young and old, everyone enjoyed that session!


Nearby, a cute guy was selling Sake macarons! He told me that he asked a pastry chef he knows to make them. A sweet guy selling sweets… Oh, dear… I’m glad I came!



Back on the street, a couple of cute little boys wearing Hiroshima Toyo Carp caps were eating Takoyaki. They didn’t get scolded for eating on the road today!



On another street, some music store staff were playing live music, and a bar had become a nursing room… and an elderly lady was having a garage sale at her house.


I could almost feel people saying, “Everyone’s welcome! Let’s all enjoy the day!”


Being able to drink in public shows that the area is safe. I was slightly worried beforehand about drunk people hassling me… but security guards and cleanup volunteers worked hard to make sure everything went smoothly, and I could enjoy the “People’s Big Party” safely.


This big annual event suddenly brings the old Sake brewery town to life.


People who love alcohol, and people who don’t or can’t drink can all enjoy the party.


Thanks to: Ōyama Ham, Pizzeria e grill CiELO


Sake Festival:


Location: Around JR Saijō Station

Next festival will be held in October, 2015

Website (Japanese): http://sakematsuri.com/



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Written by

Rainbow Sake

Rainbow Sake

Yoko Suganami Rainbow Sake, Inc. After an extended stay in Hawaii, in 2011, I returned to my hometown of Kure, Hiroshima. Having worked at advertising companies in both Japan and Hawaii, I founded Rainbow Sake - a PR company with the goal of spreading Sake abroad. I hope that sake will ""bring the people of the world together"" and that I can be a part of that. I often travel abroad, and mostly to Hawaii and Singapore. Every time I come back home, I rediscover the beauty of my hometown and the happiness the easygoing, calm, fresh and simple sea and mountains of Setouchi bring. http://www.rainbowsake.com


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