Mikawa is a small town north of where Jeff lives in Tsuruoka. Like a lot of rural Japan, it’s mostly farms and rice fields, but it’s for events like the 11th Annual Mikawa Warm Winter Festival that we gladly make the (15 minute) trek.
Part of the Warm Winter Festival is this Food Stall Village event. You buy a sheet of 10 coupons worth ¥100 ($1) each to use at the stalls to buy all sorts of food, from traditional Italian pizza to mochi to fried chicken to noodles. Some of the stalls accept cash, too, but the benefit of buying the coupon sheet is that it comes with a ticket for the lottery near the entrance, the top prize for which is two tickets out of the local airport.
Needless to say we won consolation prizes of small tissue packs.
Regardless of the let-down of not winning the plane tickets (which we probably would have used for our upcoming trip to Taiwan at the end of April), we really enjoyed munching on a variety of local specialties, like
and dango made from our very own Tsuyahime rice.
The food here is mind-blowingly amazing since most of the ingredients are locally sourced. They even had the local brand of rice, Tsuyahime, on display for purchase.
People here seem to take great pride in the food they produce, and with good reason. It’s things like this that make us grateful for every day we get to spend in Yamagata.
For more pictures of the event, click here!