Two days ago, it snowed in Hokkaido. It is October. October. We haven’t even gone through Halloween yet.
Already, though, people are switching their summer tires for their winter wheels. The snow won’t stick, but you have to be prepared in case it suddenly snows again. You have to–otherwise, you crash and burn on the slippery roads, and especially if it is icy.
I’m in denial that fall is ending, so I’d like to rewind and go back to the beginning. In September, Odori Park usually hosts the annual Autumn Festa. It is a celebration of the food and local delicacies from different parts of the island. Each block of the park has a particular theme and would sometimes have live events to go along with the party atmosphere. It is, essentially, a giant block party in the middle of the city. It is my favorite event in Hokkaido.
The event usually lasts a two to three weeks. On Block 7, or 7-chome, the main dishes usually change, so it’ s possible to go to the festival a couple of times and experience different food. And heck, why not? The food is prepared right there, and it’s a fun way to experience local cuisine without going too far.
The first photo above on the right was block 8, which featured food from different restaurants in the city. The middle photo was block 9 and it was devoted to different types of wine and alcohol from Hokkaido. They also had some whiskey products from the popular Yoichi area. The last photo was from the tenth block, which featured dishes consisting mainly of meat. Mmm…. meat. 🙂 Beef, pork, chicken–you name it.
I had the beef tongue skewer, which was really tasty and juicy.
I also had foie gras gyoza and some red wine. I love wine, so my first choice is always going to be red. But for the beer lovers, every block you go will have Sapporo on tap–of course! Hey, when you live in Beer City, you get to be that lucky.
The food on offer also features what is usually in season, and pumpkin was prominently among your choices. This year, I had the pumpkin soft-serve ice cream and pumpkin juice.
This year, the sweets area was widened to incorporate the Akarenga Terrace. It’s a bit of a walk from Odori Park, but I guess you needed to move about a bit to make room for dessert 🙂
Again, this is my favorite event. The weather is usually cooler and the food is usually good. Be prepared to wait in lines and spend a lot of money, though. But I love that as you walk from block to block, you get to see, touch, smell, eat, buy, and burn off those calories you’ve been consuming. Good fun all around.