Tosa Akaoka Dorome Matsuri: It’s Saké Time!
Aside from the usual fireworks, traditional dance performances, and good food plus music, no festival is complete without the regular flow of booze. Alcoholic drinks are a holiday must-have that injects the fun in festivals!
Want to make your binge-drinking dream come true? You can head on over to the annual Tosa Akaoka Dorome Matsuri festival held in the last week of April in Kochi, Japan. We all know how Japanese love their saké, which is why this is a largely popular event for avid saké fans worldwide!
Why It’s Celebrated
Unlike other celebrations observed in Japan, there isn’t much of a deep-rooted history associated with this event. It started as a simple thanksgiving event by local fisherman whenever they land a good catch—specifically, the dorome (sardine fry, baby anchovies) pictured below.
These tiny yet flavorful seafood are eaten fresh and soaked in a delicious sauce made from vinegar, miso, and minced garlic greens. Something missing? We couldn’t agree more! The dorome is best paired with Japan’s national alcoholic beverage, saké!
What to Expect
Despite the festival’s humble beginnings, it’s the perfect excuse to make your way to Kochi, Japan. The Kochi Prefecture is home to the yummiest—not to mention freshest—Japanese food in history. Just look at this spread…who wouldn’t want to dive into that?
Aside from fresh seafood, you can visit Tosa District—an area in Kochi—where unique chicken variations are served!
You can also find this food tent near the festival venue where you can drink and dine your hunger away. Aside from the good ol’ saké, festival goers can enjoy a bottle (or two, or more) of below zero beer and other alcoholic beverages while sharing the experience with tourists and locals alike.
The highlight of the event is the “Gulp Down Drinking Competition” which involves…you guessed it…saké!
It’s the most awaited part of the annual event where men swill 1.8 Liters of saké from a masu (wide-mouth bowl) while women chug down .9 Liters of it.
Whoever finishes of the bowl the fastest wins the tournament. It is a tournament. Now, we’re not quite sure what the champion gets, aside from the holy red bowl of booze.
How to Get There
Kochi Prefecture is located in the southern part of Shikoku Island. If you’re in Tokyo, Kochi is just an hour and 20 minutes by plane but if you’re traveling from Osaka, Kochi is just a 45-minute plane ride from there.
Akaoka-cho, Konan City, Kochi Prefecture, Japan