Pacific Saury Festival

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Pacific Saury Festival in September!

Pacific Saury Festival in Tokyo is held on first and second Sunday of September. The first Pacific Saury Festival is held in Meguro-ku Ward, the second Pacific Saury Festival is held in Shinagawa-ku Ward. Both festival serve grilled pacific sauries seasoned with salt for free. A pacific saury dish is one of autumn features on Japan.

Why this festival serve grilled pacific sauries for free originates in Rakugo(traditional comic storytelling) titled "pacific sauries caught in Meguro".

Pacific Saury Festival

This Rakugo story: A lord forgot his lunch box when he went to Meguro for hunting with hawk. He had no choice but to eat grilled pacific sauries though it was inexpensive dish. However, they are delicious for him, and he wanted to eat it again after he came back his castle. He said his servant to serve pacific sauries dish one day. His servant obey his orders, and serve pacific sauries soup. It tasted bad because his servant removed oil and bone of pacific sauries from the soup. His servant thought they were not healthy for him. He asked his servant, "Where did you buy this pacific saury?". His servant answered, "I bought it at riverside fish-market of Nihonbashi". He said, "No, a pacific saury from Meguro is delicious".

Two Pacific Saury Festival associate with this story, and started in 1996. The dates of two festivals is different every year because of pacific sauries. One of the festivals serve pacific sauries from Iwate, the other festival serve pacific sauries from Miyagi. Best season of pacific sauries from Iwate is one or two week earlier than them from Miyagi.

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If you want to eat grilled pacific sauries for free in these festival , you need to stand in line for three or five hours. You should go there before 8:00am at least since many people stand in line at 9:00am. In addition, you need to have something drink because September of Japan is still hot.

By the way, there are many events in this festival without grilled pacific sauries. A professional Rakugo storyteller talk "pacific sauries caught in Meguro", dancers dance Japanese traditional dance on the stage, there are the food and product fairs and more.

If you travel Tokyo in September, you can enjoy Pacific Saury Festival and can experience Japanese culture through it.