[TOKYO] Shitamachi Tanabata Matsuri – Summer Street Festival

Shitamachi Tanabata Matsuri (2013) - summer street festival 8

Dear Food Diary:

Tokyoians (is that’s how you called people who live in Tokyo?) celebrate summer like New Yorkers. There always seems to be a different way to celebrate the season. By missing all the fun summer events in the Big Apple, it’s been very exciting checking out the ones here.

Shitamachi Tanabata Matsuri is an annual summer street festival where local businesses put out stalls under colorful streamers and decorations. We walked around in the heat, having food on sticks while enjoying the sights and sounds.

Shitamachi Tanabata Matsuri (2013) - summer street festival 3

Shitamachi Tanabata Matsuri (2013) - summer street festival 6
Colors and streamers all over like a giant Godzilla sized piniata exploded on the streets. Men and women in pretty kimonos. Food and drinks everywhere.

 

Shitamachi Tanabata Matsuri (2013) - beef roll at local butcher shop
The local butcher shop had the longest line, which is always a sign of yummy assurance.
Shitamachi Tanabata Matsuri (2013) - beef roll
These rolled up beef skewers were the best thing we had all day. Fatty beef, chard and peppery. Tender and juicy. We wanted more, but the heat prevented us from waiting on line again.

 

Shitamachi Tanabata Matsuri (2013) - beef stand
More beef!
Shitamachi Tanabata Matsuri (2013) - beef
Though this looked quite promising, but  it was a bit tougher and chewier. Though the sweet sauce and chard edges around the fat was very nice.

 

Shitamachi Tanabata Matsuri (2013) - chicken yakitori
The smell of chicken yakitori lured us to this side of the street.
Shitamachi Tanabata Matsuri (2013) - chicken yakitori 2
Sweet and tender. Chicken in Asia just tasted better. Period.

 

Shitamachi Tanabata Matsuri (2013) - cold ramen
The cold ramen was perfect for the heat. Fresh with vinegar. Light and refreshing.

 

Shitamachi Tanabata Matsuri (2013) - dango - mochi on stick with soybean powder 2
Dango – mochi on a stick. One of my favorite desserts of all times.Shitamachi Tanabata Matsuri (2013) - dango - mochi on stick with soybean powder
Chewy with nutty soybean powder.

 

Shitamachi Tanabata Matsuri (2013)
Fun life size characters are all over this town, who could resist, right?

Shitamachi Tanabata Matsuri (2013) - summer street festival Tokyo
Aside from food, there were booze, yes, on the street, in the afternoon. Cocktail at 2pm, well… of course!

Kids had puppet shows, fishing games, artists drew and did animals out of pulled candy.

Shitamachi Tanabata Matsuri (2013) - summer street festival 4
Hopefuls hung there wishes all over.

Shitamachi Tanabata Matsuri (2013) - summer street festival 7
And sweet lovers hung there dreams together…

Shitamachi Tanabata Matsuri (2013) - summer street festival 5

Shitamachi Tanabata Matsuri (2013) - summer street festival 2
And grown men played these combat fist games. Forget rock, paper scissor. This seemed way more interesting…
Shitamachi Tanabata Matsuri (2013) - eating watermelon
Frozen drinks and big pieces of fresh watermelon kept everyone cool… sorta. StalkerBoy and I ate watermelon on the street like locals, before having fruity slushies.

Even as I melted in the heat (I had to get a Hello Kitty towel, tissue just didn’t do the job anymore), I had a lot of fun.