Matsuri Food Specialties 祭りの食べ物
Yatai at a matsuri
A busy okonomiyaki stall!
Food on Sticks
True celebrations of street food, Japanese matsuri give you an initiation into popular Japanese food, from takoyaki to cotton candy.
During matsuri, the streets fill with yatai, temporary stalls with colorful storefronts where, under the eyes of eager passersby, merchants cook all kinds of sweet or savory food. Importantly, you must be able to eat them while walking.
For fans of meat, you'll also find yakiniku (skewers similar to yakitori), trays of karaage (fried chicken) or even furankufuruto (frankfurters grilled and seasoned Japanese style).
Although many festivals take place in summer, they still serve hot and hearty dishes such as oden (vegetables, tofu and fishcakes cooked in a bubbling broth), or jaga-bata (a steamed potato topped generously with butter and/or mayonnaise).
There is also the famous choco banana there, a chocolate-covered banana decorated with multicolored sprinkles, also served on a stick.
Sweets lovers will enjoy the mizu-ame, fruits dipped in a transparent sweet syrup (similar to a candy apple), so that it seems as if the fruit is preserved in ice. Cotton candy, watagashi, is also sold by the bagful!
The More Extravagant
Adding a stick to a dish often has the effect of making it visually interesting. This is what gives an extra something to the majority of foods served at all the matsuri. In this category, there are waffles on sticks, icy salted cucumber on sticks, a type of pickled cucumber called asazuke kyuri, or ikayaki, grilled whole squid, all of which are served on a stick.
The prize for originality still lies with fried spaghetti, called supa-bo.
To try most of these dishes at any time of the year, go to Dotonbori, Osaka's permanent matsuri!