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Taste some local fun at Tokyo Dome

by Magdalena Osumi

Staff Writer

Whenever you crave a home-made meal, chances are you’ll head straight to your hometown or mom’s house for a taste of your childhood. Failing that, though, you could visit the Furusato Matsuri at Tokyo Dome City in Tokyo’s Suidobashi district, where all kinds of local foods and specialties from across Japan are being offered from this Friday. The food festival continues through Jan. 19 and presents a selection of savory dishes, sweets and other specialties from each of Japan’s 47 prefectures.

In addition to sampling the different varieties of ramen, sausages or seafood, visitors can try “the finest sweets for the best time of your life.” Bowl dishes are ¥500 and you can vote for your favorite one for the Japan Local Bowl Dish Championships.

Other attractions include parades of floats representing different regions of Japan as well as performances by groups showcasing unique dances and music.These festivities not only offer a lively atmosphere, they’re also a chance to see some long-time traditions. For example, the Chichibu Yomatsuri float comes from an annual night festival of Chichibu Shrine, in Saitama Prefecture, which has a history of more than 2,000 years.

To keep kids from getting bored, around 50 yuru-chara (regional mascots) will be joining the event to perform on stage and compete for the title of the MVY — Most Valuable Yuru-chara.

On Jan. 10 and 17, Special Friday Night events will have stalls offering more than 300 kinds of nibbles and over 100 alcoholic drinks for tasting until 9 p.m. This Friday also hosts the first “Miss Gotouchi Collection,” where beautiful tourism ambassadors will promote Japan’s regions.

Furusato Matsuri takes place at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo’s Bunkyo Ward, from Jan. 10 to 19. Times vary depending on the day. Tickets are from ¥1,000 to ¥1,500. For more details call 03-5800-9999, or visit www.tokyo-dome.co.jp/furusato.