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Eat, drink and be merry at Manpaku festival

by Magdalena Osumi

Staff Writer

A healthy appetite is all you’ll need to take to the Manpaku festival at the Green Culture Zone of the Showa Kinen Park (Tachikawa Park) in Tachikawa, western Tokyo. “Manpaku” is a play on the words “manpuku” (“enjoy food to the fullest) and “mankitsu hakurankai,” which roughly translates to “enjoying to the fullest exhibition,” so expect to leave fully satiated.

The festival features eight themed areas at which visitors can sample dishes from around the world, as well as Japanese regional delicacies, while other stalls will serve popular Japanese fare such as ramen, kara-age (deep-fried chicken nuggets), gyoza (dumplings) and sweets. This year also introduces some healthier foods in the form of grilled dishes and a salad bar. Drinks are not neglected, with the space becoming a beer garden in the evening to offer a selection of local brews.

Melon sweets have been the major attraction of Manpaku since it was launched in 2011, but this year special truffle dumplings and a Hokkaido seafood bowl should provide some competition.

Re-entry to the festival is only allowed once in a day, so be prepared to stay a while and enjoy some of the other entertainment on offer, which includes live music and performances by street entertainers.

Manpaku takes place May 17-June 2, from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on most days at the Showa Kinen Park in Tachikawa, Tokyo. The event will end at 6 p.m. on its last day. Tickets cost ¥500 on weekdays and ¥800 on weekends, and is free for junior high school students and younger children. Costs of dishes are not included in the ticket price and will vary. For more information, visit manpaku.jp.