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Food & Tourism Newsletter from EHIME, Japan Vol.6 / September 2018

September 17, 2018 Destination North Asia No Comments Email Email

Autumn Matsuri (Festival)

In October, “Autumn Matsuri” is held throughout Ehime prefecture. More and more foreign tourists have visited Japan to see what Japanese festivals are like in recent years.

Japanese “Matsuri” are festivals that celebrate wishing for a good harvest and gratitude for bounty. Companies and schools in Ehime provide their employees and students with holidays and people from Ehime go back to their hometown during the period of “Matsuri” so that everyone there can participate in the festivals. That means that people from Ehime have a strong connection to“Matsuri”.

Saijyo Matsuri
Saijyo Matsuri had its birth over 300 years ago in the Edo period. People offer over 150 Danjiri(Shrines on carts), Mikoshi, and Drum palanquins to the gods. We can see decorated Danjiri form a line and hear people singing to the sound of drums and bells. The highlight is “kawairi”, which is carried out at the end of the Matsuri. The danjiris are brought into the river to create a stunning image of lights on water. This can also be melancholic as it symbolizes the end of the Matsuri.

Nihama Taiko Matsuri 
Nihama Taiko Matsuri is one of three biggest Matsuris in Shikoku. Its character is the use of huge drums on palanquin are 5.5m tall, about 13m long and weigh about 3 tons. There are over 50 of these huge drum palanquin in Nihama-city and it takes about 150 men to carry each drum palanquin. Men, inspired by the strong sound of the drums, carry the palanquins around the city for three days.

Matsuyama Dougo Autumn Matsuri
This festival is famous for “Hachiawase(Crashing of the “Mikoshis” )”. A Mikoshi is a huge ceremonial palanquin used in “Matsuri” festivals. The Men in Happi (ceremonial costume) carry 8 Mikoshis on their shoulders around Dougo-Onsen Station at 6:30, and the audience start to cheer and get excited. This Matsuri seems very rough, but people pray for wealth in agriculture and commerce, and health at this festival.

It lasts for three days and the audience will be impressed by the big Mikoshi being carried up the temple, which has over a hundred stairs.

Taste of EHIME

Yellowtails
Ehime is known as one of the biggest fishing cities in Japan, and we would like to introduce the yellowtails which live in Uwa Sea and are especially tasty in winter. Uwa Sea is famous for its depth and fast tide drift which makes Yellowtails lean and delicious. In addition, yellowtails are known to bring good luck, and are often eaten at a celebration or farewell parties.

Orange yellowtails
In recent years, a particular type of yellowtails has gained popularity; Yellowtail fed with orange peel. Orange peel dilutes the fishy odour and leaves a mild scent of oranges instead. In addition, the orange peel helps prevent degradation of the fish. Ehime is rich in the production of oranges and citruses, so Ehime Orange yellowtails gather a great deal of attention throughout Japan.

Big yellowtails
Ehime is now trying to produce bigger yellowtails. By feeding yellowtails a special diet and preventing them from breeding, they grow to a weight of over 10kg. Bigger yellowtails in Ehime are filling, very fatty and enjoyable to look at. We highly recommend you try it at least once.

Yellowtail Shabu-Shabu
There are many ways to enjoy yellowtail in Ehime such as Sashimi or stew. One way in particular worth trying is Shabu-Shabu. The process is easy; dip slices of yellowtail that is fresh enough to eat as Sashimi into Japanese Dashi(soup)and eat them with spring onion. By dipping them into Dashi, you can get rid of extra oil and taste purer fatty flesh.
Today we introduced yellowtails that people in Ehime are highly proud of. If you are interested in learning more about yellowtails in Ehime, please feel free to contact us on coordinator@nna.net.au 

Where is EHIME?

Ehime is a prefecture in Shikoku, an island located southwest of Japan’s main island of Honshu. It faces the Seto Inland Sea and enjoys mild to warm weather. It’s easily accessible from popular cities like Hiroshima and Beppu, and is not far from Kyoto or Osaka. Approx. 1 hr and 30 min by air from Tokyo, 1 hr by air from Osaka.

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