You do not need a round-trip ticket back to the USA to enjoy country music, dancing, and big slices of beef. You can just head out to Takko Town on Saturday, October 4th and Sunday, October 5th for their 29th Annual Garlic and Beef Festival to enjoy Texas B-B-Q Japanese style. Nestled in the foothills of Aomori’s mountains, just southeast of Lake Towada, Takko Town’s delicious beef is well known throughout Japan. Drinking natural spring water is just one of the secrets of the health of the cows called “Japanese Black” that produce this high quality delectable meat. Takko Town’s other claim to fame is that they are the #1 producer of garlic in Japan. Because of this, they have established a sister city relationship with other internationally famous garlic producing areas such as Gilroy, California, Monticelli, Italy, and Seosan, Korea. Each year student and music exchanges take place. These community members also attend each other’s festivals, giving the 2 day extravaganza a very international flavor. This year the Garlic Queen of Gilroy, California and her entourage will be on hand to meet you! Each October the main event at the festival is the Yakiniku (Barbeque -BBQ) Party with Takko beef which you can season with specially produced garlic tare (sauce) to enhance the flavor. Taking place at the 2-2-9 DOME (pronounced nin-ni-ku, the same word for garlic in Japanese) just at the bottom of the ski lift, the indoor and outdoor venues shelter attendees from unforeseen weather conditions which will keep everyone warm and dry! There will be a lot of entertainment at the inside and outside stages. The lineup includes many games for children as well as a bouncy house. There will be the Japanese drum team from Iwate prefecture, the garlic shooting gallery, the Japanese comedian live on Saturday, and the Japanese local mascot characters’ ultra quiz, garlic spitting contest, and live music shows such as skatic invaders on Sunday. Other shows include the Nanyadoyara Bon dance dating back 630 years, Takko Kangura dance and Yosakoi Soran dancers. There will also be a raffle at 13:00 each day for all advance ticket holders for the B-B-Q with lots of great prizes. Previously a base resident won the first place prize of 15,000 yen worth of beef! English interpreters will also be available. The entrance to the festival is free, but to participate in the B-B-Q you should buy an advanced ticket. This will insure you slices of the mouth watering Takko Beef. Advanced ticket holders will receive a B-B-Q set of beef and veggies for you to cook yourself along with special sauce, garlic, a plate & chopsticks! Do-it-yourself cooking areas will be set up at the site! To get an advanced ticket, go to the Misawa ITT or the information booth at Shimoda Mall (2000 yen.) Misawa ITT usually has a shuttle bus from the base to the venue on Saturday and Sunday. Contact Misawa ITT for more information! It goes without saying there will be a lot of booths selling many different kinds of great tasting Japanese foods and drinks. Again, there will be lots of events for children as well! If after the festival you are still in an adventurous mood, you can drive the road up higher to the top of the ski lift for a breathtaking autumn colored view. There is also a yakiniku restaurant at the top there. Allow yourself some time so you can also visit the famous Miroku waterfalls by going back down to Rt. 104, turning right and driving about 20 more minutes.
DIRECTIONS: It takes about an hour and a half to get to Takko Town from Misawa Air Base. Go out the Falcon Gate (also called the POL gate.) Turn left after you passed third Lawson on your right and before the over pass of toll road,Michinoku Expressway. At the first toll booth, pay changes and get a ticket. Get off at the second exit called Hachinohe Kita (north.) After paying the toll, go to the light and turn right. After 2.8km turn left onto the off ramp, go down to the light and turn right. Follow this road about 4km. You will go by the Hachinohe Fish Market on your left side, and turn right at the light (big pachinko parlor on corner,) you will now be on Rt. 104. Go 14 km. You will go through Nagawa Town, now known as Nanbu Town, and turn left onto Rt. 4. Go 13 km and turn left onto the off ramp (you will be in Sannohe Town.) Go to the stop sign and turn right, you are back on Rt. 104. Go 9.3 km and turn right onto Rt. 21(this turn off is just past the 3 stoplights in Takko Town). Follow this narrow road 6.7km and turn left at the fork (right before this turn, there is an English sign for Soyu mura.) Another 1.5 km up the road, turn right and you will be at the Festival! Here is the shortcut URL address for Google map for your smart phone if you have the application. https://goo.gl/maps/cYZMm To get to Miroku waterfalls: Go back down Rt. 21, turn right on Rt.104, and go 15.1km. You will pass a light at the 9km mark, and turn left at the sign for Miroku Falls. Go another 5km park and walk several minutes over to the waterfall. Drive carefully.
One more great thing about this festival is the fesvals will definitely go on whether rain or shine! There are tons of bargeque grills available indoor and outdoor. If the weather is wonderful, take your garden chairs and picnic sheet. You can easily spend a whole day with your family and friends!
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