Sunday, June 04, 2006

Where's The Beef?

In Shiraoi, apparently.

Judy and I hit the road today and headed out to Shiraoi to get a look at the famous Shiraoi Beef Festival, June 3rd and 4th, 2006.

I mean, they roast a whole cow, for crying out loud. What reason would I have NOT to go?

So we cruised out there, making fairly decent time until we hit the festival turnoff.

Then we hit traffic the likes of which Shiraoi only sees twice a year. It took 45 minutes to get from Muroran to Shiraoi, and another hour to go over the bridge and drive out to the festival parking lot.

So we parked the car and walked over to check out the festivities.

We walked into what I believe to be the world's largest barbecue.

While we were too late to see the whole-roast-cow portion of the festival, what we did see was pretty amazing.

A grassy area filled with tables with small charcoal grills set up so that people could have a mini-barbecue.

Stands and stands of festival snacks. Cotton candy, shaved ice, fried chicken, squid-on-a-stick (only in Japan...)

Men waiting in line for the restroom. (Judy was very excited by this sight. She even took a picture to have proof.)

A stage set up for live music. We saw the band Hinokiya. They were laying down some smooth grooves. Very cool.

I bought a steamed bun with Shiraoi Beef inside it, and it was quite tasty. We didn't pull up a table or eat anything else, but we walked around and just took it all in.

These folks in Shiraoi know how to party. Next year, if I'm still here, I am SO there!


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