If you are a Yakitori lover, you absolutely have to visit the Yakitolympic, which will be held in Higashimatsuyama (Saitama) on the weekend of September 26 and 27. This is the 9th time this olympic of sticks is held (just to make sure, by sticks I mean skewers, not the sticks used in high jumping!)
Why go to an event like this if you can also have great Yakitori at an Izakaya or at small eateries in Yokocho alleys, you ask? Well, this event brings together Yakitori from the whole country, including the best skewers from the so called "7 Yakitori Towns", which are Bibai (Hokkaido), Muroran (Hokkaido), Fukushima (Fukushima), Higashi Matsuyama (Saitama), Imabari (Ehime), Nagato (Yamaguchi) and Kurume (Fukuoka). Being able to try out all these big names on one day, is almost like seeing the 7 world wonders on 1 day! I know, I'm exaggerating a bit, but this is really a big deal!
I go the chance to try out the skewers that will be at the event on a press event last Monday, and I have to tell you, anyone that's visiting this event is in for a real treat. It was also my first time to realize that Yakitori is a dish with so much variety. Not only is the meat different (while chicken is main, pork and even horse meat can also be used), but the tare (sauce) also differs greatly depending on the skewer's region of origin. It was really interesting to compare the flavors of all these skewers. However, one thing they have in common is that they are all heaven on a stick!
The 9th Yakitolympic
Date: September 26 (Saturday) and September 27 (Sunday)
Hours: 11am - 7pm
Location: Matsuyama Shiminkatsudo Center's North Parking Space