Higashihiroshima City's Saijo district is famous throughout Japan as a leading sake brewing town, and it is also counted as one of the three great sake brewing districts of Japan. The area around JR Saijo Station is lined with many old and well-established breweries. The Sake Festival is held here each October, when visitors are free to walk around from brewery to brewery sampling various types of Japanese sake at each one.
This event draws many people from all over Japan and around the world who come for the taste of fine Hiroshima sake. On the day of the festival, the whole neighborhood around Saijo Station comes alive with vibrant energy as the main boulevard is lined with food stalls and crowds of people throng the special venues, including: the "5,000 Person Izakaya," an outdoor Japanese-style pub that can accommodate 5,000 people; the "Bishunabe" spot, where visitors can enjoy nabe (hot pots) cooked with Japanese sake; and the "Sake Plaza," where people can sample various types of sake.
In addition, event stages are set up for songs and special talks and the festival also features a Shinto ritual ceremony, which is performed in the center of the festival grounds to celebrate the bounty of that year's batch of sake. Not limited to famous Hiroshima brands, the Japanese sake sampling also includes well-known regional brands from all over Japan, tempting visitors to try this one and that one and then the next one.
Wherever you go, the whole area surrounding the festival grounds is like a giant, ongoing banquet, where you may see people lying on the ground fast asleep after drinking too much. This is perhaps the kind of sight that you can only see at the Sake Festival. Why not visit Saijo and take part in the Sake Festival to enjoy the taste of fine Hiroshima sake?