Friday, 4 September 2015

Keyaki Hiroba Autumn Beer Festival 2015

It's almost Keyaki time again and this time it's a bumper six day stint, thanks to Silver Week (something I was unaware of until fairly recently, but now I am ready to accept with open arms). As it's Autumn we are back inside the Saitama Super Arena. There seems to be quite a few new breweries there this year as well which should be interesting. Here is what you need to know if you are a Keyaki first timer or a seasoned veteran.
Keyaki has no entry fee, you pay for what you drink and eat. This works pretty well for me to be honest. It means that you don't have to rush your way through a nomihodai desperately trying to get the best value for money (I'm sure it's not just me who does that). Beer prices and serving sizes vary, but in general you will be paying from ¥300-¥600 for 200-570ml (my best guess). Plenty of the breweries offer tasting sets where you get four small cups for ¥1000. It's a great place to try new stuff.
The festival runs from Friday 18th September through to Wednesday 23rd. This time round, the opening hours are generally 11:00-21:30, with shorter hours on the first and last days (16:00-22:00 on the first Friday, and 11:00-19:00 on the final Wednesday). I always try to pop up there a couple of times during each festival. There really is too much to enjoy to be able to do it all in one day. If you need any further details and you can read Japanese or use an online translator without it driving you crazy you can check their website. There is also a tentative beer list available here (plenty of other stuff will probably also be available though).
So, that's about it. I really can't recommend this festival enough. Even though it leaves me feeling pretty bad the next day (or more accurately the same night in those tough hours between 21:00 and midnight when I am trying to fight off the advancing hangover). Just a short walk from Saitamashintoshin station. Enjoy!

Festival website

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