HOKKAIDO, Feb 10 (News On Japan) - From the frigid city of Kitami in Hokkaido comes a report on the "Severe Cold Yakiniku Festival," marking the celebration of "Meat Day" on February 9th.
Announcer Yamaki Shoyo reports from the scene where the current temperature dips below minus 6 degrees Celsius, a condition that's considered warmer than the usual for this time of year. Despite the biting cold, a crowd of 2,000 has gathered, embracing the chill to participate in an outdoor yakiniku (grilled meat) event, billed as the coldest of its kind in Japan.
The freshly grilled meat must be eaten quickly before it hardens in the cold. Drinks, too, demand attention; to prevent them from freezing, they must be stirred every few seconds to minutes.
Tickets for the event, allowing entry for four at a price of 10,000 yen, went on sale on November 29th, celebrated as "Good Meat Day," and sold out immediately. There have been reports of locals who were unable to purchase tickets.
Kitami boasts the highest number of barbecue restaurants per capita in Hokkaido and ranks third nationwide. The city launched this unique blend of yakiniku and cold weather as a dual strategy for local revitalization in 2000. This year marks the 25th iteration of this storied event.
To keep warm, attendees continue to grill a ton of meat provided for the event, sharing warmth and camaraderie in the extreme cold.