In Japan everywhere has to be famous for something right? About 90 years ago, Kitamoto decided tomatoes were up for grabs and duly picked that as their something to be famous for. And what better way to celebrate your city’s famed product that a festival. Cue Kitamoto’s annual tomato festival. Moreover, Kitamoto became famous for their Tomato Curry after winning a gourmet event in 2011 (and again in 2016) and they started a ‘tomato curry’ festival in 2018. This year, 2022, they’ve dropped the word “tomato” from the title and its just a “curry” festival.
Tomato Curry Festival
In 2018 they decided that a tomato festival is not quite enough and started the Tomato Curry Festival!! However, due to typhoon Hagibis and then the pandemic, the curry version of the festival has never really taken off the ground. But as 2022 is the 50 year anniversary of Kitamoto becoming a city, they are going ahead with the event this year.
However, if there is a larger attendance than expected they will divide the day into three different time segments and cap the number of people they let into the event space for each segment. Moreover, those who have registered in advance to participate will be given priority. You can register on the official website here. The first session will be from 10 am to 11.30 am, second from 11.30 to 1 pm and the third from 1 pm. The event will go ahead if there is light rain, but will be cancelled if there is heavy rain.
I may well have to add this to the long list of things that are unique to Saitama. But in fairness to Kitamoto, their Tomato Curry is pretty special. It has even won the coveted title of the best local curry in Japan’s curry Grand Prix. There are 15 places you can enjoy the tomato curry in Kitamoto, but for one day in
August November, you can sample all in one place: at the Kitamoto Tomato Curry Festa!
Event: Kitamoto Curry Festival 北本カレーフェスタバル
Date: Wednesday November 23rd (public holiday – Labor Thanksgiving Day)
Time: from 10 am to 4 pm
Venue: Kitamoto General Park, 1 Chome-167 Furuichiba, Kitamoto, Saitama 364-0003.
The curry festival is held in the Kitamoto General Park, a nice little park with a decent playground. The park has parking for about 200 cars.
By public transport you can walk 25 minutes from Takasaki Line’s Kitamoto Station or take a bus bound for 「工業団地循環」and alight at Kitamoto High School.
For more events in Saitama please see the main event category.
This post also used to contain information for the tomato festival. But the last tomato celebration that I am aware of was in May 2020. I will update this post with information for the next tomato fes when it becomes available.