Sweet Potato Expo

The Sweet Potato Expo is annual food event in February at Saitama Shintoshin in Saitama City. It is the largest sweet potato fair in all of Japan. Furthermore, it is one of few food events that was not cancelled during the pandemic. Moreover, in 2022, they introduced a summer version of the expo too, for three days. The main winter expo for 2024 has already been confirmed and it will be on for six days in February. The event has featured on the TV several times and you just have to look at the photos on the official website to gage just how popular this event is.

Sweet Potatoes Saitama

Saitama is known for its sweet potatoes, particularly the Kawagoe area. Saitama Prefecture was the first place to grow sweet potatoes in Japan after they were brought here to grow during the 18th century. It maybe why this event is extremely popular in Saitama Prefecture.

Sweet Potato Expo

The Sweet Potato Expo is held in the Keyaki Hiroba area of Saitama Shintoshin, which is close to the train station gates. The main expo in February combines a “summit” and a “grand prix”. Food grand prix are very popular in Japan. During the grand prix at the sweet potato expo customers get to choose the finest sweet potato in all of Japan! Vendors come from all across Japan to promote their sweet potatoes. However, according to the organizers, the summer version is more like a “sweet potato museum” and there are slightly less vendors than the winter version.

Apart from being able to buy and sample sweet potato from all over Japan, there are dozens of different sweet potato dishes to try too. Before the pandemic they had stage events and various entertainment during the period of the expo, but since the pandemic the main focus is on the food. But great news for 2024 – they have changed the system that you can enter the venue for free. You can then purchase tokens or coins that in order to buy the sweet potato – you can not use cash to buy food at the stalls. Alternatively, you can buy the special coins in advance online.

Information

Date: from Tuesday February 20th to Sunday February 25th 2024.

Hours: from 10 am to 6 pm.

Cost: four coins cost 500 yen, 8 coins 1000 yen, 24 coins 3000 yen, but you get 25 coins if you purchase online in advance. The cost of the sweet potatoes range from 4 coins to 10 coins!

Keyaki Hiroba Information

Saitama Shintoshin is located beside the station of the same name in the Chuo ward of Saitama City. The Keyaki Hiroba is the closest event space to the ticket gates. The Keihin Tohoku line, Takasaki line and Utsunomiya line stop at this station. There are also several buses that go into the station including airport buses from Narita and Haneda.

Address: 2-27 Kamiochiai, Chuo Ward, Saitama City 338-001. View on Google Maps.
URLOfficial Shintoshin website and the official website for “Imohaku” Sweet potato expo – please do always check with the official website for any last minute changes
Phone: 048-600-0070
Access: a two minute walk from JR Saitama shintoshin Station and about a seven minute walk from JR Kitayono Station.

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