Information for “Fukaya Halloween” with a popular tsume-hodai event at Roadside Station Okabe.
Fukaya has becoming an increasingly popular place due to the opening of Fukaya Hanazono Premium outlets almost a year ago. But while Fukaya Hanazono Premium Outlets is trending with travellers, the locals are looking to a more local well established facility. The Roadside Station Okabe, which is known for its large collection of local fresh vegetables and lots of fun events, is the hot topic in Fukaya right now. As at the end of this month, they will host the annual Fukaya Halloween. In the past, this event has got a lot of hits on the blog because of the “all you can pack candy”, event. In Japan, these type of “tsume-hodai” events are insanely popular.
Tsume-hodai means stuff or pack all you can. Tsume means to stuff or pack, while hodai means unlimited. You may have heard of “tabe-hodai” which means all-you-can-eat. Nomihodai means drink-all-you-can. Google Translate actually translates “tsumehodai” as all you can eat, which I suppose in a way it is. But it really means you get to stuff / pack as much of one thing (or sometimes several things) into one bag (or box or crate depending on the item you’re stuffing). And people get really competitive and creative in the bid to get value for money. The Tomochan blog has some good photos of really tightly packed tsume-hodai!
Tsume-hodai seems to be really popular again this Autumn. Probably due to a hike in prices of almost everything in the last few months. There has been an increase of segments on Japanese ‘variety’ TV programs, that showcase various tsumehodai events around the country. Some people are experts at it and travel around Japan participating in the events and trying to set a new record! I remember there was a tsume-hodai boom around 2011, and between this and then it tends to trend every now and then. But it never went out of vogue at this Halloween event at Okabe Roadside Station…
The Fukaya Halloween takes place at Okabe Roadside station annually. The event has been around for quite a few years and has become quite well known (within Saitama) for the all-you-can-pack / stuff event. I’m pretty sure, but wouldn’t bet my life on it, that it used to be a one day event, but since last year it is on for two days.
The tsumehodai only costs 100 yen and you get to walk away and enjoy all the sweets you stuff into a bag (provided) for that cost. However, please note that this event is limited to the first 100 children (/people) to get a ticket. Fifty tickets are distributed in the morning from 10.30 am and another 50 tickets will be distributed from 1 pm. The event is from 11 am in the morning and from 1.30 pm in the afternoon. Ten people every ten minutes.
Apart from the all-you-can-pack candy event, there is a costume event too. If kids come in costume they can get one free Instax photo taken. Also, local vegetables will be on sale for just 100 yen on the day. In addition they have Halloween coloring, quizzes and workshops. They also have a guess the weight of the pumpkin event, which is another of the popular features of the Fukaya Halloween.
Event: Fukaya Halloween 深谷ハロウィン
Date: Saturday October 28th and Sunday October 29th
Time: 10 am to 3 pm.
Venue: Okabe Roadside station (Road Station Okabe on Google maps) 道の駅 おかべ, 688-1 Oka, Fukaya, Saitama 369-0201. View on Google Maps.
Okabe Roadside station is located on national route 17 on the Fukaya by pass, close to where it intersects with the old nakasendo. Its beside the Nakajuku Historical park. It is close to both Honjo and Kumagaya. Further east on the Fukaya by pass is Beppunuma park which has a lovely playground for children. By public transport it is about an 18 minute walk from Okabe Station on the Takasaki Line.