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Suginami Festa

The Suginami Festa (or “Sugifesu” as it is called in Japanese) is an annual festival in Suginami, Tokyo. This was my first time experiencing the festival. It is a two day affair, so on Saturday, I went and enjoyed myself, exploring all the various booths and food vendors.

At one spot, there was a long, long line that wrapped all the way around the tent, and down the walkway. Clouds of thick smoke surrounded the tent as they grilled up countless sanma (a type of mackerel). It is a rare treat to be able to eat freshly grilled hot sanma, but even better, they were just 100 yen each!

On Sunday, I returned to the festival, but this time I was there to volunteer at the origami tent. During the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Suginami will be hosting a volleyball team from Italy. As a way of wishing for their good luck, we aimed to fold 1000 origami cranes during the two days of the Suginami Festival. I am happy to say that we managed to exceed our goal, thanks to the tireless volunteers and the eager festival-goers. It was great fun interacting with the people of Suginami, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget how to fold a paper crane ever again!

Volunteers were given two food vouchers for the Italian food vendors — one for a calzone, and one for roasted herb chicken. By the time I took lunch break, most of the calzones were sold out, so my only option was tuna. It was quite good, though. The herb chicken, though…it was probably the best thing I ate at the festival during those two days.

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