Monday, July 26, 2010

Matsuri Yatai 屋台

Yatai, literally shop stand, are small, mobile food stalls typically selling ramen or other hot food. The stall is set up in the early evening on pedestrian walkways and removed late at night or in the early morning hours before commuters begin to fill the streets. Yatai are a popular standard at matsuri, even convenience stores and restaurants will get into the act, setting up small yatai in front of their places of business. Really what would any celebration be without food? So her are some of my favorites from yoiyama clockwise from the left: cheese chikuwa (chikuwa is a Japanese tube-like food made from fish and egg white, the cheese version has melted cheese in the center), nikumaki onigiri (a rice ball with kimchi or other filling wrapped in marinated sliced meat then baked - Oh yea!), fresh shrimp chips, tamago sembe (egg atop a rice cracker with sauce and other crunchy cracker bits), green tea beer, yakiniku (grilled meat), and finally Hiroshima okonomiyaki (like a savory pancake or crepe made from flour, grated yam, dashi, and eggs topped with cabbage, meat, yakisoba, sauce, and optional items such as squid, octopus, and cheese).


  1. But yatai, especially when referred to as "matsuri yatai" are also the huge decorated parade floats during festivals, kind of like giant mikoshi on wheels.

  2. I had not heard that until now thanks! BTW I really appreciate the photography on your blog - inspiring. Thanks for the comment.