Call to mind scenes from typical festivals you’ve encountered in Japan. Now, throw those images away and imagine instead a city-sized modern college block party. That’s Fukui City's Cho Festa. Tailor-made by and for the new generation, this festival features events focused on beauty, art, music, competition, communication, love, and lust.
The festival is a super collaboration between local businesses and organizations, and its offerings are split up into areas and time slots, each with their own unique flare.
The mother of all the day’s events ― whose success over its scant 2 years of life actually allowed Cho Festa to exist at all ― is the UTAGE Coupling Party, which kicks off the evening with frenzied mingling reminiscent of speed dating, but with at least the option to relax and get to know that person you’ve been eyeing all day. The dress code for the UTAGE event is always interesting; one year required participants to wear glasses or sunglasses, while everything else was free game. The only possible downside to UTAGE is that you have to be in your twenties to take part. Apparently thirty is, in fact, old.
Other Cho Festa events have included:
The Bridal Fashion Show where you can plan your perfect nuptials.
Beauty City where you can get great deals on hairdos, makeup, nails, and even spiritual guidance to beautify yourself right down to your soul.
Adults-Only Banquet Night where you can choose how classy you want your Michelin Star-worthy evening/date to be by selecting either the Gold or Platinum course. This event has been adults only. You must be at least 25 years old to participate (30 if you’re male).
A Celebration of Eating where people of any age can join in eating an ungodly amount of oroshi soba, a Fukui Prefecture specialty. This particular event was a trial to see if Fukui had a ghost of a chance at beating the current world record for number of people eating the same dish at one time.
The Creators’ Cafe where creative minds, professional and amateur, can meet up over coffee and snacks to share ideas and projects, sell works of art, gain some new customers, get custom works done, and more.
The ROJI Flea Market where you can find rare items and small treasures amongst the antiques and other items offered at stalls located throughout Fukui City’s Motomachi Gallery.
The Winning Eleven Championship where those into the combination of soccer and video games can see if they can be the very best when pitted against complete strangers.
Pure Sound Club Night where those looking to broaden their music libraries by including local Fukui sounds can enjoy live music well into the night.
Cho Festa always has a lot going on, and the event changes every year, so be sure to check it out if you happen by Fukui in early May!
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Based in Kyoto and working in the travel sector, I'm really looking forward to sharing the odd and interesting. Japan has a lot to offer in terms of temples, tradition, and history, which of course I'll share as well as I run into it, but I hope to share more of the unique, silly, and far out (in terms of distance and content) with you as I go along from prefecture to prefecture. Stay tuned for things like: strange but delicious food! little-known places and festivals! interviews with people who specialize in the amazing and obscure! Anyway, I'll be sure to keep you updated! There's a slight chance, if you visit Kyoto, you'll even spot me looking into things or guiding people around. If you do, be sure to say hello!