My craving for German bratwursts paired with a crisp German craft beer only led me to discover the Yokohama Frühlingsfest, held at the Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse. The festival, which translates into 'spring festival' in German, made its inaugural debut in 2013.
Since it was the first Golden Week holiday of 2014, I decided to make my way there in anticipation of busking in the crowded atmosphere of the event.
Despite the slightly dreadful weather that day, it did not turn punters away. Bright lights adorned the festival, with street stalls lined parallel to the warehouses selling a myriad of German delicacies, ranging from German sausages to toasted pretzel varieties. The main attraction, however, was the enormous sheltered tent that housed a 30m beer counter! From German commercial and craft beers to those crafted by the local Yokohama Brewery, it was tricky deciding what I'd like for my virgin Frühlingsfest beer experience.
I decided to indulge a little and went for two beers. The first one, Acrobrau Coronator, was an extra strong dark beer, creamy in texture and malty in flavour. The second one was an American IPA by the Yokohama Brewery, a crisp, lighter beer that had a pleasant bitterness to it. In any case, both beers were drunk on an empty stomach and left me groggy enough for what was coming next.
A German 3-piece band made their way up the main stage, introduced themselves and bellowed greetings through the tent, inciting a fervent excitement amongst the slightly inebriated crowd of people. They played a medley of well known songs, from 'When The Saints Go Marching In', to the Ben E. King classic 'Stand By Me.' Their animated antics drew heaps of cheer from the crowd who responded feverishly to songs in a language unbeknownst to their own. It was such a heartwarming sight to see the crowd dancing with and raising a toast to one another, despite not knowing each other prior.
All in all, it was definitely a day well spent on feasting, socialising and general good cheer. If that much good vibes vibrated from just one day of Golden Week at the festival, I can only imagine the amount of fun that will be had when the festival lasts through the remaining Golden Week holidays.