The Keyaki Hiroba Spring Beer Festival returns to Saitama this year with its unrivaled showcase of Japanese local beer. A world-class and surprisingly cheap selection of craft beers awaits, only a 30 minute train ride from Shinjuku station.
Numerous micro breweries hailing from Hokkaido to Hyogo offer gratifying craft beers for as little as 300 yen per glass; making the prospect of getting slightly sloshed far easier than at the seemingly ever-present (and ever-expensive) Oktoberfests that multiply throughout Tokyo during the summer months.
Held outside the Saitama Super Arena, the festival is a great chance to enjoy a variety of locally produced beer and soak up the spring sunshine. The breweries will be bringing their most popular beers as well as seasonal specials and one-off tipples created especially for the festival.
There’s also a selection of imported brews, as well as a few stands selling mainstream beers of the Yesbisu and Sapporo variety, all of which can be washed down with an array of festival foods.
The festival will run from the 29th of May to the 1st of June this year, opening from 11am till 10pm for your 11-hour drinking pleasure, except for the first and last days when the fun starts at 4pm (29th) and ends at 8pm (1st). Entrance is free and there’s no unified ‘Prost’ required.
To get to where the beer is take the Kehin-Tohoku, Shonan-Shinjuku or Utsunomiya/Takasaki line to Saitama Shintoshin station and look for signs for Saitama Super Arena (about a 3 minute walk).