Cold cod soup or dongara jiru is a popular winter dish in the Shonai region of Yamagata Prefecture, and the Japan Sea Cold Cod Festival in Tsuruoka City celebrates the warming seasonal meal.
Previous iterations of the event have drawn crowds of around 20,000 people enjoying different takes on dongara jiru from numerous vendors. If you appreciate the zero waste "nose to tail" eating concept you'll likely be a fan of dongara jiru, as every bit of the cod fish is used in the soup's preparation, right down to the bones. A big part of the soup's flavor is said to come from the fish's liver and milt (seminal fluid of fish), so perhaps not one for the picky eaters out there!
There's no admission fee to enjoy the event's atmosphere, but bring yen if you plan on doing some soup sampling.