Last week I enjoyed some of Baird Beer’s finest beers at the Numazu Jiman (Pride) Beer Garden. When I posted about the Jiman Beer Garden on September’s What’s On I really didn’t know where they were going with the whole event. From my translation I gathered that Jiman meant to brag or to show pride. I couldn’t see Numazu, or any town in Japan for that matter, brag about what ever it was they were offering so I assumed it was ‘pride’, but pride about what I was not sure.
The festival ran from the 7th to the 9th of September in the Numazu Chuo Koen (south side of the station where the walking bridge across the Kano River is). The open air event spread out over the park with stalls in one corner, stage in another and the rest of the park packed with tables and chairs.
Early Autumn in Numazu just feels like summer minus the humidity. This makes it perfect for beer drinking because, while you are a little hot sitting at the table, you cool down just enough with the help of a beer.
The night I went was Friday night and the weather was ideal. I am glad I went early because the park was soon packed and even invoking the power of my foreignness this time did not work to dissuade people from sitting at my table or attempting to take the chairs I was guarding for friends.
The whole crew from Numazu Baird Beer were there including the beer master Brian. They also invited another craft brewer, Iwate Kura Beer, to the event but I didn’t get a chance to taste their beer. The local passion for Baird Beer could be seen by the long trail of customers lining up for a beer. If you did not want beer you could choose from a cocktail vendor and a local sake maker.
While I was there, the stage events started with a gravity defying cocktail making performance by a local awarding winning barmen. The show was spectacular. The barman juggled and spun bottles and shakers to some pumping beats before dispensing his cocktails in Martini glasses and offering them to a lucky few of the of the audience. After this was a local alternative jass group that performed some mellow songs to keep everyone chilled for the evening.
Before I went home I wandered among the stalls. As the name of the event suggests, all the food was from local restaurants and cooks. There was Rosso Pomodoro, a local pizza vendor, who brought his wood-fired pizza oven along and was cranking out hand made pizzas to a large queue of hungry customers. Another stall was cooking up local seafood over the barbecue. A yakitori vendor was smoking up the place with some delicious skewered delicacies. And if you were too worried that you would lose your chair when you got up to get something to eat, then you could call out to one of the Numazu Pro-wrestlers who were wandering around with a variety of cooked goodies.
In short the Numazu Jiman Beer Garden Festival was the perfect event for the right time of year. More importantly, you got to try out some of the amazing food that Numazu that I have been in love with for years. Numazu should be proud.
Stay tuned to Numazu Traveler to find out when next year’s Jiman Festival will be.