Niigata’s Yairo Watermelon Festival: The Cheapest Watermelon in Japan! | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan
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Niigata’s Yairo Watermelon Festival: The Cheapest Watermelon in Japan!

By Vincent Michaels Jul 22, 2022

How would you like to visit a festival that would not only showcases your favorite fruit but sells it at an affordable price? While summer in Japan hosts a number of festivals, a notable one is the Yairo Watermelon Festival, which runs during the watermelon harvest in the summer. Heading to the Yairo Watermelon Festival in Niigata is a great way to minimize the cost and maximize the benefits since Japanese watermelons are quite expensive—albeit deliciously sweet and juicy.

An Unmissable Opportunity to Grab Cheap Watermelon!

Watermelons in Japan are very costly, so this festival seems all the more special, especially at the bargain price of 500 yen for adults and 300 yen for children for entry. For context, a Yairo watermelon, if purchased online, costs around 3,500 yen, whereas the same watermelon, if purchased at the festival, will cost around 1,800 yen.

For the price of entry, you are usually able to eat as much watermelon as your stomach can handle. However, this year, the usual all-you-can-eat perk has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although it may not be all-you-can-eat this year, while this inexpensive offer is available, you can expect the demand for watermelon to skyrocket.

And, considering COVID-19 protocols have been relaxed, there will likely be an increase in the number of attendees for this year’s event. If you have the chance to visit, you can help yourself to a number of different varieties, or you might just want to settle with your favorite type of watermelon.

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While you can purchase the watermelon to take home, during the festival, there will be several tents set up with chairs and other necessary items, so you can have the luxury of enjoying the watermelon while fully utilizing the facilities. There is also an uncovered tatami seating area where you can enjoy your watermelon under the hot summer sun, making it a perfect and refreshing dessert for this time of the year. There will be an eating contest as well, so there will be various kinds of watermelon available, which is even better once you consider the tremendous discounts on offer compared to the market price!

Enjoying the Watermelon Festival

The festival starts at 09:00 am and ends at 17:00 every day from late July to Mid-August 2022. At the start of the event, it is best to check for the freshest watermelon, so you can stock up to take home once you are done. And while you are checking the watermelon out, you can visit the tents set up around the festival to get a feel of what is in store if you decide to take a bite of watermelon after a hot, sunny day.

In the afternoon, you can try out the uncovered tatami seating area to feel the sun on your face while trying the delicious watermelon. At that point, it will also be a good time to explore one of the tents and enjoy the facilities while having a taste, perhaps during lunch. After a hard, long day of exploring, you can wind down and head home with your spoils. 

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Getting to the Festival

The watermelon festival will take place at the Japan Agriculture Minami Unonuma Branch in Usara, Niigata Prefecture, from late July to mid-August and is full of tremendous opportunities to try a variety of delicious watermelon. You’ll experience something special you’ve never experienced before in Japan—the bargain price for watermelon and the range of sizes and varieties you can choose from. 

Date: July 27th-August 10th, 2022
Time : 09:00 – 17:00
Price: 300 yen – 500 yen
Address: Minami Uonuma Branch of Japanese Agriculture, Urasa 5147-1, Minamiuonuma-shi, Niigata 949-7302, Niigata Prefecture

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Why Not Treat Yourself to A Taste of Japan’s Tastiest Watermelon?

The Yairo watermelon is renowned for being sweeter and juicier than any other watermelon in Japan, so if you are a person who adores watermelon, taking yourself to the Yairo Watermelon Festival to try what is perhaps Japan’s cheapest watermelon will be the best present you can give yourself this summer—especially since it only happens once a calendar year. Don’t miss this golden opportunity!

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