The Meguro Sanma Festival has been taking place every year since 1996. At the festival they give away about 7000 grilled Sanma fish (Pacific Saury) for free – you have to line up in the 1 kilometer queue though.
It is said that moons ago, a feudal lord was riding on his horse in Meguro and came across the smell of some Sanma being grilled. When he asked the local peasants what it was, they replied that it was a fish called Sanma and that it was not appropriate for a lord to consume. The lord requested for some of this fish to be brought to him and he discovered how tasty this om nom nom Sanma was. The festival is said to celebrate this story.
Today, folks gather in the sweltering heat to eat tasty Sanma, drink and enjoy company of friends, family and complete strangers. T’was our first time to attend the event despite living in Meguro for about 5 years now.
Fishermen have had a hard time catching Sanma this year and there was concern that they wouldn’t be able to give away the fish like they do every year. However Hokkaido and other prefectures helped out by donating Sanma for the festival. The news report below covers today’s event.