The “Hot and Spicy Gourmet Festival” is a summer festival that has been postponed to 2020 and 2021 due to the effects of the new coronavirus. The festival is held every year for more than a month in Okubo Park in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo.
I wondered if the event would reopen this year (2022)… and sure enough, there were signs of its reopening. I saw a little bit of information on the official website about the stores that would be open, and I thought, “Oh, they’re scaling back this year. Well, we don’t know how fast the outbreak is going to spread, so that’s fine.
I was rather grateful, I thought.
When I heard the news of the resumption of the Hot and Spicy Gourmet Festival, I thought, “We have no choice but to hold an offline meeting. I thought, “I have no choice but to have an off-line meeting,” but I still couldn’t bring myself to do it. I had been away from off-line meetings for a long time, and I felt that it was too much trouble to organize such an event. In the first place, meeting people outside of my family or office has been out of the question since Corona.
Still, we have to do this event. After all, we’ve been eating at almost every restaurant every year since 2013, when this event was first held. If the organizers wanted to hold this event again this year, we had no choice but to comply with their request. There was no option but to pretend that we had not seen it.
So the reopening on a smaller scale was very welcome. I have a one-year-old child, so it is impossible for me to go to Shinjuku often. The 2022 event was held on a smaller scale because of the time of year. Thanks to you, I was able to conquer all the stores again this year! I would like to say, “Thanks to your help, I was able to conquer all the stores this year! I would like to enjoy a little sense of accomplishment this way.
However, when I checked the official website later, I was surprised. The list of stores was complete, but even as I scrolled down the screen, they kept popping up. Can you believe it? The scale of the event is quite large.
When I counted them later, the total number of stores was 42. That’s the largest number ever. Not “a total of 42 stores,” but 42 actual stores. What? I can’t just “conquer all the stores” like I’ve done so far. It’s impossible to “conquer all the stores” like before. They’re trying to kill us.
Every year when this event is announced, I am horrified by the magnitude of the event and say to myself, “You’re killing me! I said to myself, “You’re killing me! How much further can they extend this event? Stop it, stop it, this is too much. If that’s the case, why don’t they just set up a permanent venue somewhere and open for business? Something like the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum.
Because it is a “limited time only event,” I still have to take the countermeasure of “if that’s the case, then I’ll have to conquer all the stores. In the first place, if the event had started out with dozens of stores, I would never have thought of “conquering all the stores”. It just so happened that the first event was held with only nine restaurants, so I was just stretching myself and thinking, “If that’s the case, I can do it if I visit all the restaurants by myself over a three-day period. That was in 2013, and since then, the event has grown in scale and we have become like boiled frogs.
So far, from 2013 to 2019, this event has had a regular pattern of “6 days open, 1 day to switch stores, then another 6 days open, 1 day to switch stores…”. So, we have been doing “every Wednesday night as the day of the off-day meeting, and we conquer all the stores that are open that week”.
The most recent year, 2019, was a 6-week event, and while we all complained that we had had enough, we were able to split up and hold off-weekly meetings and conquer all the restaurants. Even when I, the organizer, was absent on some days, others filled in.
The reason why we call this “Gourmet Gourmet Festival Off-line Meeting for Conquering All Stores” “Gekki-Gourmet Relay Race” is because “Let’s overcome this long event with the cooperation of an unspecified number of people together. Let’s conquer all the restaurants. The reason why we call the event “Gourmet Relay Race” is because we have the idea of “overcoming this long event with the cooperation of an unspecified number of people. It would be difficult for an individual to show up at all of the event venues during the week. And it would be impossible to visit all the stores. That’s why it’s a team effort.
‘We won all the stores this week,’ he said! I won’t be able to join you next week, but the rest of you, you’re in charge!”
“I’m in charge! I couldn’t attend this week, but I’ll be at the venue next week and I’ll take over!”
We would like to do a tusk relay called That’s the kind of off-line meeting.
This time, however, there was one thing that made me cringe when I looked at the list of openings.
Apparently, each store has a different opening date. As in the past, we would say, “These 9 stores will open the first week! Next week, these 9 stores will open. The following week, these 9 stores will open. Depending on the convenience of the stores, the period may be long or short.
I went to the trouble of making a spreadsheet with the store names and opening dates because I thought it would be necessary to write them down once to get the full picture. Because there is no such document on the official website.
But I regretted it while I was making it. I thought it would be quick and easy, but there are actually 42 shops. It’s a hassle!
After researching, we found that the shortest stores were open for 5 days, while the longest stores were open for 18 days. The 42 stores are packed like a Tetris puzzle with such a mix of long and short opening days. It was tiring just to think, “How can I visit all the stores in the shortest and easiest time? I was tired just thinking about it.
No, seriously, let’s stop trying to hit all the stores this year. There is no end to it. I’ve admitted to myself that I’m a boiled frog, but I’m completely boiled. I can’t do it anymore, and I don’t think I have to go that far to keep going, do I?
I don’t even think this is the last year for me to celebrate the end of my life. However, I have decided to set up a framework for an offline meeting, and if people gather, I’ll do it randomly.
Click here to plan an offline meeting.↓↓
The reason I used the phrase “like off-line meeting style” is because I thought that in this Corona era, almost no one would go out of their way to participate in an off-line meeting style. It is still risky to have dinner with people, and it is not a good idea to actively recruit participants.
So this year, I would like to ask that if we don’t all get together and eat individually, please report back to this site. We would like to accumulate information from various people who have eaten there and eventually conquer all the restaurants! I would like to accumulate the information from various people and eventually conquer all the restaurants. We will continue to do the “get together and eat together every Wednesday” thing we have been doing, but we will also allow people to eat individually.
What will really happen? I am writing this after the first site visit. We are off to a good start and have a good prospect for the second visit next week (Sept. 7). After that, I myself am not at all sure if I will be able to keep up the momentum.
The dates of the event are as follows. In order to accommodate irregular store openings, the 5th and 6th are on irregular days of the week, not Wednesdays.
|Wednesday, August 31, 2022
|11:00 – 12:00
|Wednesday, September 07, 2022
|19:00 – 20:30
|Wednesday, September 14 and Thursday, September 15, 2022
|12:00 – 13:00
|Wednesday, September 21, 2022
|19:00 – 20:30
|Monday, September 26, 2022
|12:00 – 13:00
|Thursday, September 29, 2022
|19:00 – 20:30
Probably as far as this year is concerned, I’m going to have to be out there all week myself if I’m serious about winning all the stores. In these days of Corona, and with the very small readership of this site to begin with, it is obvious that people will not show up for the offline meetings. I’m prepared to say that if I can’t make it out there, that will be the end of my “conquest of all the restaurants”. Of course, I am waiting for someone to come to help me.