As the temperatures plunge and winter approaches, Japan’s winter comfort foods start to reappear. Chief among these is the humble sweet potato. Honoring this starchy staple, the residents of Kurimoto will pull thousands of these purple tubers and roast them straight away in one of more than 120 earth ovens.
To start the ovens, small bonfires are built over which a stove pipe is added and a small hillock of sand is heaped on – along with all those thousands of sweet potatoes.
If you turn up to the event, you can get your own yakiimo (roasted sweet potato) for free. The venue is a haul from central Tokyo, but at least there’s a potato reward at the end.