The Tosa no Okyaku event is held in Kochi each year in March.
The word “OKYAKU” generally means a guest in Japanese. However, it also means a party or gatherings held to celebrate marriage, seasonal festivals, shrine rituals, house raising, for expelling bad spirits and viewing cherry blossoms. People in Kochi love OKYAKU perhaps more than any other place in Japan. They are very excited when invited to OKYAKU as Kochi people are keen on drinking sake or beer. Friends, relatives and neighbours are invited around and drinks and SAWACHI cuisine (a Kochi specialty) are prepared. The party continues till mid-night with even passers-by being invited to join in. This is the party style of the warm and friendly people of Kochi.
OKYAKU cannot start without SAWACHI cuisine, a traditional cuisine in Kochi mostly prepared for OKYAKU. On tables in OKYAKU, there are plenty of giant plates filled with fresh foods caught and cropped from abundant nature such as seafood, vegetables, and meat.
The Festival called Tosa no OKYAKU is held in March every year. (Tosa is the former name of Kochi in Edo period (1600s ~1800s). During the Festival, even shopping arcades and street trams will become venues for drinking parties. Visitors can see a lot of people dressed in various outfits drinking sake everywhere in Kochi central city during this festival. Another aspect of the Festival is the Bero Bero god. Bero Bero describes the person who has drunk too much. This god is created by Kochi people as they really love drinking and you can only see it in Kochi Prefecture.
Kochi people are generally cheerful, energetic, easy going, and known for their generosity, plus they love to drink sake and beer.