Oktoberfest 2011

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Oktoberfest 2011

While the citizens of Munich have to wait until autumn for their city's infamous orgy of beer and bratwurst, Tokyo holds its own Oktoberfest a little bit earlier – as in, nearly five months earlier. For ten days in May, Hibiya Park gets transformed into a shrine to German beer, with stalls serving up draft brews from the likes of Spaten, Hofbrau and Hacker-Pschorr. There's food, live music, and you can expect near-constant choruses of 'Ein Prosit,' the event's signature drinking song. Be warned that it's thronged with office workers in the evenings, so if you're looking to enjoy a quiet beer or two, you'd be best off going on a weekday afternoon. Note too that while it's free to get in, the drinks don't come cheap, and you'll also need to pay a deposit for the fancy glasses (hey, it makes a change from drinking out of a plastic cup).

Updated, May 23
Click here for photos from the opening night of Tokyo Oktoberfest, 2011