Franchouchou Presents: Legendary Facts About Saga!
As written by Mysterious Manager Kotaro Tatsumi
Welcome, fans of Franchouchou! The legendary idol unit taking Saga by storm is here today to tell you more about their beloved home prefecture. From guerrilla street performances to their triumphant festival premiere, these amazing girls are revitalizing Saga bit by bit. In fact, they've already made you an expert on Saga!
What do you mean you don't know anything about Saga? Of course you do! You've learned all about their imports and exports, their most popular food, and their major landmarks. You might as well be from Saga!
You don't remember? Of course you don't! You don't need to remember something to have learned it! You just know! That's the magic of Franchouchou! That's the magic of Saga!
Still don't believe me? I'll prove it to you! See if you remember these major facts about our amazing home:
We're famous for our squid!
Want to know where to get the best squid in the world? Look no further than the fishing village of Yobuko, which is now part of the city of Karatsu. Yobuko is famous for its seafood, in particular its squid. You can get it dried, fresh, or really fresh, which is called ikizukuri and is illegal in two countries.
Franchouchou prefers their squid dried. It's the perfect pick-me-up for a dead-on-her-feet idol! I always make sure to keep some in my pocket in case of an emergency. It's also a favorite snack for locals, either on its own or with drinks. A truly legendary food!
What, you don't think squid is legendary? You don't like it? Well maybe it doesn't like you! Ever thought of that?
Saga puts lots of food on your table!
Even if you don't like squid, you like something that comes from Saga. What about strawberries? They're one of our most famous agricultural exports, along with Saga beef and one more thing. Can you guess? Think back...
That's right! Onions!
And when I say we put food on your table, I mean it. Saga doesn't just export to nearby countries, but also to North America and and Western Europe! When you cook tonight, you might be chopping up an onion picked by our own legendary idol, Number Zero!
Pick Your Tea!
Green tea is delicious, good for you, and a traditional Japanese favorite. And, as you already know from following the works of Franchouchou, it has its own ties to Saga... in fact, Saga is believed to be the birthplace of Japanese green tea!
Back in 1191, a monk named Eisai returned from a trip to China with tea leaves, kicking off Japan's love of the green stuff. The town of Ureshino started growing tea in 1440 (back when it was Higashi Sefuri Son), and since then they've making the green tea we love!
As you can see from Franchouchou's recent visit, you can learn what it's like to make green tea, too! Ureshino Ochachamura lets you grab a basket and hand-pick tea, then steep what you harvested and take the rest home. And it's only 1,000 yen per half hour! Do you know how much tea seven idols can harvest in half an hour? Let's just say we won't have to go shopping anytime soon.
Eating squid and picking tea not exciting enough for you? Looking for a little more action in Saga? We've got it! Who do you think we are? Saga is full of life and excitement!
Franchouchou made their way to the Karatsu Kunchi Festival, a local parade taking place to celebrate good autumn harvests. Tons of people gather along Karatsu's main drag to check out giant floats of animals and legendary figures from stories.
Sound like a parade near you? Well, it's nothing like it! The Karatsu Kunchi Festival goes on for three whole days, and you don't have to wait until the parade to see them. They're up behind the Karatsu Shrine all year long so you can visit them whenever you want!
Plus, there's a balloon festival that takes place the same weekend. So you can go up in the air during the festivities, and you don't even have to be friends with a morning show host to do it!
See? You're already an expert on Saga! And I'll bet you know even more than that. Want to keep learning? Keep following the gorgeous and exciting performances of Franchouchou! Let's cheer for them as they revitalize Saga, one small business at a time!
What's your favorite thing about Saga? Let us know in the comments!
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Kara Dennison is a writer, editor, and interviewer with bylines at VRV, Sartorial Geek by Jordandene, We Are Cult, and many more. She is also the co-founder of Altrix Books and co-creator of the OEL light novel series Owl's Flower. Kara blogs at karadennison.com and tweets @RubyCosmos.