Gyoza are basically Chinese dumplings, but when served up in Japan you will usually get 'yaki gyoza'. These are pan fried dumplings that are both crispy and soft, filled with juicy pork and absolutely delicious. Often served alongside ramen, they probably count as one of Japan's soul foods.

Beer and gyoza at Tokyo Festival 2017

Source: grape

Gyoza Fest in the Showa Memorial Park in Tachikawa is currently in full swing and will continue until Sunday 26th November, 2017. If you are a true gyoza fan, it is imperative that you attend. Classic-style gyoza from the best vendors in Japan, the brain-children of dumpling mavericks and combos you didn’t know you needed until now are all available in this one place.

For 10,000 yen (about $100) you can attempt the stomach-stretching challenge of trying everything all fourteen stalls have to offer, otherwise each dish is about 600 yen each.

These are the most noteworthy offerings of the day:

Shin-sapporo’s Specialty, Meat-wrapped Gyoza

Meat wrapped gyoza at festival in Tokyo

Source: grape

Well it gets cold up there in Hokkaido so hearty meals are made even heartier with extra meat. This may possibly be the ultimate comfort food.

Winged Gyoza

Hanetsuki (wing gyoza) at Tokyo Festival 2017

Source: grape

With a stretch of eager punters constantly queuing throughout the day, it’s safe to say this was a firm favourite. Hanetsuki Gyoza (literally gyoza with wings) is the name given to ones with a larger than usual overhang of thin, crispy skin connecting all the dumplings together.

Pepperoncino Gyoza

Pasta inspired gyoza at Tokyo Festival 2017

Source: grape

The most eccentric dumpling of the day award goes to these guys. Gyoza in the style of Pepperoncino pasta. Definitely imaginative and honestly, delicious.

Utsunomiya Gyoza

Gyoza at Tokyo Festival 2017

Source: grape

Call me a purist but classic gyoza will always be the best in my eyes. Utsunomiya is an area of Japan particularly known for their delicious gyoza and gyoza specialty restaurants. This vendor was particularly chosen out of all of them to take part in this year's festival.

This is but a small representation of all the strange and delicious choices on offer. If you're a gyoza-lover in the Tokyo area, don't miss out on this roller coaster ride for your taste-buds!

By - grape Japan editorial staff.