Sunday, November 30, 2014

Tokyo Vegefood Festa

This weekend at Yoyogi Park in Tokyo, a small but well attended veggie food festival was held. (The much larger Spain Festa going on nearby was huge.) At the Tokyo Vegefood Festa, there were a few dozen stalls selling Indian, Japanese, Taiwanese, and other types of veggie, vegan, and macrobiotic food.
Events like this are rare in Japan, so it was nice being able to walk around and try food from different vendors.
Most of the food was good. Portions were small, though. On the bright side, that made it easier to sample a number of stalls. Some things were reasonably priced, while others were out there, even for Japan.
No complaints from this happy dude.
 More after the jump:

The samosas (200 yen for one) were tasty.

Sample pickled veggies. Very nice.

This "nanburger" was great, with a curry mix + falafels (I think) all wrapped in nan.

This organization has set up veggie restaurants in a number of countries.

Besides food stalls, there were vendors selling packaged goods, all-natural cleaning supplies, etc.
160 yen for veggie instant ramen. Not bad at all.

You! Will! Love! Kale!

Guatemalan fair trade goods stall. Love seeing this. The prices were unfortunately high - much more than you'd pay for comparable items from Japan. I'd love to see more fair trade and other imported goods here, but the prices have got to be at least competitive for anyone to give them a try. This is actually a common problem with natural packaged goods in Japan. I'm not sure if it's because of the small market size, import taxes, issues with distribution chains, or something else.
All in all, I'm glad to see this kind of event held in Japan. It's true that many stalls sold out of items. Prices were generally high. And there wasn't much of a festive atmosphere. But that means there's room to build and grow. To do that, though, you need to make veggie food and other natural items more accessible and less elite.

Pulling back the lens on a more general note, I have seen more and more restaurants selling salad and other healthy items in Japan (a rarity 10 years ago), and organic food is showing up more, even in mainstream supermarkets. The change in consciousness has been slow compared to Europe, North America, and parts of Asia like Taiwan. Anyway step by step. When low-cost chains like Hanamaru sell delicious salad udon bowls for 500 yen, you have to stay positive and believe things are moving in the right direction.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

unexpected, but very cool feature!

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