Friday 19 July 2013

Veg'n Events in Tokyo

While it's not London or New York, Tokyo has a few events of interest to resident or travelling vegans.

The Tokyo Veg Festa (vegetarian festival) in October is the year's largest event, and it sees thousands of people visit dozens of stalls, most of which seem to do a roaring trade. Many organic and vegan restaurants and stores have stalls, and prices are generally good (I think lower than usual retain prices). I bought some Vegan Earth shoes while visiting the festival from Taiwan three years ago, and still wear them. All food served and sold is vegan (though it wouldn't hurt to check).

The annual Tokyo Veg Festa draws attracts thousands.

The Loving Hut seems to have a permanent long line.

Almost as good is the Earth Day Festival in April, which also features a lot of vegetarian (and organic) food.

Earth Day 2012

A distant third is the 'Eco Life' festival (June), which from my experience in 2013 was worth passing by for a meal from the Loving Hut, but not for much else.

The annual anti-fur march (also in October) draws a few hundred people.

The 2012 Anti-fur march is about to depart for a 1.5-hour walk through the nearby fashion districts. 

All three festivals are held opposite NHK Hall, on the edge of Yoyogi Park. The anti-fur march also leaves from the same location.

View Vegetarian Festival Location in a larger map

Whether visiting or living in Tokyo, it's well worth going to a vegan meetup, especially the monthly Pink Cow buffets. The food is excellent (usually my best meal of the month), and it's a good chance to meet veg-minded and English-speaking (but not usually vegetarian) Japanese, and an eclectic mix of foreigners. Note that the majority of people there are not veg'n, and some don't even 'get it', not that this matters: it's great to see so many people enjoying a vegan meal. On one of my first meetups, after introducing myself to a resident foreigner in Tokyo as we cued up for the buffet, I mentioned that I was from New Zealand and he quickly told me how much he loved NZ because the fly fishing was so good.

I'm yet to master the fine Japanese art of making food *look* good on my plate, but this meal at the monthly Pink Cow vegan meetups is usually my best meal of the month.

It's not just the trains: this Yokohama anti-fur march - walkable from my apartment - was due to start at 1PM.

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