October 19th & 20th, 2013 – Tokyo Vegefood Festa 2013
Every year, during September or October, there is a vegetarian festival held both in Kyoto and Tokyo. Sadly, this year, the Kyoto Vegetarian Festival was cancelled. Luckily, the Tokyo Vegefood Fest still opened up in October, just outside Yoyogi Koen in Harajuku, and I got a chance to go!
Essentially, the festival was a vegan dreamland. It included about 100 stalls of vegetarian fare, animal-friendly cosmetics (such as Lush), raw foods, vegan dried groceries and easy-prep foods, vegetarian cook books, gauzy imported Indian clothing and the occasional fresh vegetable stall. You could even get henna tattoos for about \2000. All it needed was booth selling power crystals, and I would have thought I was back at the Health and Harmony festival in my very-hippy home of Sonoma County, California
I would guess that at least half of the stalls were just food trucks or stands selling food, which offered me way more choices than I’m used to handling on a daily basis. I intended to just attend on Saturday, but ended up returning again on Sunday just to try the other things I couldn’t eat the day before. Some of the vegan food options included Pita Sandwiches filled with Falafel, vegan “Cheese” burgers, vegan baked goods, bagels, waffles with berries and vegan “cream,” ginger chai tea, taco rice, Indian curries, and way, way more. Some of the items were quite pricey, while others were exceptionally reasonably-priced for Tokyo.
As for groceries, I picked up some soy protein nuggets (these honestly were not particularly good, but I was willing to give them a shot), and instant curry (which I haven’t tried yet), a tote, bag, some 4-grain flake cereal, and some pre-prepared Chinese food sauces for various kinds of dishes. The sauces were exceptional I will definitely pick up some more in the future.
I would highly recommend this festival to any vegan or vegetarian who is in the area during this time. It was well worth a visit, and offered an unparalleled variety of vegan goods and food from various countries. I hope it will continue you unimpeded for many years to come!