Tokyo VegFood Festa

18 10 2009

We started off the Tokyo VegFood Festa for 2009 at Tokyo station. The New York Doughnut Plant didn’t have the same vegan soymilk donut we had first tried. Instead they had 2 totally awesome new flavours – pumpkin and rose flavours. Breakfast thus completed we went to Yoyogi Park for the actual VegFood Festa.

There were a large number of stalls, but not as well placed as the Kyoto festival (which was in a more open space with grassed spaces to sit, opposed to a long narrow street filled with stalls on either side). However, the entire festival was advertised as veing vegan so we could eat whatever we wanted.

We met-up with some other folks from Vegan Meet-ups and slowly worked our way through the food that was on offer.

Then we had dinner at Pure Cafe, which was actually classified as a late lunch on their menu. It was okay, but the desserts were really good.

Kyoto Veggie Festival

4 10 2009

We took the overnight bus from Tokyo to Kyoto. It left around 11.30pm from outside the Tokyo bus station and arrived around 7am in Kyoto. While we may not have gotten much sleep, it was very quiet (as Japanese people are), we were in the back row and the lights were all out most of the night.

We were worried that it might be pouring with rain for the festival as the day we left Kisarazu a typhoon had passed. However the day was perfect – warm and sunny and around 26 degrees.

Before heading to the festival we first went to Chion-in. It has a bell that reportedly so big it needs 17 monks to ring it. There were lots of people and some sort of service going on in the main hall with lots of people singing/chanting.

Then we went to the park in front of Heian Shine (with a massive vermillion torii) where the Veggie Festival was held. There were lots of stalls – 98 different small stalls. There were (raw) vegetable stalls, curry stalls, ethnic food stalls, lots of cakes, scones, a ‘bar’, bread stalls, NPO information stalls, drink stalls, soap stalls, massage stalls, jewelery and clothing stalls… most of them were small but all had delicious food. The flyers encouraged people to bring their own cutlery and plates. We brought bowls fro home so had our lunch served out into our own crockery. If you didn’t bring your own you could buy cups/plates which you could return for a refund after use. There was also a stage with different music- flamenco guitar, indian dance, steelpan, african drums…

We ate hemp seed scones, fried gluten with green salad, the JSDA veg curry, tempeh from the Indonesian stall, chai, a hot blueberry waffle, a tortilla with salsa from the Nagoyan Vegetarians…an excellent feast!

Atsu joined us in the afternoon, then we ate tofu tonkatsu for dinner at his place. We watched TV – on a funny travel show some people went to Italy and collected magnets – “No picture, yes magnet”. 3 overweight woman went to Mexico to eat chillies and try to lose weight. Then some boys went around the world and got haircuts. Interesting…

Kuwana Festival

1 08 2009

Photo of a lit up float, taken with our phone.

Nagoyan Festivals

1 08 2009

Day 3:

In the morning we visited Nagoya jo (Nagoya castle). This castle had interesting exhibits. There were lots of insects in the collection and a model of the castle village.

Then we had lunch at Jinenan, a lovely vegan organic cafe. We feasted on the set meal that contained about 12 different items. It was pouring with rain and the lovely owners, seeing that we only had one umbrella, gave us another umbrella to take.
We caught the subway to OsuKannon shopping area and watched the CosPlay festival parade. Lots of crazy dressups, but most of the participants seemed too shy for photos.
After the cosplay festival we had dinner at an organic cafe called Poran no Hiroba- pita bread with chillibeans and salad, and a set dinner with an interesting bitter jelly for dessert.

Then we trained to Kuwana, one stop from Asahi, where we watched the “noisiest festival in Japan”, Ishi Dori Matsuri. Groups from all the neighbouring towns pulled their town floats along the streets of the city towards the main shrine. There were stalls set up along each side of the road selling food, souvenirs, sweets, drinks, games and amusements. People danced and banged metal drums the whole night – to no particular rythmn so it made it really noisy.

2 festivals in one day – yay!