Well another week had come and gone, and my plans for Earth Day were a wonderful success! On Saturday I headed out around lunchtime to Yoyogi Park where the festival was being held. Many people had told me about Yoyogi park, so I was very excited to explore the area. I made my way through the greenery, following the sound of distant music which quickly led me to the entrance to the festival.
The area was lined with stalls selling all sorts of ethically-made/organic products, as well as a variety of organizations which were fundraising and recruiting volunteers. I spent some time exploring the large area, wandering through rows of stalls which created an almost labyrinthine effect.
In the centre of it all was a large open-air stadium where a range of musical performances and guest lectures were held over the course of the day.
After a while, I found myself in a sort of food-court area, which offered a decent selection of vegetarian and even vegan options. Although when I say “decent” I mean by Japan standards. (So in reality, maybe about 5 different food items out of the entire selection of stalls that were specifically herbivore-friendly).
I find it amazing how even the most eco-friendly, international festival still can’t keep the Japanese away from their meat. However, I was happy to see several organizations which were working to raise awareness about the meat and fish industries, and animal rights in general.
I decided to try a vegan kebab skewer, and also some organic honey wine. The funny thing about Japan is, that even though the idea of vegetarianism is becoming more of a concept, it is still fairly under-developed. Basically, “vegetarian/vegan” here means some sort of soy product which is shaped, textured and flavoured like meat. So really just food that can pass as a “meat substitute.” Needless to say, my vegan kebab was disturbingly meaty, but the honey wine was quite wonderful and refreshing.
I made my way over to a large staircase in the centre of the festival, and just spent some time sitting, relaxing in the sun, and enjoying the music from a distance.
Eventually I headed home, but I did purchase a few souvenirs, including a commemorative recycled t-shirt, and a sample package of organic dog treats to bring home to my dog Elvis.
I found it such a nice and relaxed environment that I decided to return again on Sunday with a few friends who were interested in going. It was pretty much the same exact thing as on Saturday, although we did get to see a Michael Jackson impersonator give a performance (so, obviously the highlight of my day).
Honestly, it’s going to be hard to top Asian M.J., but Golden Week is coming up (a week-long holiday with no university classes), so I’m already making plans to ensure every day is filled to the brim. Hopefully I’ll manage to keep the blog up-to-date what with all the adventures I’m sure to have!