Tokyo Earth Day

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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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The lama was actually a mascot for a clothing stall, but it was just too good not to share.

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.

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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!

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