If you’re one of the brave souls who has decided to eschew a diet of dead animal or perhaps if you’re even a little veggie-curious, you should head down to the Tokyo Veggie Food Festa in Yoyogi Park this weekend. The festival runs on Saturday and Sunday and features approximately 100 food booths. The name of the festival is perhaps a little misleading – there’s none of that ovo-lacto-pesco-pollo-semi-flexitarian stuff – this is vegan food. Don’t be discouraged though – within the food court there will be well known macrobiotic cafes, raw food stalls, organic vegetable sellers and fair trade products. The festival runs from 10am to 5pm on both the 20th and 21st. Closest stations are Harajuku/Meijijingu-mae on the JR and Tokyo Metro Chiyoda and Fukutoshin Lines and also Yoyogikoen Station on the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line.
Nearby in Omotesando it’s the final weekend of the Gothicouture Exhibition (link in Japanese). The exhibition is on the third floor of the Gyre building located just up from Kiddyland as you walk from Harajuku towards Omotesando Station – which houses Bulgari and various other shops mainly full of expensive crap. The exhibition features gothic inspired fashion and objet d’art. Don’t expect Harajuku style pop fashion/art though – this is ‘couture’ my darlings. The exhibition runs until Tuesday.
There are a lot of autumn festivals on this weekend all over Kanto. Our pick is the catchily named Koto Ward Citizens Festival Central Festival (link in Japanese) on at Kiba Park from 10am until 4pm on both Saturday and Sunday. This festival offers the opportunity to see ‘Kaku Nori’ – a form of entertainment developed during the Edo era in which performers balance on floating rectangular shaped logs. While similar to logrolling, there is a lot more emphasis on balance and tricks – including balancing on top of ladders and boxes placed on the logs. You can see some great photos here (much better than the one at the top of this post). The closest stations to Kiba Park are Kiba on the Tokyo Metro Tozai Line and Kiyosumishirakawa Station on the Toei Oedo Line.
Autumn is also the season for University festivals. This weekend there are festivals at Otsuma Women’s University in Tama featuring a Miss Otsuma contest, at Mejiro University (closest station Ochiai) and Gakushuin Women’s University (closest station Takadanobaba) – also featuring a beauty contest.
Our video guide to the tuna auctions at the shiny new Toyosu Fish Market