From vegan meals and treats to yoga, ethical clothing, and cruelty-free cosmetics: there was something for everyone at Fukuoka’s first vegan festival.
On Saturday, October 14 from 10.30am, 40 lively stalls with a backdrop of panel discussions, musical performances, and videos filled the Fukuoka City Gender Equality Promotion Center (AMIKAS) in Takamiya. The festival proved popular, attracting up to a thousand visitors from across Kyushu over the course of the day.
Conceived of at a dinner party last year, Fukuoka’s first vegan festival is the brainchild of four members of DIY Vegan. We spoke to Keiko, one of the festival’s founders, about her vision for the event. As vegetarian and vegan lifestyles are still unusual in Japan, DIY Vegan aims to create an inclusive and open environment which shows that veganism can in fact be easy, fun, and delicious. DIY Vegan also hope that the festival will have interested people who aren’t vegan or vegetarian – to explore new foods and see for themselves what the fuss is all about.
Finally, DIY Vegan hopes that the festival will help foreign people living in, and visiting, Fukuoka to find the vegan and vegetarian restaurants, cafes, and services they may be looking for, and to welcome them into Kyushu’s growing vegan scene. Please read on for more information on our favorite picks of the day, and where you can find their products and services!
Based in Daimyo, the Rota Cafe – which has been open for over a year and a half – sells a range of macrobiotic, organic, and vegan foods. We tried a few dishes that they had on offer including a slow-cooked brown bean stew and a falafel, radish, and hummus pita: one of the highlights of the festival for a formerly UK-based vegetarian! Rota Cafe provides a selection of wholesome, balanced and ethically-produced food – created with care and based on their values of environmentalism, animal rights, and self-care. We would definitely recommend a visit!
• 1-12-2 Ky, Daimyo, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
Based in Hakata, Canezees, established in 2009, sells a wide range of donuts including energy donuts, vegan grilled donuts, and fried donuts. The leftover frying oil is even used to fuel their ‘donut ECO car’ so you can order donuts delivered right to your door! We tried their delicious chocolate and brown sugar walnut donuts which were super soft, fluffy, and flavoursome – we would definitely recommend a trip to their store!
This brown-sugar walnut doughnut was Rebecca’s favourite pick from the festival!
• 1-3-9 Mukaino, Minami-ku, Fukuoka
Asako has been creating delicious vegan macrobiotic snacks for two and a half years. We loved the coconut biscuits: sweet coconut bites filled with bitter dark chocolate (they’re a limited edition special for winter so grab them while you can!). You can find Tamahoko products in various organic shops across Fukuoka City including the Natumula Natural Food Store.
• http://tamahoko-shop.com/ (online shop)
Tamahoko’s selection of delicious vegan biscuits were Ellie’s favourite pick from the festival!
It wasn’t just established cafes and stores which had stalls at Fukuoka’s first vegan festival. The presence of stalls run by locals who chatted with visitors, as well as baked goods for the event provided a sense of goodwill towards the vegetarian and vegan community in Fukuoka.
Another highlight was a five minute aromatherapy essential oil hand-massage administered by Salon de Paradisii for only ¥100! All in all, a very relaxing finish to a very well attended and lively festival. We thoroughly recommend that you attend next year’s festival and check out the locations mentioned in this articles: vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike are very welcome!
Salon de Paradisii
• Noma 1-chome, Minami-ku, Fukuoka (approx. 10 minutes walk from Takamiya Sta.)
Look out for more in Fukuoka Now’s Vegetarian and Vegan Guide, coming soon!
Vegan ramen: this was extremely popular. Aso-san, originally from Fukuoka, came all the way from Hawaii where he works as a vegan sushi chef, to experiment with serving vegan ramen in August this year. The ramen was a delicious and rare treat for vegans and vegetarians in Fukuoka who are normally unable to indulge in Hakata’s pork-bone broth variety.
Vegan shoes: Belle & Sofa (located in Tenjin) have been making footwear for forty years and introduced a range of vegan, leather-imitation shoes ten years ago pictured above.
Vegetable stalls: At the entrance to the festival there was a farmer’s market full of
high-quality vegetable produce. Popular at the festival was the fresh pumpkin: perfect for the halloween season!
Patagonia: this popular outdoor wear US brand had sustainable and nutritious foods and a new range of long root ale, produced using regenerative agriculture practices. Now in its tenth year in Fukuoka, Patagonia is continuing its mission to make high quality products and minimize negative impacts on the environment. We particularly enjoyed trying their red bean chilli (pictured below)!
Original detox tea: Cinnamon detox tea, grown locally in Itoshima. A soothing delicate drink to warm you up as winter approaches.
DIY Vegan group info
The DIY Vegan team are a social group of ordinary people living in Fukuoka who all happen to share an interest in veganism! They organise events and activities related to veganism having met at a veggie dinner party last year; with current members including a chef at a local vegan restaurant. DIY Vegan are now starting work on next year’s vegan festival whilst also planning dinner and movie events for the intervening months. Their next event will be a veggie dinner party held this December which they welcome everyone to join in on. Please visit their Facebook page DIY VEGAN for up to date information as event plans are released.
Text and photos by: Emily Clark, Rebecca Sutherland, and Ellie Whitlock
October 21, 2017