Festival Food

Wandering around a festival in Japan it is easy to feel surrounded by food like ‘meat on a stick’, takoyaki and choco banana. But, looking a little more closely, you will see a wide range of vegan options. Below are some of them.

Festival food in Japan is seasonal and all the food below was being sold at a summer festival.

Note the colored/flavored sugar sold online to make cotton candy/fairy floss seem to use synthetic FD&C food coloring rather than cochineal, however cochineal may be used for red candy apples, pink chocolate-dipped bananas and so on.

Baked potato (Jaga batā)

Baked potato with salt. Just say you don’t want butter (batā nashi onegaishimasu).

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Corn on a stick

This one goes in the category of ‘probably vegan’ – it pays to check that no butter has been added. Usually the corn is just brushed with soy sauce as it is cooked.

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Shaved ice (Kakigori)

Shaved ice served with your choice of flavoured syrup. Although it’s likely the coloring is synthetic, some brands of flavored syrup used at festivals use honey (ハチミツ入り/hachimitsu iri). Be sure to order the shaved ice without the condensed milk topping that is sometimes offered.

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Cucumber on a stick

Served chilled with salt.

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Other fruit (often on sticks)

Other fruit like pineapple and watermelon can be found in summer.

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Edamame

Edamame is available just about everywhere in Japan, including festivals.

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Fried potato

As always the danger is in the oil used to cook the potato, so probably best to check this.

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Candy apples (Ringo ame)

Candy grapes are also available.

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Candy floss / fairy floss

Again, animal-derived food colouring may be an issue.

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Chestnuts

Roasted chestnuts – also available in many supermarkets and convenience stores in Japan.

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Candy

Once again, these may contain animal-derived food colouring.

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