Forget boring veggie burgers, experience the food of the future at Shibuya Food Tech Park.
New alternatives to meat have been popping up all over the world in recent years, spurred as always by issues like animal welfare and environmental preservation, and also health concerns. While veggie burgers have been around for decades, more recent innovations in food technology have seen products like impossible meat become so popular as to be offered by chains like Burger King. Companies are beginning to see that vegetarian and vegan options are worth pursuing.
Although some restaurants like Mos Burger been offering products like the plant-based Green Burger, Japan has in general been a little slow on the uptake, with vegetarian and vegan food only becoming something of a trend in the past few years. But this trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere soon.
Opened as a place to expand interest in plant-based foods, particularly meat substitutes, Food Tech Park is part-cafe and part-experience center.
The facility, on the second floor of the Shibuya LOFT building, features products from a number of manufacturers, including some based on Japan. One of those, called “Next Meats,” appeared on the scene in just 2020, but has received attention for its marketing focused on Asian cuisines, like plant-based Korean bulgogi.
The attached cafe, called 2 Foods, gives visitors a chance to try a variety of plant-based and vegan meals, to better understand the potential of the different meat alternatives.
And to really understand what new innovations are being made in food tech, visitors can walk through the exhibition area, where a number of different products are set up with tablets explaining the research process and ingredients needed to create the many different final products. To experience the products fully, visitors can smell the veggie meats, touch them, and maybe even taste a sample!