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Tokyo meets Forest | Vegan Circular Cafe CIRTY at Daikanyama Forestgate

Updated: Jan 8

Have you already discovered Daikanyamas newest addition and must-visit spot near the station?


About Daikanyama Forestgate



Right next to Daikanyama Station near Shibuya (Tokyo), you can now find "Daikanyama Forestgate", a new sustainably built building complex with lots of greenery, resembling a forest, hence the name Forestgate. According to the official website, it is supposed to be a gate both to Daikanyama itself and to a modern society living in harmony with nature.


The complex was designed by the architect Kengo Kuma and opened in October 2023. It has a distinctive geometric structure with the timber facade lined up in a way that optimizes air flow and which can be disassembled and re-used in the future. It was also built with minimal waste. The purpose of Daikanyama Forestgate is to give people the opportunity to experience a circular society, which I find very intriguing.



The landscape architect Taichi Saito added to the ecological focus by planting lots of trees both on the ground and on the balconies, which doesn’t only look amazing but primarily helps cooling the buildings in summer and keeping them warm in winter so that less air-conditioning is needed.



The main building has a lush rooftop garden with over 400 plant species, enriching the areas biodiversity. The building is also home to lots of shops and restaurants, office spaces as well as apartments.



The second building called "Tenoha" includes a flower shop (CIRTY FLOWERS), a vegan café (CIRTY CAFE), a community space, library and another rooftop garden where part of the vegetables the cafés uses are grown.



At the flower shop they sell imperfect flowers, for example ones with a twisted stem or leaves with holes where insects had a few bits to fill their tummies, as well as flowers left over from other flower shops or from events, which would usually be thrown away even though they are in good condition still. They are used for flower crowns or in workshops. And all the flowers are regional, so that CO2 emissions from transportation are reduced. The director wants to inspire people to enjoy flowers to the fullest and not waste anything them by  picking up flowers on the street or drying them up once flowers are withered, so that they can be enjoyed longer.




The library can be found on the second floor, over the cafe. However, it is tiny and the only books I saw there were from the architect Kengo Kuma.



There is also a small vegetable stand called CIRTY BIOSK which also sells some drinks and food (I didn’t check if they are vegan or not).



Since this is a food blog and I like the concept, I want to focus especially on CIRTY CAFE.


About CIRTY CAFE



When you enter the Tenoha-Building, you are greeted with the small flower shop CIRCULAR FLOWER.  If you go further in, you see a beautiful cafe with lots of forest plants like fern and real trees which looks very inviting and like an oasis in the busy city life of Tokyo.



The café is a "circular café", which means that they focus on circular economy, locality and freshness. Therefore, in order to prevent food waste, they don ´t have a set menu. Instead, it depends on the ingredients they can get locally and grow themselves inside the café and on the buildings roof top garden. Furthermore, they chose to offer dishes like salad, soups and ice cream, as the shape of the ingredients for those ingredients doesn’t matter, which means that imperfect looking veggies, which are usually thrown away, can be utilized. And everything is completely vegan which reduces not only animal suffering but also CO2 emissions. In order to share the idea of a circular economy with as many people as possible, the focus lies on take-out.



The cafés furniture, interior design and packaging is also made from sustainable resources which can be recycled. However, it would be even more sustainable if they would give out reusable dishes for eating in.



As mentioned earlier, part of the vegetables used here for the main dishes is grown on the buildings rooftop garden and inside the café. Next to the kitchen, they actually grow herbs inside  a small incubator, completely without soil and natural sunlight, showing that vertical farming and growing fresh, healthy food in a metropolis like Tokyo is indeed possible, which shortens supply chains and transportation ways, leading towards a more sustainable future.



This completely vegan cafe offers coffee (including decaf!) and other drinks, main dishes, ice cream and baked goods.



They have three kinds of salad, three kinds of soup, two kinds of wraps, various interesting flavors of ice cream, an açai bowl and cookies, as well as granola bars. The cookies are from Ovgo B.a.k.e.r, a vegan cookie bakery in Tokyo. (Stay tuned for my blogpost about them!)




There are also some events, which you can check out here. (Japanese only)

My Experience



When I was ordering at the counter, the menu was all Japanese, but on a table near it you can find an English one as well, which might be useful to know. Or you could scan a QR-Code at the table for the menu. Also, they take card only, no cash. I like that after ordering and paying, they give you a buzzer which vibrates once your food and/or drinks are ready to be picked up, so there is no need to awkwardly wait near the counter.



Soy Milk Potage

I tried the soy milk potage which was with cauliflower and super delicious! It had a creamy consistency with small pieces of cauliflower in it and a mild taste. While the size doesn´t look very large, it was a good size for me as I was not that hungry. Paired with a wrap or salad it probably is the perfect size. You can actually get both as a set as well.



Ice Cream

CIRTY offers lots of unique ice cream flavors and you choose get either one or two in a cup or corn. I got Strawberry Cookie and Piña Colada. Both were very creamy and tasted like they had a coconut cream base. The Strawberry Cookie one was very milky, sweet and with nice chewy cookie pieces. Very delicious! The Piña Colada was even creamier and had sweet pineapple pieces which made it very fruity. Both were not too sweet which was nice.



Coffee Latte

The latte comes with oat milk and is relatively large. The coffee in it is a bit more on the sour side which I personally don ´t like that much, but it really just depends on what you prefer I guess.




 

!Payment by card only!


Price Range:

378¥ - 990¥ (take out is a bit cheaper than eating in)


Opening Hours:

08:00 - 19:00 (L.O. 18:30)


Address:

20-23 Daikanyamacho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0034, Japan


Homepage:

https://cirty.jp/about/ (Japanese only)

Instagram:

 


 

Check out my Kyoto Sightseeing x Vegan Food guides





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