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REAL time FOOD on Megijima

Today, I want to tell you about a fascinating project on Megijima that I will try to follow as closely as possible. It’s called REAL time FOOD and it’s the brainchild of Patrick Lydon, Suhee Kang, and Kaori Tsuji.

To get an idea of what it is about, let me quote Patrick Lydon a little bit:


Starting in September, we’ll build a natural garden, and open a temporary gallery/café. These will be used as the foundation for a 10 week series of public workshops and events on Megijima that runs from early September to mid November.”


Our projects center around connecting people and nature, and this one really takes what we’ve learned over the past years and puts it all into one community-oriented project. All of it has to do with generating healthy social and economic activity, and especially, getting young people and young families involved with the locals on the island.”


REAL time FOOD 2016 - Megijima


How will this be implemented?

Well, mostly through a series of workshops that will be held on Megijima over the 10 weeks that the project will last.

Here is what is going to happen in the detail:


  • 7–16th Preparation of natural garden, gallery, and café space is undertaken by the artists.
  • 17th 12:30 – 17:00 “World’s Slowest Restaurant” Launch Event | Place orders & enjoy a film screening of “Final Straw: Food, Earth, Happiness” documentary with the directors.
  • 24th 9:00 – 12:00 Nature Art | Workshop with Patrick Lydon, Suhee Kang.
  • 24th 13:00 – 17:00 Making Pigment with Soil | Workshop with Harumi Ikegame.


The garden were everything will grow as of this morning.
The garden were everything will grow as of this morning.


Final Straw screening in Scotland.
Final Straw screening in Scotland.


Nature Art Workshop
Nature Art workshop



  • 1st 12:30 – 17:00 Megijima’s Treasures: Nature | Gallery Opening.
  • 8-9th 8:30 – 17:00 Megijima Nature and Culture Souvenirs | Workshop.
  • 15th 12:30 – 17:00 Megijima’s Treasures: Souvenirs | Gallery Opening.
  • 22nd 12:30 – 17:00 Taste of Megijima, Eat Local & Healthy | Cooking Workshop with Kaori Tsuji.
  • 29th 12:30 – 17:00 Megijima’s Treasures: Food | Gallery Opening.


Nature Art workshop
Nature Art workshop


Cooking workshop
Cooking workshop


Flower Art workshop
Flower Art workshop



  • 12th 12:30 – 17:00 “World’s Slowest Restaurant” Final Event | Lunch Serving & Final Gallery Exhibition.


World's Slowest Restaurant (in Osaka, last year)
World’s Slowest Restaurant (in Osaka, last year)



Final Straw Gallery exhibit in the UK
Final Straw Gallery exhibit in the UK


Check out and bookmark the official site’s schedule to make sure you have accurate and up-to-date information in case of a last minute change.


There are also two internships that sound pretty awesome. Let me copy here the internships’ statement of purpose – and I advise you to read it, even if you don’t intend to attend the workshops:

Nature and Culture to Revitalize an Island

International Workshop in Megijima, Japan
2016 October 2-9 (long session) / October 8-9 (short session)
hosted by SocieCity and Final Straw
with Patrick M. Lydon, Suhee Kang, and Kaori Tsuji

Ecological activism, creative practice, and community building come together on the Island of Megijima, Japan this October, and we want you to be a part of it.
The team at SocieCity & Final Straw are assembling an international cast of creative thinkers and doers to join us in a small Japanese village, where we will discover and highlight the social and ecological treasures of this island together. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore in depth, the nature and culture of a small island together with other creative minds from around the world, and to help build an ecological future for this community.

Our program begins with participants enjoying an in-depth look at the island, it’s nature, and its people. We have arranged special tours of the island’s ecological and cultural history, and participants will interact directly with locals to hear their stories of the island, it’s natural resources, its farms, and its folklore.

The second half of the program focuses on synthesizing our experiences – the ecology, stories, and personal reactions – into physical hand-made souvenir prototypes. The prototypes will serve as souvenirs/talismans for visitors, and reminders of the island’s unique nature and culture.
All prototypes produced by workshop participants will be voted on by the local villagers, with the winning design having a chance to be put into production locally in order to support the island.

Participants can choose to stay for only the intensive course (October 8th – 9th), or an extended internship (October 2nd – 9th) that will include becoming part of the larger community regeneration activities we are undertaking on the island. The extended internship, though not required, is especially recommended for international visitors.


If you’re interested in those workshops / internships, there are some spots left, please contact Patrick as soon as possible: [email protected]



Finally, the most important link: the project’s website with all the information you need to know.

I’m pretty excited about this project. I really think this is the kind of endeavors that the islands need in priority for successful and sustainable revitalization. Well, I really think this is what all of our societies need if we want them to survive and prosper on the long term.

Thank you Patrick, Suhee and Kaori for this, I feel that I’m going to make a lot of trips to Megijima over the next two months. And, you, dear readers, if you’re in the area and care about… well, care about life basically, maybe you should go check it out.


the REAL time FOOD team: Patrick Lydon, Suhee Kang, Kaori Tsuji
the REAL time FOOD team: Patrick Lydon, Suhee Kang, Kaori Tsuji


All pictures and visuals are courtesy of Patrick Lydon.



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