Food Waste In Tokyo


This project was fuelled by my curiosity and passion for japanese food culture and sustainability. I had conducted a survey to gather other’s opinion on shomi kigen (best before dates) and their practice of buying food in combinis (convenience stores) and markets in Japan. I realised that there is a strong sense of trust in combinis and stores to provide fresh food and that they only come across the expiry date after having bought the food, sometimes only having a few days remaining to eat the food

I have also visited the Musashino Clean Center, and from this visit I realised how big food waste is especially within domestic households as there is no way to sort food from combustibles in Tokyo. There is 8 million still edible/not expired food thrown away per year in Japan.


I became interested in traditional Japanese aesthetics, Wabi Sabi; researching and understanding this philosophy of understated elegance, and ‘less is more’ as I surveyed the uprising of convenience stores where food no longer holds the same meaning of importance and beauty in the act of eating.

I managed to collaborate with Loftworks to do a potluck workshop, where I had set up online event invites, submitted planning proposals and location permissions to Loftworks. I had set up whiteboards with questions about food waste to help spark conversation and also allow people to learn from others about food waste. I facilitated discourse, starting the event by having everyone give a short introduction and story as to why they had brought in their selected dish. This allowed participants to have a talking point to initiate conversation as well as give the food they were eating more meaning and appreciation with their personal story and the dedication they put into making it.