Welcome to The World’s Slowest Restaurant!

More than just a restaurant, it’s a community engaged project for repairing our relationships with real food, nature, and each other. Join artists Patrick M. Lydon (USA), Suhee Kang (Korea), and chef Kaori Tsuji (Japan) for a 10-week series of events where participants learn to cultivate their creativity and ecological awareness, exploring art, nature, culture, and good food on the island of Megijima, Japan!

17 September – 12 November
at Oni Cafe & Gallery in Megijima

Events held every Saturday, Cafe & Gallery open regularly


At its roots, REALtimeFOOD is about creating a viable future: engaging society in ideas and activities that create well-being for people and the environment around us. We accomplish this with thought-provoking and inspiring art and culture workshops, and some of the best food you’ve ever tasted!

The REALtimeFOOD project kicks off with a local-food restaurant opening, but this isn’t just any farm-to-table restaurant. After ordering, guests must wait 10 weeks until they can eat — all meals here are “grown to order” in a field next to the restaurant.

In the ensuing weeks, our natural garden becomes a center of community activity and our workshop series takes place. Using art, ecology, and community as our core components, the workshops and community interactions help participants to find new ways of thinking and living that encourage true social and ecological well being.

Event Calendar

Be a part of this authentic arts and culture experience, joining us for any of the number of events taking place this fall as we work collaboratively with Megijima locals and visitors to connect with and taste the beautiful nature and culture of this island.

— September —

17th    “World’s Slowest Restaurant” Launch Event!
12:30 – 17:00
The project team joins with Megijima locals and visitors to kick things off with an afternoon event where you can:
– Be the first to place orders for the “World’s Slowest Restaurant”
– Preview the exhibition space and learn about the project
– Sample locally-prepared foods
– Watch the “Final Straw: Food, Earth, Happiness” documentary and join the directors in a talk session
sign up for this event

24th    Nature Art | Nature Walk and Art Workshop
9:00 – 12:00
Join artists Patrick Lydon (USA), Suhee Kang (Korea) as they bring us on new adventures in seeing and making art with nature, producing colors directly from plants and other natural materials. Participants will make artworks on paper that was handmade by the artists and will have an opportunity to have their work exhibited in Oni Gallery and Cafe.
sign up for this event

24th   Making Pigment with Soil | Art and Craft Workshop
13:00 – 17:00
Join Kobe-based textile designer Harumi Ikegame in exploring how to make permanent pigment (color) from the soils on Megijima. Participants will make dyes and experiment with natural block printing techniques. Please bring your own cloth or material to use for dying and printing on! Everyone will have an opportunity to have their work exhibited in Oni Gallery and Cafe.
sign up for this event

— October —

1st    Megijima’s Treasures: Nature | Gallery Opening
12:30 – 17:00
A gallery exhibition featuring the nature of Megijima. Visitors will see and hear stories and images of the favorite “secret places” on the island as told by longtime Megijima residents, and be treated to a display of artworks made from natural elements on the island.
free event / no registration needed

8-9th    The Nature and Culture of Megijima | International Workshop**
8:30 – 17:00
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! Join the international cast of creative thinkers and doers to 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.
email to apply for this event

15th    Megijima’s Treasures: Souvenirs | Gallery Opening
12:30 – 17:00
A gallery exhibition featuring souvenir prototypes for the island of Megijima that are made from local natural materials. The prototypes were produced in the previous week’s workshop and voted on by local residents. Visitors will have the chance to put in their vote as well as to see the process used to create these designs.
free event / no registration needed

22nd    Taste of Megijima, Eat Local & Healthy | Cooking Workshop
12:30 – 17:00
How delicious can sustainable, healthy cooking be? What flavors, textures, and tastes can a small island offer us? Join macrobiotic chef Kaori Tsuji as she helps us answer these questions, bringing participants on a tour of the diverse tastes of Megijima. Using ingredients from the island and the surrounding region, we’ll prepare an improvised seasonal meal together, all while exploring how the food we eat can change our health, our happiness, and the well being of the people and environment around us.
sign up for this event

29th    Megijima’s Treasures: Food | Gallery Opening
12:30 – 17:00
A gallery exhibition about all sides of food on the island, from the history of food growing and fishing, to a collection of past and present day recipes from local people. Come out and you might just find some local treats for your tastebuds, too!
free event / no registration needed

— November —

12th    “World’s Slowest Restaurant” Final Event | Lunch Serving & Exhibition
all day (details still to come)
After 10 weeks of growing your food right here on Megijima, the World’s Slowest Restaurant finally serves our local, hand-grown lunch. Join us for a meal, and to explore our final gallery exhibition, a cohesive collection of nature, culture, and food artworks related to Megijima.

Although the gallery exhibition is open to everyone, seats for the lunch are very limited. To ensure you have a seat, it is recommended that you place your order at the project launch event on September 17!
sign up for this event

All events meet at Oni Cafe & Gallery in Megijima.

All gallery openings are free and open to the public without reservation, but workshops and other events require a reservation to ensure space.

Sign up for workshops and events

Event Admission Fee / Pay it Forward

Admission for all events is essentially fueled by generosity, trust, and relationships. There is no set tuition or admission fee for our events or workshops, and participants are welcome to pay what they can afford, keeping in mind that:

  1. Pay it Forward is not a donation, it literally means that whatever payment you can give goes directly towards paying for the next participant in a future workshop
  2. If you can’t afford to pay, you can Pay it Forward in another way to someone else
  3. The project coordinators and facilitators not being paid to produce and lead these workshops, they are also Paying it Forward by volunteering their time


* There is no workshop associated with this, but you are free to come say hello and check in on the progress.
** This workshop is by application only, please email to inquire about the application process.

The Project Team

Founded in 2011, the Final Straw team works to foster human relationships to nature, and to cultivate ecologically interconnected ways of thinking and being. The team works across genres of documentary film, temporal installation, farming, culinary art, and social practice, and has had the pleasure to work with audiences in East Asia, North America, and Europe. In 2015 they released a well received feature-length documentary film titled Final Straw: Food, Earth, Happiness, completed an extensive 110-date screening tour, and saw the pioneering of their first REALtimeFOOD project in Osaka, Japan.

patrick-headshotPatrick Lydon, project director
Ecological Artist, Writer, Filmmaker
San Jose, USA

Using a community-engaged environmental arts practice to build relationships between people and nature, Patrick inspires viable solutions for our future on a local level. He has produced and exhibited internationally with diverse casts of individuals – from farmers to governments to educational institutions – to create socially engaged artworks, forums, and workshops, and has garnered awards from Sasakawa Foundation, Chishima Foundation, Lateral Lab and others. Patrick is founder/director of, and arts & events editor for The Nature of Cities. He was formerly an Arts Commissioner for the city of San Jose, helping to oversee a $10M arts budget. Patrick holds an MFA in ‘Art, Space, and Nature’ from the University of Edinburgh, a BA from San Jose State University, and was a visiting postgraduate student in the Isao Suizu Lab at Aichi University of Art. See more at:

suhee-headshotSuhee Kang, project director
Craft Artist, Writer, Filmmaker
Seoul, South Korea

Suhee began her career working simultaneously as a photographer, book editor, and activist in the ecological justice movement in South Korea and has since served with many like-minded organizations including the ‘Dumulmeori’ organic farm and ‘Rogpa’ organization for Tibetan refugees. She has traveled with her notebook and camera throughout the Middle-East, Europe and Asia to engage with the traditional way of living, for which she won the grand prize in the traveling photography contest by Istanbul Cultural Center. She has given talks and hands-on workshops internationally and has a habit of making artworks with natural materials and giving them as gifts both in exhibitions, and in her personal interactions with people. Suhee graduated from Sungkyunkwan University in 2007 with a degree in Journalism. See more at:

kaoriTsujiKaori Tsuji, project producer
Producer, Food & Massage Therapist
Kobe, Japan
Kaori has worked internationally with food and massage therapy as tools for bringing about health and well being to communities and the environment. Her menus are often improvised as she concentrates on local, natural foods in tune with the season and with the constitutions of the guests. She is a therapist, project leader, and board member for the NPO organization Touch in Peace, and translator and project manager for Final Straw and SocieCity. Kaori also works with Kobe city for their seasonal Farmer’s Market as translator and producer of a CSA empowering workshop.  Her works are becoming more like that of a social activist these years, and she expects to produce a “Pay it forward” based conceptual restaurant that will open seasonally next year. Kaori studied at Kobe University of Commerce(JP).

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