11th Northern California Soy and Tofu Festival returns to San Francisco’s Japantown! 🥳

WHEN: Saturday, June 3, 2023, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
WHERE: Peace Plaza, Post at Buchanan streets, San Francisco’s Japantown

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — The Northern California Soy and Tofu Festival, a celebration of the joy of soy, returns Saturday, June 3, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., to San Francisco Japantown’s Peace Plaza, Post at Buchanan streets.

While the event is a signature fundraiser for the Nichi Bei Foundation, supporting the publication of the Nichi Bei News — the first nonprofit ethnic community newspaper of its kind in the country — this year, the Nichi Bei Foundation will once again be donating partial proceeds to the Nikkei Community Internship and Japantown Youth Leaders programs, administered in Northern California by the Japanese Community Youth Council.

“The Soy and Tofu Festival has been a vehicle for community-building and leadership development,” Taguma said. “The Nikkei Community Internship program — which is designed to develop future community leaders by placing them in summer internships at nonprofits throughout three Japantowns — and the Japantown Youth Leaders is aligned with that vision. We are proud to be able to give back a little to a program that has benefitted us with countless interns and volunteers over the years.”

The festival will feature new soy and tofu vendors such as:
• Uji Time Dessert (Tofu soft serve ice cream in taiyaki cones and waffle cones, tofu pudding with sugar cane juice, soy milk)
• Ohana Floral Sweets (Shoyu caramel hojicha mochi, matcha mochi)
• Kahnfections Bakery (Miso Caramel Bread Pudding, Matcha Tofu Cheesecakes, Arare Cookies)
• Pop Nation (Sea Salted Dark Chocolate Popsicle made with Soy Milk, and other flavors)

And returning food vendors:
• Kikkoman (soy milk and sauces)
• Morinaga Nutritional Foods (Strawberry Banana Tofu Smoothies, and Yuzu and Edamame tofu)
• Hodo Soy (Miso Tofu and Indian Spiced Tofu)
• Bachan’s Japanese Barbecue Sauce
• Nichi Bei Café, featuring Mabo Dofu (Turkey and Impossible Pork), Inarizushi
• Pine United Methodist Church Wafu Dogs

In addition to free soy and tofu samples, food vendors, live performances and artisan vendors, there will be audience participation games and children’s activities.

There will also be a raffle featuring a Grand Prize of $1,000, a second prize of a $500 Amazon gift card, and a third prize of a $250 Apple gift card, among many others.

There will be live performances by:
• World jazz ensemble Asian Crisis (a special reunion concert featuring Art Hirahara and Mas Koga from New York)
• Singer Larissa Lam and rapper Only Won from Southern California
• Kei Lun Martial Arts Lion Dance group
• Sakara Ren (Awa Odori)
• Wesley Ukulele Band from San Jose’s Japantown
• Members Even after Nice acapella group
• Koyasan Spirit of Children Taiko group from Sacramento

There will also be special appearances by the festival’s popular mascot, Cutie Tofutti.

The event will be emceed by NBC Bay Area Weekday Traffic Anchor Mike Inouye.

Admission is FREE and open to the public.

Proceeds to benefit the Nichi Bei Foundation, publishers of the nonprofit Japanese American community newspaper, the Nichi Bei News. Partial proceeds benefit the Nikkei Community Internship program, administered by the Japanese Community Youth Council.

This year’s Presenting Sponsor is the Japan Center Malls East and West. Platinum Sponsor is Grants for the Arts.

Other sponsors include:
• Raffle Sponsor Kinjiro and Eiko Moriguchi Fund
• Silver Sponsors Bachan’s and Kikkoman
• Bronze Sponsors PG&E, California Bank and Trust, US Bank, and the Japantown Community Benefit District

Media sponsors include NBC Bay Area, Crossings TV, Korea Times, BaySpo and Nichi Bei News.

In addition to sponsors Kikkoman and Bachan’s, Morinaga, Hodo Foods, Pietro and Impossible Foods will be donating products. In-kind trash services provided by Nor Cal Green Works and San Francisco Department of Parks and Recreation.

For more information, visit: www.soyandtofufest.org.

Five Surprising Things to See at the Northern California Soy and Tofu Festival

By Mel Burke

The Bold Italic

July 2, 2018

General American knowledge about tofu begins and ends with “barely understood meat substitute.” Thankfully, my mom took a lot of notes from my Chinese godmother, so I’ve been eating tofu most of my life in just about every way you can slice it — pun intended. But after attending the Northern California Soy and Tofu Festival this past weekend, I had no idea how versatile this little bean curd could be.