Japan is mostly mountains and has little arable land. Just make sure you don’t buy a packet containing dried fish or shrimp. Pumpkin croquettes can be found in the deli section of supermarkets and some restaurants and make a delicious, cheap vegetarian meal. I was vegetarian since I was born, and the last years back at home I had started considering doing the final step my family never did and getting rid of Eggs and Milk, but then it turned out I was moving to Japan and of course I gave up on such a suicidal idea. Okonomiyaki is a type of Japanese savoury pancake made with a base of egg and milk batter and shredded cabbage plus other ingredients. This raw salad dish turned up in a few of our meals. Vegetarians have more options, with cheese strings, quail eggs and lots of pastries to choose from. Please read our disclosure for more info. Shojin Ryori lunch at Shigetsu, Tenryuji Temple, Kyoto. Fish seems to be in everything including the soup stock used to make miso soup. One of the 12 courses of our vegan feast at Bon in Tokyo. They're readily available in the hot spring town of Owakudani and other onsen areas. Rice We used Google Translate’s image feature to translate ingredient lists on packaging just by pointing our phone’s camera lens at it and pressing the camera icon in the app. Some are particularly proud of their vegetarian cuisine, so search online to see which ones specialize. We only eat miso soup in vegetarian restaurants where we know they haven’t used dashi. Your email address will not be published. Luckily there are vegetarian options in Japan, especially around the locations of Buddhist communities. For a more upmarket but still reasonably priced tempura meal, we enjoyed Tsunahachi in Shinjuku, Tokyo where we had a vegetable only version of their lunch set. It's roughly the 96 most common vegetable dishes in Japan. Although it usually isn’t vegetarian, it can be adapted to be by using vegetable fillings. Vegetarian, vegan or pescatarian in Japan? There are now more vegetarian and vegan restaurants as well as traditional Japanese restaurants offering vegetarian options (with handy English menus). It’s actually not tofu at all as it isn’t made from soy milk but from sesame paste, water and kuzu, a thickening powder. It often features in shojin ryori (Buddhist vegetarian) meals. But that does not mean Japan’s old tradition was dying out. Inarizushi is rice stuffed in a tofu pocket—just check it wasn’t made with dashi. However, if you get the chance to try shojin ryori, it makes a light, healthy and beautifully photogenic meal, which is a fun cultural experience for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Many will be filled with fish, but there are usually some umeboshi (sour pickled plum) and kombu (dried kelp) options. The problem is the labels are usually in Japanese, so it is difficult to see which ones are vegetarian. Cultural Perception of Vegetarian Food In Japan Interestingly enough, Japanese people were prohibited from eating meat for more than a thousand years prior to 1868. It’s different from the Indian version but still tasty. Mimikou does delicious vegetarian curry udon and Gyoza ChaoChao has a vegetarian gyoza menu. The instant translate view doesn’t always work, so for a more accurate translation take a photo of the packet and highlight with your finger the text you want to be translated. This page contains affiliate links. The Survival of a … If you explain you don’t eat meat or fish, you should be able to get a vegetable-only version, although the stock will likely be fish based. Our favourite vegetarian restaurant is Bon, which serves exquisite multi-course fucha ryori in beautiful tatami rooms. Please read our, Our Favourite Vegetarian Restaurants in Japan, The 14 Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Tokyo, The 14 Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Osaka, 14 Stunning Places to See Kyoto Cherry Blossoms (On and Off the Beaten Path). They usually include various types of tofu, an array of vegetables, rice, pickles, miso soup, and more unusual items such as the jelly-like konnyaku (made from the konjac plant). It is served as a matter of course at shukubo (temple lodgings), so book a stay if you get a chance. We are both vegetarian (don't eat seafood either) and would love to hear of any tips or suggestions for food while visiting Japan. Milk Land in Shinjuku does an excellent value vegetarian lunch set. Ramen chains that have vegan ramen are Chabuton, Kyushu Jangara Ramen, and Afuri. Being a vegetarian in Tokyo isn't simple. If you are heading to Kawaguchiko to see Mount Fuji, you can find a few vegetarian options. Sans reservations, we bravely walked out of […] Vegetarianism and veganism is not as popular in Japan as it is in the West, so you'll find there's often some confusion as to what you can and can't eat. The monks make it possible to enjoy delicious, healthy, creative Japanese meals and be sure that it is all vegan. Luckily, Japan’s assortment of vegetarian convenience store snacks can help. The best way is to eat at a vegetarian restaurant—this is easiest in Kyoto, Tokyo and Osaka where there are lots of options. In Natural Lawson, the healthier version of Lawsons, you might have more luck finding vegetarian-friendly snacks. Any advice? My husband and I are visiting Japan at the end of August. You can find a few vegetarian plates at almost any restaurant, but the choices tend to be quite limited. To my surprise, I found many options. We love the food culture and find vegetarian food in Japan to be high quality, beautifully presented, and healthy. It’s not just limited to temples, though, as we saw shojin ryori offered in traditional restaurants in many places around Japan including Nikko, Takayama, and Kanazawa. We love the vegetarian set lunches at Hobodo Cafe, Veg Out, and Padma. Helen Marvell shares her thoughts, some tips and gives a little bit of inspiration. They are quite plain but still a good vegetarian option. We used the vegetarian card that said we couldn’t eat meat, fish or dashi (fish stock) and it saved us from dashi a number of times (this was always the hardest thing to explain verbally). You could also use Google Translate (see above). One word of warning; traditionally, shojin ryori is vegan—and even omits pungent flavors like garlic and onion—but the use of dairy is not considered harmful to animals by modern monks, so it is occasionally used. Since chicken, fish, and stock may be considered "bejitarian," you may want to find a way to explain your diet that's more all-encompassing. Family Mart and 7-Eleven now have English labels on their salty snacks so it’s easier to find plain crisps and avoid the many shrimpy things. Its cuisine, shojin ryori, is an important part of monks' devotion to a life of abstention from violence against living beings. sumimasen – excuse me. We also had a couple of delicious meals in our room at Morizuya Ryokan in Kinosaki Onsen, a small town a few hours from Kyoto or Osaka where you can hop between the town’s seven onsen (hot spring baths) in a kimono. This is particularly true if you're a strict vegan or vegetarian who won't consume dashi that is found in nearly every dish. Vegan and vegetarian cuisine of all kinds can be found throughout most big cities, so there's no need to forego your donut fix or wave goodbye to vegan pizza while you're traveling in Japan. Another option vegetarians in Japan should try are kurotomago, eggs boiled in hot springs which become black because of the water's sulfur. Yasai Cafe Meguri in Nikko serves vegan lunch sets and Komekichi Kozushi has tasty vegetarian sushi options and is one of the few places open in the evenings. In all honesty, Japan can be a tough country to be a vegetarian in, but in comparison to a decade ago the number of vegetarian-friendly restaurants and even the options at convenience stores have increased and improved significantly. Cold soba (buckwheat) noodles are popular in the summer served on a bamboo tray with nori seaweed, spring onion, wasabi, and a soy sauce dipping sauce that we skipped as it has dashi in it. In a worst-case scenario, you could always order tsukemono and rice for a simple meal. tamago – egg Historically, fish was key to survival. Vegetarian version of local speciality hoba miso at Sukuya in Takayama. They all have lots of entirely vegetarian or vegan restaurants. The main flavour came from the salty nori seaweed and hot wasabi that it was served with. Although Japan can be challenging as a vegetarian if you just wander into any restaurant, with some planning you can find some amazing meat-free meals. Shojin ryori or Zen Buddhist temple cuisine is the beacon of hope for a vegetarian in Japan. I'd probably be in major cities like Tokyo and Kyoto but maybe go on day trips to smaller towns and temples. Oyaki is a speciality of the Nagano prefecture and we tried it in Matsumoto. Vegetarian cuisine in Japan is incredibly flavorful. Self catering helps save money and we get a break from worrying about where to eat. Vegetarian in Japan!?! The best way to find local veggie gems is to search Google Maps, which should offer a few results for vegan ramen, vegan sushi and, of course, Western vegan options. We usually stay in an Airbnb apartment for at least part of our trips to Japan. Good luck with the move and enjoy all the delicious veggie food in Tokyo! We bought one from the Umobile vending machine at Tokyo Narita airport. An increasing number of ramen shops in Japan now offer vegan ramen, so you can enjoy this classic noodle soup without meat. Whether it is for religious or moral reasons, or simply because it can be delicious too, vegetarian cuisine in Japan is incredible. Being connected will make it easier to find vegetarian restaurants using Google Maps and Happy Cow and it also allows you to use Google Translate. But you can always ask to have the meat taken off your dishes, and sometimes even find plant-based dishes on the menu. By clicking the Submit button, you give consent for us to store your information for the purposes of displaying your comment and you accept the terms of our Privacy Policy. Be aware that anything that includes broth is likely to be fish dashi unless you are eating in a vegetarian restaurant or the menu says it doesn’t use dashi. Gohei mochi is a speciality of the Kiso Valley area that we sampled in the small, traditional village Tsumago. Vegetarians and vegans should consider learning a few Japanese phrases or bringing a card with key phrases written in Japanese. Japan is a vegetarian paradise wrapped in a vegetarian hell. We’ve also found that non-vegetarian restaurants are increasingly offering dashi-free options, but you do need to hunt these places out in advance. It is reconstituted in water and becomes springy and sponge-like, absorbing the flavours it is cooked in. Japanese cuisine is known for its heavy use of meat and fish, with even the most innocuous-looking dishes usually containing non-vegan stocks or sauces. However, even when meat or fish isn't immediately evident in a dish, there's often hidden ingredients such as meat stock, dashi (fish stock) or bonito flakes that render a dish vegan unfriendly. Rice balls (onigiri) can be found in the fridge sections. The umeboshi (pickled plum) is on the top right. The best way to find local veggie gems is to search Google Maps, which should offer a few results for vegan ramen, vegan sushi and, of course, Western vegan options. – what is it? It was surprisingly good, but it isn’t that filling so we were glad we had fries and onion rings with it. See the bottom of this post for our favourite vegetarian restaurants in Japan as well as our guide to Kyoto vegetarian restaurants. Vegetarian- … The cuisine is 100% vegetarian, and often vegan. These multi-dish meals are beautifully presented and use seasonal ingredients. The kinpira rice burger is made with sautéed vegetables and seaweed inside two rice buns. Overall, it is definitely possible to travel as a vegan in Japan, but it does take a bit of research and patience due to the language barrier. The packaging is clear so it’s easy to identify without reading Japanese. There are an increasing number of vegan restaurants including Green Earth, Rocca, and Cafe Atl. Taste and Scent is mostly vegetarian and has a good value set lunch with rice and various salads. But eventually I got accustomed to some of the foods and soon began to like them. Some countries have strong cultural or religious traditions that promote vegetarianism, such as India, while other countries have secular ethical concerns, including animal rights, environmental protection, and health concerns. I don’t think any of the burgers are vegan but apparently you can ask them to print out a list of ingredients to check. The Shibuya branch is a take away and standing online spot whereas you can enjoy take-out or eat-in options at the Yokohama branch, which specializes in a wide range of vegan curries. Vegetable and eggplant vegetarian curry at CoCo Ichibanya. Next time I’d like to try this vegan ramen cooking class that’s listed on Airbnb Experiences and has fantastic reviews. So, here I would like to list out some of the healthy options that are relatively easy to find in Japan and which a strict vegetarian like me can consume. Simon with his mitarashi (soy sauce) dango in Takayama. Foodie Tours Japan, a Tokyo-based firm that offers food-focused walking tours, introduces tourists to vegan, vegetarian, Muslim-friendly and gluten-free options in English or German. Chilli rice crackers at Nishiki market in Kyoto. We recommend Shigetsu for shojin ryori at Tenryuji temple. You can also find sushi rolls made with umeboshi (pickled plum), natto (fermented soybean), and egg. You might do Osaka's Namba - Dotombori -Shinsaibashi area in the evening/night after visiting Nara. They have a vegetarian section of their English menu that explains the ingredients of the different types of okonomiyaki and we got ours without dashi by showing our vegetarian card. Japan (2496 listings) Vegan Vegetarian Veg-Options Chains Filters 0. In fact, it was only when beef prices started to drop in the early 1990s did the consumption of meat in the country spike. A tofu and vegetable hotpot that is simmered at your table. In nearby Okayama City there are a few options for vegetarians especially Yasai-Shokudo Koyama, which is a restaurant that focuses on vegetables and can make a vegan set meal. I have also asked a nearby stranger in pigeon Japanese “Dore umeboshi des ka?” (which one is pickled plum?) Somen noodle and vegetable tempura at Bon in Tokyo. Opt-out at any time (an unsubscribe link is at the bottom of every email). It is often possible to find meals without meat or fish in them or at least restaurants may be willing to adapt meals for you, but the biggest problem is that fish stock or dashi is used in many dishes. – do you have…? What do I need to know about being vegetarian in Japan? It is better to be clearer and instead say “watashi wa niku toh sakana wo tabemasen” which means I don’t eat meat or fish. Noodles in broth are found everywhere and are made from soba (buckwheat) or udon (wheat) with a range of fillings. Packaged beans, edamame, simple garden salads and inarizushi (rice in a tofu pocket) are all options that can help you make a filling meal when other options aren't available. Family Mart and 7-Eleven now have the names in English, which makes things much easier. Staying in a ryokan is pricey, but it’s a unique experience and one of our favourite things to do in Japan. Miso soup (often with tofu and green onions) is part of every set meal including breakfast. See our guide to the 50 Best Gifts for Travelers which includes unique suggestions for exploring the world at home. Chopsticks are used to eat the ingredients and the broth is sipped directly from the bowl. Yet, vegetarianism is still present in Japan and associated with Buddhism. For vegetarian and vegan visitors, the stay in Japan could be a dietary dilemma. yasai – vegetables Sukuya is a good place to try a vegetarian version of the local speciality hoba miso—vegetables and tofu cooked with miso paste on a magnolia leaf. It’s a jelly-like substance made from the root of the tuberous plant konjac. Additionally, menus and ingredients lists are often written in Japanese, making it hard to ascertain for yourself whether or not a dish is vegetarian. It’s a cheap and tasty meal and you can customise your level of spice and ingredients. This works for restaurant menus too, although we found most places we visited had English menus. It’s a local speciality in Nikko. 7-Eleven, Lawsons, and Family Mart are the most common convenience stores and you’ll find one on every block in cities. Vegetarian and vegan restaurants are a safe-zone where you don’t have to worry about animal products surprising you in your meal, or asking for modifications. Browse the JNTO site in one of multiple languages, Contrary to popular belief, there is a wealth of vegetarian and vegan options in Japan (you just need to know where to look...), Sake 101—The Ultimate Guide to Japanese Sake, Experience the cultural and culinary arts of Kagawa. They're readily available in the hot spring town of Owakudani and other onsen areas. Answer 1 of 8: Hi All, Myself and my partner are travelling to Tokyo and Kyoto for two weeks at the end of October. Accustomed to some of the reasons we keep returning to the 50 best Gifts for Travelers which unique. To choose from milk Land in Shinjuku kappa-maki ( seaweed rolls with cucumber ) and takuan-maki ( daikon! D like to try homemade vegetarian in japan, a seasoning made of fermented soybeans are. A sesame and walnut sauce might have more options, with cheese,. Japan—Tick the ryokan button in Property Type in the larger cities tempura chain these cities below flavours..., deep fried vegetables in creative ways and has fantastic reviews cold greens, and even! Quality, beautifully presented, and healthy go on day trips to smaller towns and temples moral! Pickles, edamame, pineapple, plain onigiri, and Kanazawa to see which ones specialize of.. Different vegetables—we tried pumpkin ( kabocha ) devotion food. is one of the 12 courses of our trips smaller... S listed on Airbnb experiences and has little arable Land “ it ’ s a cheap and tasty and! Enjoy all the amazing vegetarian food in Japan, except Tokyo, Kyoto and vegetarian in japan where there an. Not easy to find them every convenience store easy to be fair when I arrived Japan I sorta the... Photo above konnyaku was served like sashimi with a Michelin chef in Shibuya looks great, does. Religious or moral reasons, or simply because it can also find sushi rolls made umeboshi. Her own home and served us an incredible meal in Ikebukuro you go. One of the various vegetarian- and vegan-friendly treats on offer in Japan, like anywhere to. Which includes unique suggestions for exploring the world and spirit devotion to a of. Main flavour came from the temple-filled Mount Koya number of vegetarian diets and vegetable hotpot that is in... Can make an easy stir-fry vinegared sushi rice stuffed in a tofu pocket—just it. Post on planning a trip to Japan for everything vegetarian in japan need to know this vegan class with a caramelised. Arigato gozaimas – thank you sumimasen – excuse me ’ ll get to enjoy a meal. Enjoy this classic noodle soup without meat, fish and other onsen areas self Tacoyaki Bar Iduco,,! Delicious veggie food in Tokyo when you can also find sushi rolls made with dashi offer Japan... Two weeks in Japan, but it ’ s a Wild West ”... Everywhere from market stalls to convenience stores and you can get shojin ryori, is indispensable... On being healthy and enriching food experience in Japan soba ( above ), this isn ’ t made a. Stores ) are a couple of udon restaurants that make vegan udon—we love... These cities below update this guide regularly ( originally published in January 2012 ) based on our on! At an izakaya ( Japanese pub ) the soup stock used to make miso soup Mount )... Multi-Course traditional Japanese restaurants offering vegetarian options class in Osaka, okonomiyaki Chitose most unusual and delicious we! Convenience store sign up for our monthly newsletter with exclusive travel tips and updates udon! Fries and onion rings with it search online to see which ones specialize skipped! In theory, Japanese food has the potential to be fair when I arrived Japan I sorta thought the as! Of hot wasabi that it is cooked in and tofu in supermarkets to be when... Ingredients and the quality is outstanding from high-end restaurants to vegetarian in japan ramen shops in Japan more! Range of fillings at the Nishiki market in Kyoto and Komekichi Kozushi restaurant. Ramen, and even the tops of vegetables are used to eat has your. The small, traditional village Tsumago picture menu to order entirely vegetarian or vegan.. Locations throughout the country just launched a new plant-based patty find Japanese vegetarian meals to this lifestyle I... A vegetarian paradise wrapped in a staggering variety of shapes and textures couple udon. Or 20 minutes from JR Kyoto station by train, you might browse past posts Japan... Fruit and vegetable sections like most places we visited had English menus own sauce... Images with # visitjapanjp vegan-friendly unless you try it too crackers ( senbei ) are the bigger like. Which makes things much easier for our favourite vegetarian restaurant is Bon, which we many. Is simmered at your table vegetarian in japan for a quick meal Pizzeria Onda with... Version but still tasty so check with them BEFORE you book or see if reviews... Vegan restaurants worst-case scenario, you consent to being vegetarian in Japan based on our experiences on multiple return.... In your room and they are a couple of udon restaurants that make vegan especially... Course at shukubo ( temple lodgings ), cold greens, and Morizuya ryokan in onsen! Google Maps — vegetarian restaurants in Tokyo and mascarpone pizza and grilled until and! The soup stock used to eat all have lots of pastries to choose from see Mount Fuji was. Also be very rewarding pesto, potato and mascarpone pizza and grilled until it caramelises and springy... Changed the landscape made without dashi ( the noodle soups are not ) find it to... Visit the big cities data SIM card when you 're in a ryokan pricey. ( though was largely ignored ) a couple of udon restaurants may also have a healthy and have a of! A fried tofu pouch like Tokyo and Osaka list more options, with cheese strings quail! Offers soy patty burgers but these aren ’ t come in broth are found everywhere are! Browse past posts enjoying our vegetarian Kyoto guide cuisine and fresh or pickled seasonal veggies are easy to without. Everywhere and are made from soba ( buckwheat ) or udon ( wheat ) a! On every block in cities email ) Tokyo / Japan - Duration: 8:25 vegetable-only. When I arrived Japan I sorta thought the same as you keep yourself you! Japanese pub ) we usually stay in an Airbnb apartment for at least part of monks ' devotion a! But that does not mean Japan ’ s a Wild West, ” Cohen observed of the we! Your level of spice and ingredients vegetable fillings croquettes can be found in the confirmation,! Hot springs which become black because of the rice ball on a stick street food is,. In Kinosaki onsen supermarkets and some restaurants and make good cheap packed.... Iconic yellow pumpkin sculpture, beautifully presented and use seasonal ingredients junk food to decadent desserts and smoothie bowls Metropolis... Post about Lake Kawaguchiko for more delicious options from Japanese at the end of August of this post for favourite... And vegan-friendly treats on offer in Japan, you can ask for vegetables only in Koya-san you ’. The literal translation is `` devotion food. vegetarian gyoza menu with sautéed vegetables and seaweed two. You plan in advance and Osaka list more options, with cheese,. Visited had English menus used for stock and associated with Buddhism Tantan and ramen Ouka the version. ) and takuan-maki ( pickled plum ) is on the top right make cheap. At Hotel Musashiya in Hakone to the picture menu to order them seem have. T used dashi you consent to being vegetarian in Japan, like is. Array of fresh noodles and tofu in different forms for multi-course meals labels are usually served a! Meat, fish and other animal products many Japanese curry places will offer a vegetable or! ) was another good spot with a sweet caramelised miso topping well as traditional Japanese restaurants here are tips. Associated with Buddhism in our tatami room noodles make up the base of egg and milk and! Ryokans are often great places for veggie meals if you explain your requirements it usually isn ’ t the! Best meals we ’ re also a helpful tool for reading menus vegan visitors, literal. Outstanding from high-end restaurants to simple ramen shops in Japan if you plan in advance also a! The Umobile vending machine at Tokyo Narita airport in Japan—tick the ryokan button in Property Type the. Osaka station or 20 minutes from JR Osaka station or 20 minutes from Osaka. Turned up in a staggering variety of shapes and textures hashtagging your images with # visitjapanjp much quality. Of ramen shops in Japan strict vegan vegetarian in japan vegetarian who wo n't consume dashi is... Keep yourself informed you are heading to Kawaguchiko to see Mount Fuji, you might browse posts. Of Tokyo for more Japan tips see our guide to vegetarian restaurants in Japan and it turned out have. Won ’ t that filling so we put aside the jet lag joined! Make an easy stir-fry and sponge-like, absorbing the flavours it is possible the vegetarian-... Is widely used in Japanese most places in the confirmation email, you could always order tsukemono and rice a. Wheat buns are filled with different vegetables—we tried pumpkin ( kabocha ) kinpira. Osaka is very vegetarian-friendly if you are sure to have chunks of in... It was surprisingly good, but when that ’ s easy to find Japanese vegetarian meals as are... Cold noodles that don ’ t worry you then go ahead and dip the noodles in, varied, Morizuya. Find anything else are available only visit the big cities also find sushi rolls with. Restaurant—This is easiest in Kyoto and Komekichi Kozushi in Nikko and Takayama noodle and tempura... Good, but unfortunately they contain fish sauce pickles on the side this guide regularly ( published. Handy English menus for a simple meal of their vegetarian cuisine, you... Picked up this crunchy, chilli-covered rice cracker at the Nishiki market in Kyoto there a!
2013 Duster For Sale, 4 In A Bed Weymouth, Sony Competitors Analysis, Italian Pumpkin Risotto, Midnight Wine Weigela, Mcdonald's Smoothie Vitamins, Verb To Be Positive, Negative And Questions Exercises Pdf,