Life of a Vegetarian in Japan

I have been living in Japan for almost a year now and I wanted to share my experiences with other vegetarians who are either already in Japan or are planning to visit. In short, there’s nothing to worry about. There are plenty of options you get, they may not suit your taste or preferences of cuisines but you won’t be restricted to eating bread & butter.

Below I am going to share a few learnings that I had along the way and they may help you in finding a restaurant or a takeaway food joint to take of the belly needs.

Happy Cow

Here is how a typical search looks like:

Happy Cow — vegan/vegetarian restaurants in Tokyo

Google Maps

A simple search would look like:

Google Maps — Vegetarian restaurants result for Tokyo

Japanese Restaurants

Coco Curry

Two important things to keeping mind:

  1. Special Menu — specifically ask for the Vegetarian Menu in English. It’s also available on their website → Vegetarian Menu.
  2. Spicy Levels — Be mindful of spicy levels. You may be from India, Mexico, Middle East or China (esp from Sichuan province), here spicy level means levels of Chilliness you can handle and they mean business. I am an Indian (from Northern part) and I am content with Spicy Level 2 (the max I went to was Level 4 which made me literally cry and gave a runny nose) and my friend who is a Canadian is content with the regular level.
Coco Curry — Vegetable Curry (Credits: https://www.ichibanya.co.jp/english/)

Okonomiyaki

Important: It’s always good to remind the waiter, that you don’t eat any meat, pork, beef, fish, eggs, etc. Although the Mayonnaise does contain eggs, however, the image below is so satisfying.

Vegetarian Okonomiyaki (Credits: https://fullofplants.com/best-vegan-okonomiyaki/)

Vegetarian Sushi

So, where do you go to eat Vegetarian Sushi? Enter a tourist attraction, a “Conveyor Belt Sushi Restaurant”. While these places are not very fancy, they are usually loaded with people and there can be a waiting time associated, however, they are quite fast and the queue gets shortened in no time esp. if you are alone or as a group, you are fine in sitting not together.

There are usually 2 conveyor belts and a tablet. The lower conveyor belt keeps on moving and has samplers for all the dishes (no, you don’t pick from that belt and eat them because they are probably made of plastic). If you like what you see, go to the tablet and order it from there, the good news is, the tablet supports multiple languages and it’s easy to figure out what’s Vegetarian and what’s not. Once the order is placed, a small train-like holder comes to you on the upper belt. Don’t worry you can order multiple times/quantities and settle the bill once at the end.

Vegetarian / Vegan Ramen

My favourite place to go for the Vegan Rame is the Loving Hut. The name may sound shady, but it’s one of the nice & cosy places to have a meal. As claimed by the restaurant, all the dishes are fit for Vegans / Vegetarians.

Loving Hut — Spicy Dandan Ramen

Fine Dining Restaurants

  1. Nobu (https://www.noburestaurants.com)
  2. Tokyo Shiba Toufuya Ukai (https://www.ukai.co.jp/shiba/)
  3. Ritz Carlton (http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/japan/tokyo/dining/towers)

Flash Card

Flash Card — show this to any restaurant you go to

More restaurants & cuisines

Until next time, Happy Eating!

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