Traveling Japan as a Vegan or a Vegetarian

You might think that all Japan has to offer is Kobe beef and sushi…

That is but only one side of the coin.

Finding restaurants that cater to the dietary needs of vegans and vegetarians can indeed be difficult if you don’t know where to look. This is where GOYOH steps in, helping you find the best experiences tailored to your individual needs.

Japanese Cuisine: Between Tradition & Innovation

In recent years Japanese cuisine has claimed its place on an international level and is renowned for its traditional yet innovative creations. Japanese traditional cuisine called Washoku even got added to the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2013, a list curated by the United Nations.

Precision and thought go into every step of the food from selecting the finest ingredients to beautifully arranging the dishes on special tableware. The best part is: you don’t have to miss out on any of this as a vegan or a vegetarian.

Traditional Buddhist Cuisine: Shojin Ryori

The most authentic experience you can get in Japan as a vegan or a vegetarian is Shojin Ryori. Using local produce, this Japanese Buddhist cuisine celebrates the different flavors, textures, and preserves the beauty of each season. Vegetarian at least but oftentimes vegan as well, Shojin Ryori is a unique culinary experience that will elevate your culinary experience.

Knowing no limits, Buddhist vegetarian chefs have come up with creative solutions to prepare Seitan (wheat gluten), soy products such as tofu or implement agar and konnyaku into their dishes. Shojin Ryori is not a mere hot pot or a single plate but consists of many small dishes, each of them being an innovative take on what can be achieved with plant-based ingredients.

A Paradise for Veggies: Kyoto

One of the best places for vegans and vegetarians in Japan is Kyoto. The city has over 100 vegan-only restaurants and countless more vegetarian or veggie-friendly eateries. Unlike Tokyo — which is also quite accessible for vegans and vegetarians — the city is very centralized and dense, meaning you can bump into a place that caters vegans and vegetarians at any corner. From savory burgers to traditional Japanese cuisine, Kyoto has it all. A vegan hotel even opened up in 2018, following the increasing popularity of Kyoto among veggies.

Kyoto shouldn’t be on your list for food only though: it is one of the most picturesque cities in Japan with thousands of temples and shrines. Other popular activities include strolling around its famous bamboo forest or trying to spot a geisha in the historic entertainment district. Its traditional flair will mesmerize you and will make your time in Japan’s old capital unforgettable.

A Grand Dinner without leaving the House

If you find yourself in a remote place or just want to enjoy a nice meal in the comfort of your holiday home, GOYOH can arrange a private chef that will create a personalized meal for the occasion. This is ideal if you are looking for a highly individualized experience. Just lean back and enjoy.

Do you need help arranging your vegan or vegetarian travel plans? Contact us via MyNinja!

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