Being Vegetarian in Japan

Being Vegetarian in Japan

Being a vegetarian in Japan is no easy task, and if you’re new to the culture you might get a mouthful of pork after uttering “vegetables only please” to the person serving. That’s because Vegetarianism is a concept that leaves a lot of Japanese people scratching their heads and don’t quite understand what it means.

Don’t start panicking if you’ve already booked a trip to Japan! I’m going to share some key phrases in Japanese that helped me explain my dietary needs after a few stumbles!

Niku nashi de onegaishimasu – No meat please!

or, more simple:

Niku Nashi – No meat

This one phrase will do but if you want to go pro:

Niku to Shifudoo ga taberaremasen (I don’t eat meat or seafood)

Most Japanese people are really helpful so they will point you to options on the menu that you can eat!

But there are places that a single vegetarian option will not exist on the menu such as ramen shops. It may seem impossible, but there are places that offer vegetarian meals in Tokyo and here are a few of my favorites!

Vegetarian Ramen

Vegetarian Ramen
Source: Yummy Japan

Ouka Ramen in Shinjuku offers a spicy vegan Halal ramen! Along with some grilled rice on the side.
Address: 1 Chome-11-7 Shinjuku, 新宿区 Tokyo 160-0022

Sora no iro, near the Emperor’s palace serves an amazing Veggie Ramen. The spot is convenient, as you can visit the Emperor’s palace gardens after!
Address: 1-3-10 Hirakawacho Chiyoda Tokyo

T’s Tan Tan is famous for their vegetarian and vegan bowls of noodles! It’s located in Tokyo Station, so perfect before taking a shinkansen!
Address: 1-9-1 Marunouchi Chiyoda Tokyo

Other Recommendations

Nataraj in Ginza offers an array of authentic vegetarian Indian food!
〒104-0061 Tokyo, Chuo, Ginza, 6 Chome−9−4, 銀座 小坂 ビル 7~9F

Ain Soph. Journey is a vegan heaven in Shinjuku.
〒160-0022 Tokyo, Shinjuku, 3−8−9 新宿Qビル

As much as it’s awesome to have places dedicated to assisting people’s dietary needs, we all want to try some authentic Japanese food. The perfect places to do this are Izakayas. They have an array of menu options that include vegetarian and vegan options like fried tofu, steamed cabbage, grilled mochi, and the not so authentic french fries!

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. It wasn’t too hard to be vegan in Japan. We went to Tokyo (go to Ain soph ripple has amazing burgers & everything, Harajuku has a cute open air patio with lots of vegan options, falafel bros is great, afuri had an amazing vegan ramen), Kyoto (matsuontoko burgers!), & Osaka (Paprika & you can find lots of good tempura places in dotonbori). There was so much incredible vegan food in all cities. Also check out curry places & conveyor belt sushi. A lot of sweets like mochi & dango are usually vegan & so so lovely.

    Another good & cheap tip is to buy groceries at a shop, we got a lot of noodle packs & fresh fruits & veggies & even found TVP ground round in a sauce that we made awesome tacos out of! 7/11 is excellent place to get coffee & we ate a lot of onigiri & rice balls for breakfast – there’s an umeboshi & a kelp onigiri & some rice rounds with edamame or other beans. I suggest using the google translate app to read ingredient lists, it was very useful as you can just point it at a package & it translates the image before your eyes. I hope that being vegetarian/vegan doesn’t deter people from trying lots of different Japanese food, because it was some of the best food I’ve eaten in my life & there are enough fully vegan restaurants you shouldn’t stress about it!!

  2. I can confirm, T’s Tan Tan is AMAZING ! It would be my first choice on the list, i’ve been there twice, it’s my favourite vegetarian/vegan ramen in Tokyo ! There’s one in Sendai as well.

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