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!
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
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!