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Vegetarian Options in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto [merged threads]

Vegetarian Options in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto [merged threads]

Old Oct 5, 07, 6:44 am
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While reading Japan Newbie, I saw that the first post this morning dealt with the Vegetarian Festival, held in Kyoto October 21 at Okazaki Park in front of Heian Shrine.

According to the poster, the website lists a number of Japanese vegetarian restaurants and green NGO's in Japan.
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Old Dec 25, 07, 5:45 am
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Originally Posted by LapLap View Post
Tofuya Ukai (note - wheelchair friendly, English language menu available)

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-b...0070615rs.html

http://www.ukai.co.jp/shiba/index.html

Location: 4-4-13 Shiba-Koen, Minato-ku tel: (03) 3436-1028

Open: Daily 11 a.m.- 10 p.m (last order 8 p.m.)

Nearest station: Akabanebashi (Oedo Line) and Kamiyacho (Hibiya Line)

Looks gorgeous and affordable (May be best to contact them in advance if requesting a fully vegetarian/vegan menu - the article says that they can provide entirely vegetarian fare, but also mentions that the in-house speciality, Tosui tofu, is laced with dashi. Apparantly this place has proved very popular so you should probably make an advance reservation anyway)

(The Ukai Tei will be opening in Omotesando this November - I'm guessing Ukai is doing well in the weddings and banquets market)
Was there for lunch today. Most excellent (worth the Michelin 1-star it got). All they have is tofu set lunches (and dinners). Lunch starts at 5,500 yen, so cheap it isn't. But you get a full kaiseki 8-course meal in a lovely room overlooking a neat garden, with excellent service. Their tofu creations (agedengaku, mochi, tosui) are the highlights, but it is not vegetarian. The sets come with sashimi and/or yakizakana, and there is plenty of fish (and chicken) throughout. I guess you could ask for a special menu as LapLap suggests.

And forget the new Ukai-tei in Omotesando. It's a steakhouse! Looks good, though, would like to try it sometime.
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Old Jan 4, 08, 3:11 am
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A couple of options to consider in Tokyo:

Brown Rice Cafe
(off Omotesando between Omotesando and Meiji Jingu stations) - vegetarian cafe.

Pure Cafe (near Omotesando station) - vegetarian cafe.

Cucina Tokionese Cozima - Kotto douri. This is an excellent Italian restaurant. If you call them in advance and tell them you are vegetarian, they can put together an excellent menu for you.

There is a very nice Japanese restaurant in Ebisu called Yume No Iori. They will also make a vegetarian menu if you let them know in advance. If you PM me I can send you the contact numbers.
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Old Jan 13, 08, 9:51 am
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Not a restaurant - but a way to enjoy Soba

I stumbled across this recently
http://mykoreankitchen.com/2007/05/2...s-bibim-guksu/
Gave it a try and have to say it's the most delicious way I've come across of enjoying soba noodles without dashi(fish).

I did make a small change the second time around - for the sauce instead of using
2 tbsp gochujang (Korean Pepper Paste - cheap and lasts for months)

I used 1 tbsp gochujang and 1 tbsp miso. Both of us preferred it this way.

You can be quite free and easy with the accompanying vegetables - once you have the sauce right it makes little difference.

(NB - lots of soba's B vitamins leach out when boiling - you may want to try and catch some in a bowl when straining and use it to make miso soup or something similar)

---
for my own reference
A Tofu-ya on the outskirts of Tokyo
http://tofu-araiya.com/
Minami-Yukigaya 2-11-19 , Ota-ku

-----
And finally!!!

VEGAN SOBA!


Article here: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-b...0090220sr.html (check this for opening and closing times and dates)
Asahi, 4-32-26 Kitazawa MAP

Last edited by LapLap; Mar 14, 09 at 1:10 pm
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Old Jan 18, 08, 1:34 am
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sai shoku ken bi

I discovered this excellent veggie place on one of the websites mentioned in this thread, I believe.

Sai Shoku Ken Bi:
www.daisho-kikaku.com

They serve dinner buffets on Thur & Fri nights (17:30-21:00) for 2,000 yen. It's a very good spread, with lots of soy meats (skewers, etc.), potstickers, tempura, vegetables, a few hot dishes, good rice (2 types), soup, curry, stew, pickled veggies, a couple of Western style cakes, Japanese dessert (kanten, sweet red beans), sliced fruit (1 kind). Definitely all vegetarian. Not sure if it's vegan, but probably so. It's become my favorite place.

They serve similar lunch buffet daily 11:30-15:00 (1,200 yen M-F, 1,500 yen weekends). All buffet prices are cheaper for primary school children.

They also have set menu for dinner (except Thu & Fri, when it's buffet night) 17:30-21:00 at 5,000 yen, and you can choose between Chinese, Japanese or Western style courses.

I've only tried their dinner buffets so can't comment on their 3 set menus.

The decor is nothing fancy or stylish, more like a cafeteria but peaceful and brightly lit. It's never that crowded on Thu or Fri nights.

It's a 2-min walk from the JR Okubo station on the Sobu/Chuo line, one stop past the Shinjuku station. Not that easy to find the first time, as it's set back inside a compound on a small street, with a gate in front, followed by a few parking spaces and a big Buddha statue. I don't know if it's a part of a religious or educational complex, as there seems to be classrooms, meeting rooms, or maybe offices in the same quarters. On Thur or Fri nights, the 3 or 4 parking spaces are never taken, so you can even park for free.

BTW, their name "sai shoku ken bi" in kanji is written as vegetables (or dishes) eat health beauty. My Japanese teacher told me it's a pun and wrote down the alternate kanji (with the same pronunciation in Japanese) which is a Chinese expression describing a woman who possesses both beauty and talent. Very clever. And the food is always delicious!

I forgot to mention they also sell a variety of soy meats (frozen & dried), vegan soy sauces, instant noodles, drinks, lucky charms, etc.
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Old Mar 26, 08, 1:42 pm
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This tofu restaurant has been suggested in egullet, and when poking around I noticed that it advertises a special vegetarian menu.

http://www.norenkai.net/english/shop...uki/index.html

http://www.sasanoyuki.com/ (Japanese)

MAP - the nearest station is Uguisudani (1 stop North of Ueno on the Yamanote line)

Lunch menus from ¥2,000

----
And here's a link with recommendations I hadn't seen before
http://veg.tokyogigguide.com/vegfriendly.html

Last edited by LapLap; Mar 26, 08 at 1:51 pm
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Old Jun 6, 08, 7:58 am
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Daigo

Just came back from a highly-anticipated dinner at Daigo but sadly have to report that I was highly disappointed. I had the ume course at 15,000 yen (there are 2 more options at 17k & 19k yen, and all these prices are before tax, service and drinks), and the presumably high quality ingredients notwithstanding, the whole meal pales in comparison to any of the shojin-ryori meals I've had in Kyoto (adjacent to temples). Those meals were a lot more intricate, interesting and tasty, a veritable feast for the eyes and palate. The Daigo meal, in comparison, was prosaic at best and in fact left my mouth with an unpleasant after taste. The private (interior) room, while tastefully decorated, did not look out to anything interesting and did not have tatami mats on the floor. Service was good but not outstanding.

By the way, I told them not to use dashi when I first made the reservation. Normally they do use dashi, so vegetarians beware!
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Old Jun 16, 08, 1:41 am
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Originally Posted by sfvoyage View Post
Just came back from a highly-anticipated dinner at Daigo but sadly have to report that I was highly disappointed. I had the ume course at 15,000 yen (there are 2 more options at 17k & 19k yen, and all these prices are before tax, service and drinks), and the presumably high quality ingredients notwithstanding, the whole meal pales in comparison to any of the shojin-ryori meals I've had in Kyoto (adjacent to temples). Those meals were a lot more intricate, interesting and tasty, a veritable feast for the eyes and palate. The Daigo meal, in comparison, was prosaic at best and in fact left my mouth with an unpleasant after taste. The private (interior) room, while tastefully decorated, did not look out to anything interesting and did not have tatami mats on the floor. Service was good but not outstanding.

By the way, I told them not to use dashi when I first made the reservation. Normally they do use dashi, so vegetarians beware!
That is disappointing to hear. The times I've been there, it has been A+ in every way, as good or better as the best I've had in Kyoto. And the rooms always have had tatami mats.

Maybe it is the fact that they didn't use dashi, big umami factor there.
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Old Jun 16, 08, 2:11 am
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Vegan Restaurant Guide

I've not seen it myself, but a book was published last year (billingual) with reviews and maps of vegan restaurants in Kanto and Kansai

"Children of the Carrot"
http://www.childrenofthecarrot.info/index.html

If you buy it, check this page: http://www.childrenofthecarrot.info/updates.html for updates.

They're also hoping for any leads: http://www.childrenofthecarrot.info/volunteer.html
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Old Sep 24, 08, 6:51 am
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Sanuki Udon in Tokyo

I've not been yet, but the Tokyo Sanuki Club near Azabu Juban station has (in their words) "been chosen as Sanuki Embassy for the successful appeal of Kagawa"

What I guess this means is that the Sanuki Udon here is approved by Kagawa and one of the club's functions is to promote the Kagawa region in Shikoku.

http://www.sanuki-club.com/English/top_english.htm

The place has a restaurant, garden, and a range of accommodation options (all reasonable) including Japanese tatami rooms.

It should be quite simple to ask for your udon to order here, selecting a range of toppings that do not include fish.

(I'll ammend this post with a first hand report in a few weeks time)
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Old Oct 11, 08, 8:32 pm
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Sheraton Miyako Hotel, Tokyo

We were walking by the Meguro Station last night and saw the shuttle bus for the Sheraton Miyako Hotel (which, by the way, is celebrating their 1st anniversary under Starwood). On a whim, we hopped on and ended up having an excellent macrobiotic vegetarian 6-course set menu at their Cafe California. This set menu changes monthly. The October version is:

lily root fondant & carrot mousse
potato & pumpkin veloute
gratin of onion, mushroom, lotus root & tofu
mille feuille of eggplant, spinach, fresh gluten with bell pepper sauce
risotto with black sesame and wasabi
grape granite and compote with coconut jelly
coffee or tea

6,300 yen (including the 5% tax) +10% service

Excellent, delicious meal with high quality ingredients and simple but expert preparation. The quantity was smallish, typical Japanese portions, and bread was not served, so we finished the meal satisfied but not stuffed.

The service was excellent. Parking is free for 4 hours with 3000+ yen bill (or 2 hours if 1000+ yen).

The hotel is in between the Shirokane dai & Shirokane takanawa subway stops. Free shuttle bus to/from Meguro Station.

I wish I had discovered this place months ago!
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Old Mar 5, 09, 12:07 pm
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Originally Posted by LapLap View Post
I've not been yet, but the Tokyo Sanuki Club near Azabu Juban station has (in their words) "been chosen as Sanuki Embassy for the successful appeal of Kagawa"

What I guess this means is that the Sanuki Udon here is approved by Kagawa and one of the club's functions is to promote the Kagawa region in Shikoku.

http://www.sanuki-club.com/English/top_english.htm

The place has a restaurant, garden, and a range of accommodation options (all reasonable) including Japanese tatami rooms.

It should be quite simple to ask for your udon to order here, selecting a range of toppings that do not include fish.

(I'll ammend this post with a first hand report in a few weeks time)
REPORT
Whilst this restaurant offers very good value for money (in quite a serene setting in the evenings) the udon wasn't quite as wonderful as I'd hoped. Having been to Takamatsu and tried sanuki udon there, the noodles at this Azabu Juban restaurant were rather disappointing in comparison. The atmosphere here is quite unique for Tokyo and you can get your noodles served to you in a wooden bucket. Worth a trip, but not much here for the vegetarian or vegan. Sorry!

In Takamatsu, the udon (at most of the places I visited) was everything I hoped it would be. So delicious and with such a wonderful texture that very little would need to adorn them to make them into a memorable meal. It must be one of the few cities in Japan where a vegan could do the rounds and fully enjoy a gourmet tour of the local restaurants.
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Old Mar 14, 09, 12:50 pm
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Gyoza or Mabo Dofu?

Here's a vegan restaurant to the North East of Shinjuku (Tokyo) which offers non-meat versions of both classics.

http://www.showtennen.com

Lunch set for 900yen or there's a lunchtime buffet on Saturdays for 1,000yen
open 11:30 to 14:30 and 6pm to 10pm
Address Okubo 2-6-10 - nearest station, Shinokubo
MAP

----
And a fair hike from Meguro Station
http://www.woodmoon.jp/ MAP

Last edited by LapLap; Mar 14, 09 at 1:29 pm
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Old Aug 29, 10, 3:11 am
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Sobateria - Daikanyama (near Shibuya)

http://www.tokyosoba.com/ - LINK DEAD - restaurant may not have survived
This soba restaurant has "soba salad" on the menu with a dressing made of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The salad also has parmesan cheese but vegans and strict vegetarians can request that no parmesan is added

The other vegetarian options are:
- mozzarella tofu (a specially made tofu and milk-fed mozzarella cheese served antipasto style)

And the desserts include
- soba kernel ice cream
- soba blanc manger with a black honey sauce (made with soymilk and soba tea)

Last edited by LapLap; Jul 18, 14 at 9:14 pm
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Old May 5, 12, 5:46 am
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Any suggestions on Vegan Friendly food in Marunouchi area? With all the new trendy buildings I'd have expected to find something fairly easily, but the only place I've found is a "vegan ramen" joint inside of Tokyo Station.
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