Vegan in Tokyo | How to Survive & Thrive
How do you eat vegan in Tokyo? This guide is designed to help you navigate Tokyo’s vegan food scene.
Eating vegan in Tokyo not hard, but it can be a challenge. Tokyo is a little behind when it comes to allergy awareness and certain dietary lifestyles. In addition to the language barrier, it can be hard to discern English dietary preferences on menus. Use the quick translation below to ask if there’s a vegan menu.
Do you offer a vegan menu? Bigan menyuu wa arimasuka.
My book, The Hidden Tokyo Neighborhood Guidebook, also breaks down the major Tokyo neighborhoods and offers over 450 pages of pure local goodness. What makes this guide particularly useful is the fact that I provide a list of some places to eat for each neighborhood, each with dietary icons for vegetarian-friendly, gluten-free, and vegan. Ⓥ
1.Go to Kamakura for Vegan in Tokyo
Ok, technically, this isn’t exactly in Tokyo, but one of the best-kept secrets for eating vegan in Tokyo is to head south to Kamakura. Kamakura is the perfect day trip, only an hour from Tokyo. It’s an ancient Buddhist city and the former shogunate capital of Japan. It’s also the site of Zen Buddhism’s in Japan.
Here, you can enjoy some authentic Japanese cuisine alongside one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Alongside its classic kissaten cafes, you can find vegan haunts such as QK Cafe, which also has vegetarian and gluten-free options with a traditional bento selection.
At Kamakura Kaikan Cafe & Shop Guri, you can find a vegan-friendly menu here that’s drived from Buddhism. They also offer dishes that are inspired with traditional ingredients.
Read my article on how to travel to Kamakura from Tokyo.
2. Vegan Ramen in Tokyo
T’s Tan Tan Vegan Ramen is practically an oxymoron, but vegan ramen does exist, and T’s is one of Tokyo’s most beloved spots. You can find the original in one of my favorite neighborhoods in Tokyo, Jiyugaoka, which is a slow-paced and more local experience. But, the most popular location is in Tokyo Station in Marunouchi. You can’t go wrong with either location.
Also, Tokyo Station and Marunouchi are ripe for exploration of both the financial districts and modern Tokyo, but also lots of Old Tokyo attractions nearby in local neighborhoods.
TIP: If you want to eat at T’s Tan Tan in Tokyo Station, you’ll need to purchase a platform ticket to enter, or nyuujouken for around 130 yen. Then go to the Keiyo Street Food Hall.
3. Head to Shibuya & Omotesando for Vegan in Tokyo
The Shibuya Ward is home to a peculiar selection of vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurants in Tokyo. Head to Shibuya Station and exit the Hachiko Mae Exit. Also, read my article on an Insider’s Guide to Shibuya Station.
Here, alongside Shibuya’s high-energy and crazy lights, you’ll find a few spots worthy of a stop. Omotesando is the glamorous sister neighborhood of Harajuku, both of which are about a 20-minute walk from Shibuya Crossing, or a short stop on the train.
Nagi Shokudo is a dedicated vegan restaurant that serves traditional Japanese cuisine.
Brown Rice by Neal’s Yard Remedies embodies everything I love about the way English is used in Japan. Aside from its name, they also take pride in their organic conscious-driven menu. Technically, this is in the Shibuya Ward but closer to Harajuku and Omotesando, which are about a fifteen-minute walk from Shibuya Station or far less on the train.
Mominoki House is also another gem for eating vegan in Tokyo, serving up some authentic Japanese dishes that many swear by. Also, located in Harajuku.
Eating vegan in Tokyo doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Also, try local izakaya spots which often serve up dishes of vegetables and inquire.
The Japanese phrase for “is this vegan” will go a long way. Lastly, certain high-end hotels have restaurants that will almost all certainly provide vegan-friendly dishes.
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Tokyo is my favorite city in the world, which is why I could write over 400 pages of pure Tokyo love, designed to help travelers grasp this city and experience it better. Get my book, The Hidden Tokyo Neighborhood Guidebook and unlock Tokyo’s Magic.