Jul 9, 2014

Four Tokyo Vegetarian restaurants recommended by the Japan Vegetarian Society

Hi everyone. How have you been?

I'm not a vegetarian, but some of my foreign friends are vegetarian or are trying to reduce meat and fish intake. They sometimes ask me if I know some good vegetarian restaurants in Tokyo and my answer is always the same: "Sorry, I don't. Japan is not a vegetarian-friendly country."

That's true. I don't know why, but even though Japan is basically a Buddhist country (strict speaking, more than 70 percent of Japanese don't believe in any religion), vegetarianism has never become a big movement.

The other day I checked the website of the Japan Vegetarian Society to see if there are any places vegetarians can in, and I was surprised to find much more vegetarian restaurants than I had expected.

If you can read Japanese, look at the list of  vegetarian restaurants or places serving some vegetarian dishes throughout the nation.  Click here. (All written in Japanese.)

From their list I picked up  several places that even I feel like visiting.

Chaya Mactobiotics

It is more like a cafe rather than a restaurant. Very fashionable, cozy atmosphere. All the dishes they offer contain no meat, no eggs, no dairy products, no refined white sugar and no MSG.


They have three branches in the center of Tokyo.

* in Shinjuku
On the 7th floor of Isetan department store, 3-14-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo; tel. 03-3357-0041 (reservation available only for dinner ) , Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m., closed when the department store is closed.

* in Yurakucho
On the 2nd basement floor of Hibiya Chante, 1-2-2 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; tel. 03-3500-5514 (reservation dinner only) , Open 11a.m.-11 p.m. (Tue.-Sat.), 11-a.m.-10 p.m. (Mon. & Sun.)

* in Shiodome
On the ground floor of Royal Park Hotel the Shiodome, 1-6-3 Higashi Shimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo; tel. 03-3573-3616 (reservation dinner only) , open daily, 11 a.m.- 9 p.m.

Loving Hut

Vegan Chinese. No alcohol available. They have Chinese/Eglish speaking staff and also Wi-Fi for international devices (it is important, isn't it?). Be careful of their open hours. Mondays through Fridays, they are open for lunch and tea only.

Dim Sum Set (lunch only), 1,000 yen including Taiwanese tea

On Fridays, they have dinner buffet only, 5:30-9 p.m., 2,000 yen per person; on Saturdays, lunch buffet only, 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., 1,500 yen per person. 


They are holding a Vegan Dim Sum cooking class as well. The fee is 10,000 yen for one group (max 5 persons) , which means you'd better find friends to go with.  Reservation is required 3 days to 1 week in advance. For details, ask the staff. 

It seems like they sometimes close the restaurant on an irregular basis for various events. Check their bilingual website. Click here.

Address: 2nd fl. of Okada Bldg., 1-54 Kandajimbocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; tel. 5577-6880

Eat more greens vegetable cafe and bakery

New York style vegan cafe situated in my favorite Azabu-juban area. I have passed in front of this cafe many times but never eaten there. Next time I'll definitely have their vegan pumpkin pie, which looks so yummy. 

イート・モア・グリーンズ - 料理写真:ヴィーガンパンプキンパイ
Vegan pumpkin pie, 730 yen
 I checked all the menu items on the internet ( Click here). They have a wide variety of salads and pastas perfect for lunch, but I find their cakes and donuts more appealing! 

Vegetarian Taco-rice of black rice and black soybean, 1,280 yen
One negative information about this place. I read in a restaurant review that this place does not prohibit smoking and there are a few smokers.  

Address: 2-2-5 Azabu Juban, Minato-ku, Tokyo; tel. 03-3798-3191, open 11a.m.-11 p.m.

Itosho (いと正)

This Michelin's one star restaurant offers traditional Japanese shojin ryori (精進料理) originally developed for Zen Buddhists priests. Located on the calm backstreet of the fashionable Azabu Juban area, and having three private rooms only, Itosho has been secretly loved by politicians and celebrities.

Itosho is not a cheap place but it is worth trying if you can afford. They have only one lunch course consisting of 11 small dishes (6,000 yen), and three dinner courses -- 8,000 yen (11 dishes), 9,000 yen (13 dishes) and 10,000 yen (13 dishes including homemade aperitifs).

The entrance of the restaurant. A little difficult to find. 

vegetable tempura using fresh ingredients from Takayama

This conger eel sushi is actually made of tofu and gobo

Sitting on tatami mats.
Dishes are put on the small table called for a single person.
You can ask for low chairs (not shown in the photo).
Address: 3-4-7 Azabu Juban, Minato-ku, Tokyo; tel. 03-3454-6538. Open 12-3 p.m. for lunch, 5:30-9:30 p.m. for dinner, closed occasionally. Private rooms only. Reservation is necessary. 

No comments:

Post a Comment