There aren’t many vegan / vegetarian restaurants in Japan but it won’t be very difficult to find one if you are visiting a big cities like Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Kyoto, etc. Here I will show you how I find vegetarian / vegan restaurants in Japan.
As most of you must know, HappyCow is an excellent app for vegans and vegetarians and there are a lot of Japanese restaurants registered. Try look for vegan restaurants in Tokyo; you will find plenty of options. There website is here and the app is here.
When I travel abroad, I usually download map data of the area into my smartphone using the “offline maps” tool of Google Maps. Then I search for vegan restaurants and shops with HappyCow and mark all look nice as “favorite” in Google Maps. In this way I will never miss the restaurants even if I’m offline.
Searching “vegan restaurants” directly on Google Maps, however, doesn’t work well in Japan. I don’t know why but fast food chains like McDonald’s or KFC are in the search results…
Website of Japan Vegetarian Society
Japan Vegetarian Society is a Japanese NPO that provides much information for vegetarians and vegans. I often refer to their vegetarian restaurant list when I travel. The list isn’t complete and there are some vegetarian / vegan restaurants missing, but most of the restaurants in the list are high in quality.
The list is available only in Japanese but some restaurants have their own website and some of them are available also in English. Another solution is automatic translation by google; if you use Google Chrome, just right-click on the page and select “Translate to English”.
Or you can copy and paste the address into the search bar of Google Maps to see where it is.
These two tools, HappyCow and the website of Japan Vegetarian Society, are practical when you travel in Japan. If you are still wondering if you could come to Japan, just try looking for restaurants around your destinations.