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Vegetarian experience in Japan 2014/2/26 20:56
Hi i know the question of vegetarian food in japan has already been asked (but it was 2005) so i was wondering how things are now!

I am a vegetarian, and ive not visited japan yet, but that is the only real thing that worries me slightly, is the avaliability of vegetarian foods. Have you been to japan, and if so whats your experience?
by Rose Davidson  

Re: Vegetarian experience in Japan 2014/2/27 13:36
Hi Rose,

I used to be a vegetarian (now a vegan) who has visited Japan many times.

The short answer is: If you are willing to be vigilant then you should have no problem finding vegetarian food in Japan.

However that doesn't necessarily mean it's a breeze either. Eating out at restaurants I would often have difficulty finding vegetarian options with the more tradtional Japanese cuisine apart from rice. You need to be careful with the stock or dashi used in many dishes which can have an animal/fish derivative.

However with Indian, Italian and basically most international food I could usually find an alternative. Pizzas, pasta dishes, curries, you name it.

Obviously coming Japan you will probably want to try some local food so my advice would be to see if you can find a rice or tofu based dish - just bear in mind the stock an see how you go.

Alternatively food in supermarkets and convenience stores are very accomodating an you wont have any problems finding anything to eat. Bakeries are also everywhere with plenty of options.

In my experience I've worked around the language barrier and simply advised the staff that I am a vegetarian and I don't eat meat, poultry or fish and asked for their recommendation. I didn't fel it was good manners to ask them to alter the dish(s) so I didn't an just dealt as they came.

So, be smart and friendly and you won't have a problem, you definitely won't starve.


Hope this helps you! :)
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