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Is It Easy To Be A Vegetarian In Japan? 2015/6/13 03:11
Is It Easy To Be A Vegetarian In Japan? I was just wondering, because I am a vegetarian and when I go to restaurants in the U.S they usually have a vegetarian area on the menu for food. Is it like that in Japan also?
by Shadja  

Re: Is It Easy To Be A Vegetarian In Japan? 2015/6/13 12:46
I live in Saitama in Japan. and I work in Tokyo.
I don't usually see Vegetarian menu when I eat in restaurant.
So,I think it may be difficult that veterinarian live comfortably in Japan.
by Jey Ken rate this post as useful

Re: Is It Easy To Be A Vegetarian In Japan? 2015/6/13 14:20
It depends on how strict you want to/can adhere as a vegetarian. If you live here, there's always an option of making your own meal. You decide what you eat.

On the other hand, in restaurants there may be a few vegetarian options available, though places like ramen restaurants may be trickier as they usually use pork or chicken broth and/or seafood broth as the base. Other places accommodate requests such as withholding the meat (ask first) but it depends on the seasoning they use as well. Certain seasoning that they use may include seafood extract, meat extract and the likes. If you aren't that strict (as in drawing a line to the tee with using meat extracts, then it's easier).

I live in Hiroshima, and one example is the use between the Otafuku brand okonomiyaki sauce which includes oyster extract and the Carp brand sauce which is vegetarian. Different restaurants use different brand of sauce. Always ask first if you're particular about things like this.
by Seirin (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Is It Easy To Be A Vegetarian In Japan? 2015/6/13 16:38
Probably the easiest way to eat vegetarian in Japan is to find supermarkets and pick out your own food. If you're outside a major city, that's about the only way. Katsudashi is the main basis for Japanese cooking and it's made from bonito. Many "vegetarian" dishes still have dashi. The easiest place to find some vegetarian dishes is at an Indian restaurant as there are several chains throughout Japan. You otherwise have to search out the veg and vegan places or some temple food which can be far and difficult to find unless you stay in one place for a long time. In the Japanese culture, if it's from the ocean, a vegetarian can eat it; it's mainly aimed at not eating land animals. Check out
for more info. As he states, "the word for vegetarian here is ' bejetarian,'" as there are probably more foreigners than Japanese who follow this.
by Anaguma (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Is It Easy To Be A Vegetarian In Japan? 2015/6/14 00:42
Short answer: no. Japan is probably 20-30 years or more behind the West in terms of public awareness of vegetarianism, despite centuries of Buddhism (Buddhist cuisine is usually vegetarian).

Culturally, Japanese children eat what they are told to. Meat has become a staple courtesy of American influences, and almost everything obtained from the oceans is consumed.

There are vegetarian and vegan places to eat (just Google for the resources) but you will often have to be careful to avoid fish and meat stock. Any don't be surprised if you bite into what looks like a doughnut or bun and find it contains curry (kare pan, curry bun). Welcome to the mine field of Japanese cuisine.

You'll have to self-cater and avoid processed food. Beyond that, research both the things you will see on food labels in Kanji and kana, and the eateries in advance.

Carry a statement of your diet on a small piece of card in Japanese.

Google for Shojin (traditional Buddhist) cuisine. Some temples serve meals.
by David (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Is It Easy To Be A Vegetarian In Japan? 2015/6/15 18:18
It's easy if you cook most of your meals at home. In restaurants it's harder as most broths and sauces contain meat or fish. If you go to Indian or Western restaurants it's fine but traditional Japanese food almost always contains meat or fish. Most Japanese people don't understand the concept of vegetarian either, many menus list things as a "vegetable salad" and or "vegetable pizza" yet come with big chunks of bacon or shrimp so you always have to ask exactly what's in the food before you order just to make sure.
by jennjett (guest) rate this post as useful

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