Being vegan in Japan can seem daunting, but with the recent popularity of plant-based cuisine across the major cities, it can be easy to find filling and tasty vegan meals!
- Komeda Is
This is the fully-vegan version of the chain Komeda Coffee, only a few minutes walk from the Higashi-Ginza train station. Open 7 am to 10 pm every day, it’s the perfect place for an early breakfast or a late night snack. The interior is beautiful and the menu is extensive (and ordering is all done on a tablet that offers English translations)! If you come for breakfast, the drinks are served with a complimentary side of toasted vegan Japanese milk bread.
- Izakaya Masaka
Open 12-3 pm for lunch and 5-10 pm for dinner, this fully-vegan restaurant is located in the Shibuya Parco mall. Their menu was fairly limited when I went, the main offerings are gyoza and kaarage. Both of which tasted amazing!
Located on the ground floor of the Ginza Loft, this fully-vegan cafe is the perfect place to grab lunch while shopping in Ginza. They’re open 11 am to 9 pm everyday, but be weary, during weekends you might not be able to find an open seat! This was the only restaurant I found with a vegan omurice dish. The donuts here are also delicious!
- Mr. Farmer
A vegan-friendly chain in Tokyo, I went to the Shinjuku location for a lighter vegan meal option. They offer meat dishes as well, with an emphasis on veggies and health food. I tried the vegan curry with a faux egg on top. It was a refreshing meal with lots of avocado, brown rice, and a tasty salad. All the desserts offered were vegan as well.
- Kyushu Jangara
This vegan-friendly chain is open 11 am to 10:45 pm and always has a line of people waiting outside. I visited the Akihabara location to try their vegan ramen that features a soy sauce base and plant-based meat. The interior is cramped, but the food comes out quickly and tastes fantastic. You can’t beat the price either!
- Fruits and Season
This fully-vegan whipped cream and fruit sandwich store is the perfect place to grab dessert. Located near the Ebisu station, they’re open 11 am to 7 pm. They offer almost every type of in-season fruit in a whipped-cream sandwich, as well as some fancy fruit pastries as well. I tried the mixed fruit option, I would definitely recommend the banana and strawberry ones!
Weller is a fully-vegan convenience store located near the Ebisu train station, open 10 am to 7 pm Monday to Saturday. While this isn’t a restaurant, they do offer a wide selection of premade meals in to-go containers that are perfect for a long train ride or a picnic in the park.
- T’s TanTan
This is a fully-vegan ramen shop located in both the Tokyo and Ueno train stations. They’re a bit confusing to locate, as you must be inside the turnstiles to eat there, but the incredible options and reasonable prices are totally worth it! I tried the Ueno location, located inside the Ecute shopping area, and got the sesame ramen and a side of gyoza.
- Ovgo B.A.K.E.R. Edo St.
Open 11 am to 7 pm (or 6 pm on weekends), this fully-vegan bake shop has lots of tasty treats. Located near the Kodemmacho Station, the shop definitely reminds you of being back in the U.S.!
- Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum in Yokohama
While not as famous as Yokohama’s Cup Noodle Museum, this museum dedicated to the history of ramen is definitely worth a visit. Entry is only 380 yen, and includes access to the gallery spaces and the downstairs ramen shops. Open 11 am to 9 pm, it’s the perfect place to eat lunch or dinner. The restaurants rotate often, but grab an english guide to find which ones offer vegan options.
1. Oko in Osaka
This cozy vegan-friendly restaurant in Osaka has the best vibes, and the best vegan okonomiyaki! This woman-owned shop has a vegan menu, as well as gluten-free, and the craziest decor. Open 6 pm to 2 am, it’s the perfect place to grab dinner and stay for drinks!
2. Casa de Comidas la Paprika in Osaka
Open for lunch and dinner (except Monday’s and Wednesday’s), this fully-vegan restaurant has a huge menu of veganized Japanese dishes! I decided to try the cheese hamburger steak and the fried “oysters” (mushrooms), it was really tasty and the staff was very friendly!
3. Mercy Vegan Factory in Osaka
This fully-vegan cafe became one of my favorite stops in Osaka. They’re open throughout the day (and closed on Saturday’s), and offer a full sit-down menu, as well as a fully-stocked display case of pastries and sandwiches. My favorite dish was the vegan egg salad sandwich, perfect as a to-go snack for the bullet ride.
4. Aju in Osaka
This fully-vegetarian/vegan-friendly restaurant is run by one chef and only seats 4 at a time, but it’s definitely worth the wait! After walking by all the Osaka street vendors selling yakitori, I really wanted to find a vegan version. This restaurant offers a soy meat sampler of yakitori that is super tasty! I also tried a vegan udon carbonara that was just as tasty and not too heavy.
1. Kyoto Engine Ramen in Kyoto
This vegan-friendly ramen shop is open 4:30 to 10 pm, and has the best vegan ramen I’ve ever had! It was full of flavor and the broth was insanely creamy and thick, I almost ordered a second bowl!
2. Cafe Ren in Kyoto
Open for lunch and dinner, this cute cafe chain has a fully-vegan menu. I’d never had vegan unagi before so I had to try it. The texture and flavor was excellent, I wish I could’ve tried more of their dishes!
3. Vegan Minshuku Sanbiki Neko Bed & Breakfast in Kyoto
I stumbled on this fully-vegan, cat-themed bed and breakfast while looking for a place to stay in Kyoto. It was perfect! The location is off the beaten path in a quiet neighborhood, but only a short cab ride away from the Fushimi Inari Shrine and Kyoto National Museum. The hotel owners were incredibly accommodating and kind, and the breakfast was fantastic and filling for a day of exploring the city. If you stay here, you might even get to hang out with some of the owners’ cats!
I hope this list of restaurants can help fellow vegans out when traveling in Japan, and maybe even inspire some non-vegans to give them a try. I also recommend using the Happy Cow vegan restaurant-finder app and keyword-searching “vegan” when using Google Maps for the best results of plant-based options throughout Japan.
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