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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
World Travel is the Most Worthwhile Activity a Human Being Can Do
You should travel as far and as wide as possible. It's the only way to taste the fullness of life.Read More >>
Tips and Mishaps from my Trip to Japan
The last time I was in Japan, “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga was charting, Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 had just hit theatres, and infinity scarves and hair feathers were in. These are my tips and mishaps on my first trip to Japan in over a decade!Read More >>