Japanese food restaurants tend to be good places for vegans to eat, with many plant-based options like miso soup, steamed edamame, many Japanese dishes featuring udon noodles and soba noodles, or tempuras made from vegetables such as sweet potatoes.
Interestingly, there isn't a large vegan population in Japan!
This is because Japanese cuisine is largely dominated by seafood.
A 2014 survey found that 2.7 percent of the Japanese population identified as vegan, and an additional 2 percent identified as vegetarian.
By contrast, 7 percent in the U.S. identified as vegans.
Though there aren't a lot of Japanese vegans, there are still a number of amazing places to grab plant-based meals if you're visiting Tokyo.
In addition to classic Japanese recipes that are found in local restaurants - vegetarian Japanese or not - like various rice dishes including rice balls, and sweet potato tempura, there are a number of dedicated vegan eateries for you to try.
From entree to side dish to dessert, we've got the definitive list of vegan restaurants to whet your appetite when you're on a Japanese vacation.
T's Tantan is a vegan Japanese cuisine spot in Tokyo.
Go for the plant-based ramen, as the traditional stuff is made with meat broth more often than not.
The menu also features plant-based meat alternatives.
It is one of a chain of vegan outlets in Tokyo that serve things like vegan cheese fondue, pancakes and fusion dishes.
This is the place to hit for vegan French toast and burritos as well.
Saido offers classic Japanese food such as miso soup and soba noodles, with a focus on beautiful presentation and vibrant ingredients.
Enjoy traditional dishes such as soba, katsu, vegan "eel," curries and bento boxes, as well as desserts like ice cream (without the cream) and cheesecake (without the cheese).
This place gets rave reviews.
The vegan menu at the Olu Olu Cafe is known for delicious and reasonably priced ramen served up piping hot at lunchtime.
Also go for the vegan burgers, curries, gyoza and bento boxes.
The varied menu also includes western options like a taco rice bowl, and of course desserts like cakes and ice cream.
You can't go wrong here.
Taiwan Shokudo is not an entirely plant-based restaurant, but its menu features many vegan options and all are clearly labeled so you don't have to worry about accidentally ordering the wrong thing.
Among the recommended offerings at this Chinese restaurant are gyoza, tofu and soy sweet chili curry, sour soup and spring rolls.
Prices are reasonable and portions are generous.
You probably didn't go to Tokyo to eat falafel, but its an option!
Check out Ballon, and end your vegan sandwich lunch with a scoop of plant-based ice cream - you'll have a ton of flavors to choose from.
If you're not traveling to Japan any time soon but are in need of some Japanese recipes to make authentic Japanese food at home, we've got you covered.
Check out our vegan and vegetarian Japanese food recipes below and turn your kitchen into a vegan Japanese restaurant for a night.
We've got Japanese recipes for two delicious meals for you to try.
Along with rice balls and vegetable dishes made from sweet potatoes, ramen noodles are one staple in Japanese cuisine, from a quick lunch to casual dinners.
Ramen can be changed in flavor by adding different vegetable toppings to recipes so you will never get bored of eating it. You can fry tofu, seitan or tempeh and add it on the top with a spicy sauce.
We have a choice of miso and shoyu sauce-based Japanese ramen recipes to choose from.
These recipes are easy to adapt with the ingredients you have on hand - sub vegetables or different varieties of noodles in the ramen dish, and try different vegetables or plant-based proteins in the spring rolls.
You can also use your favorite dipping sauces in place of the one recommended by the recipe.
These recipes are so adaptable!
Rice wrapper recipes provide an excellent – and entirely wheat-free – vehicle by which to get fresh salad ingredients from plate to mouth without the aid of cutlery.
This version works well as a delicate starter, leaving space for a more hearty meal, or as part of a platter of nibbles before an evening out providing satisfying flavor without being too filling.
It's also very easy to adapt traditional Japanese recipes that aren't plant-based, for plant-based purposes.
Before you know it, you can become an expert in modifying Japanese cuisine to suit your vegan lifestyle.
Let us know which Japanese recipes are your favorite in the comments. Maybe you can find something new to try, too.
A vegan freelance web designer and blog writer based out of Austin, Texas USA.
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