Konnichi Wa! Today is the day that I want to introduce you to another “series”
*pretentiouuuuus, me sorryyyyy* (or whatever this is). Vegan In Japan, as the name already indicates, will be all about my vegan restaurant finds, my struggles with finding food and some (hopefully helpful) tips for leading a plant-based life style in Japan.
Being vegan in Japan is pretty challenging, even if you are able to read product labels. That’s because the Japanese seem to love putting animal products into everything, even when it’s probably completely unnecessary. Like, why is there milk and egg in virtually all the bread you can find in regular super markets? If it’s sweet bread, sure, I get it … but do you really need to put milk and eggs in regular toast bread? Also, why is there milk in most pasta sauces, even if it’s just a simple one? Why is there gelatin or fish stock in almost all salad dressings? WHY JAPAN?
So yeah, you can imagine that veganism – even just vegetarianism – is a concept that is still very unknown to the general Japanese public. However, thanks to globalization and the increased flow and moving around of people across the globe and blabla
*international studies student right here* concepts and ideas such as plant-based, cruelty-free and animal rights have become known to more and more people. As a result, more and more vegan and vegetarian restaurants and cafés have started to emerge, especially in big cities, and convenience stores and super markets are offering more and more vegan- and vegetarian-friendly products, such as soy meat for example.
Kyoto in particular is known as the vegan capital of Japan. Famous foods of Kyoto include a variety of different types of tofu and vegetables. Since there are also many, many, many temples in Kyoto, there are many Buddhist monks living a strict vegetarian lifestyle, which is why it is also easy to find traditional shojin ryouri, (vegetarian) Buddhist temple cuisine.
In- and outside of the city centre, there are also a lot of vegan and vegetarian restaurants, most of which are easily accessible and quite affordable. Today I want to talk about one of them: Morpho Café, probably one of my favourite restaurants in Kyoto.