Being vegan in Japan is not as simple as you might think. Usually we can have the impression that all vegans are healthy, so, as Japanese cuisine tends to be healthy, we make the connection that there we will also find several vegan options.
But this is false. Japanese cuisine really has many healthy things, but many of them also have fish derivatives. Also, the Japanese are very fond of eggs.
These small characteristics make most of the country’s foods unsuitable for vegans.
However, we separate some tips so that a vegan does not have to starve in the country. Check them out below.
Being Vegan in Japan
Japan, of course, is a country that has historically sought to respect animal life. Historically, they really have a great deal of respect for the life of the animal and they place great value on using every part of the animal to make it a dignified death. Of course, it’s not about which opinion is correct, but just a little reasoning about why the country lacks many vegan products and why often products that should be vegan are not.
But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to be vegan in the country.
So let’s go to some tips
Tip 1 for going vegan in Japan: Don’t assume
You might assume you could just Google the kanji for Vegan and use it to read products in supermarkets or show it to waiters, but unfortunately the word has traveled poorly. Often, vegan simply refers to ‘healthy’ rather than herbivore.
The word vegetarian is also lacking and is generally taken to mean just without meat, but fish is fine. Don’t assume that ‘plant-based’ can be an alternative, as products with that label often contain eggs or dairy.
Tip 2 for being vegan in Japan: social networks are a great ally
Social networks can help you a lot on the journey of knowing what is vegan or not in Japan and also where to go to eat.
The best way to know which products are safe for vegans is to join some of the popular forums and groups on Facebook or Instagram to stay up to date. “ Are you vegan? Japan ” has been the most popular website and Facebook group and is regularly updated to keep people informed on how to navigate supermarkets.
Tip 3 for going vegan in Japan: Enjoy foods that are traditionally vegan
In Japanese cuisine, you can find a long list of foods that are naturally vegan.
See some of the options for you to know when you have the opportunity to go to the country.
- Tofu – also called soy cheese
- udon noodles
- crunchy seaweed
- Miso soup – beware that some may have some fish in it.
- Nato (a fermented soy product)
- Sweet potato candy variations
- Mochi (a rice noodle usually made with red bean paste and served as a dessert)
Source: Its your japan