info for vegetarians
Tokyo Vegetarian-friendly
Restaurant Guide
Diary - Living in Tokyo
as a Semi-Vegan
Recommended Readings
Written in Japanese
Articles about Vegetarianism
written by Hiroko Kato
Online Vegetarian/Vegan Handouts
Shopping Guide
Good News & Good News
Links for Vegetarians
Q1: I wonder if it is easy to eat vegetarian way in Japan.

I'm a vegetarian and I'd like to go to Japan some time. I wonder if it is easy to eat vegetarian way there. Could you give me any help about that?

Japan might be a paradise for so-called "fish vegetarians." Even if you eschew any meat and fish, you can still enjoy a variety of vegetarian foods at Indian or Italian restaurants in Japan. Speaking of authentic Japanese foods, it would be a little tricky to judge whether it is okay for you. However, especially in big cities like Tokyo, you can find many natural or macrobiotic restaurants that serve vegetarian/vegan foods if not all the foods are not vegetarian/vegan. Kyoto is a great place for vegetarians as I wrote in my diary. I had to say you would miss many authentic Japanese dishes if you don't eat fish but I am pretty sure you can survive in Japan and enjoy your travel. Japan Vegetarian Society's site has some vegetarian restaurant information. Please check my former articles about how to eat at Japanese restaurants vegan way on my web site too.

Q2: Is it easy to order in English in Japanese restaurants?
Is it easy to order in English in Japanese restaurants? If not, what's the best way to order something vegetarian?

Unfortunately, Japanese people don't understand English well but it depends on persons, of course. We learn English at least three years at school so are supposed to understand English more or less. However, living in Japan means we don't have many opportunities to use English. Therefore people don't get accustomed to communicate in English. Some are too shy to respond to foreigners if they can speak English. Speaking slowly and clearly will help to communicate in English in Japan, I guess. Also, the word "vegetarian" is almost understood, even if people often don't have the idea what exactly it is. The advantage of ordering in Japanese restaurants is that the menus generally have the pictures of the meals. You can guess which is which by those pictures and just point out the one you want when you order.
Copyright (C) 2002 Hiroko Kato, Tomoko Kinukawa(designer).All rights reserved.