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Thread: Vegetarian or Vegan in Japan

  1. #21

    Default Re: Vegetarian or Vegan in Japan

    That's literally exactly what our vegan girl said every time we went out, and even more detail... basically never worked, and she was like N2 lol....

    it's just the service industry here, they're usually great and go out of their way for you for a lot of other things, but meal exceptions is a rare one.

  2. #22
    Formerly the Hot One OatsCurrySummer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegetarian or Vegan in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by weepinbell View Post
    That's literally exactly what our vegan girl said every time we went out, and even more detail... basically never worked, and she was like N2 lol....

    it's just the service industry here, they're usually great and go out of their way for you for a lot of other things, but meal exceptions is a rare one.
    Ahh I see! I'd like to spare them the trouble then.

    Two years vegan, and Japan will prove to be the combo breaker--ah well.


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  3. #23

    Default Re: Vegetarian or Vegan in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Anna.Mod View Post
    Yeah I figured as much, I should learn how to really explain it in detail. A statement like: "no meat, poultry, fish, eggs or dairy" would do I suppose. But more likely I'll just eat whatever I'm served bc I don't like to make people cater to my whims (I always hated that about certain people with niche-lifestyles. They tend to get all huffy when the rest of the world doesn't bend over backwards to accommodate them).

    Or I can try to find one of those super strict Buddhist restaurants that the monks frequent. Are those common at all in Japan? Being vegan in Thailand was a breeze because of them.


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    Well, ham is a seasoning, not a meat, here. They really won't understand. Fish stock is in most things. Pork stock is in what's left. Lots of people I know think they're being vegetarian when they order miso soup. they're not. I never had the heart to tell the Muslim guy that his miso ramen was made with pork stock.
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  4. #24
    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegetarian or Vegan in Japan

    The lesser spotted Japanese is a curious species know for its unique inability to process behaviour that is different from their accepted norms. Saying "i dont eat meat" is fine but you will still get bacon bits on your salad because thats not what they consider "meat". You might not get served a salmon steak but your pasta sauce will be full of shrimp because they aren't seafood, its just shrimp. They will make you a delicious vegan okonomiyaki and then cover it in mayo and fish flakes because thats not food, they are just condiments.
    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

  5. #25
    Formerly the Hot One OatsCurrySummer's Avatar
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    Default Vegetarian or Vegan in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by uthinkimlost? View Post
    I never had the heart to tell the Muslim guy that his miso ramen was made with pork stock.
    Aww, that's sad, though I think you did the right thing.

    Also, I'd be wasting a damn good culinary opportunity if I really tried to be a strict vegan in Japan. One thing I really regretted about being vegan when I did research in the UK is that I never tried proper scones or bread pudding. I'm not going to leave Japan feeling the same way.


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    Last edited by OatsCurrySummer; December 21st, 2015 at 14:04.
    Quote Originally Posted by webstaa View Post
    That's the best thing about having books on your phone etc. You can read without having to be self-conscious of what you're reading
    Quote Originally Posted by Jiggit View Post
    We're in a country where salarymen read doraemon on the train, I wouldn't worry either way.

  6. #26
    Fit via vi Virgil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegetarian or Vegan in Japan

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  7. #27
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    Default Re: Vegetarian or Vegan in Japan

    I once asked for a chefs special pizza at my local izakaya (cuz I'm classy like that). I also ask for it without seafood because, reasons.

    The chefs helper dude hears the instruction, looks at the boss confused, comes over to us and goes "is sea chicken okay?"

    My buddy is N1 and Pre 1 Kanji test. I can hold my own. We both stare at this guy until he realizes he just said the stupidest in his life.
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  8. #28
    Senior Member ambrosse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Vegetarian or Vegan in Japan

    There are an absurd amount of picky eaters in the JET community (more specifically, folks from the U.S.). No mushrooms, no eggs prepared other than scrambled, no mayo, no beef, no shrimp, no tofu, no green vegetables, etc.). What the hell do people eat?
    During my prefecture's orientation, one person's homemade bento was just rice and grated daikon....

    I was never vegetarian or vegan, but the food service industry in Japan is take-it-or-leave-it. Just the other day I went to a restaurant with a few people and it was a limited menu. My friend wanted her meal to come without the poached egg, but they gave it to her anyway.

    Don't isolate yourself by adhering to nearly impossible dietary restrictions. Though I've heard some people can easily get away with a pescatarian diet here if you're interested in that.

  9. #29

    Default Re: Vegetarian or Vegan in Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    The lesser spotted Japanese is a curious species know for its unique inability to process behaviour that is different from their accepted norms. Saying "i dont eat meat" is fine but you will still get bacon bits on your salad because thats not what they consider "meat". You might not get served a salmon steak but your pasta sauce will be full of shrimp because they aren't seafood, its just shrimp. They will make you a delicious vegan okonomiyaki and then cover it in mayo and fish flakes because thats not food, they are just condiments.
    I want to emphasize this. Your dietary choices will probably make no sense to them, so even if they try to acquiesce, they'll leave things in without realizing it's even an animal product or that it matters. They've heard of "vegetarian", in the way that we may have heard of "halal" food. It doesn't mean they have any real understanding of what is or isn't allowed.

    Remember as well cultural views of food can be very different. Simple "no meat or fish" doesn't mean the same thing in Japanese as it does in English, even if translated directly.

  10. #30

    Default Re: Vegetarian or Vegan in Japan

    I don't know how people have the energy to be begetarian and began.

  11. #31

    Default Re: Vegetarian or Vegan in Japan

    I know of a vegan 'franchise' called the Loving Hut, but I think there is only one in Japan, in Tokyo, if I'm correct. I personally love their food, but unfortunately, since each franchise is family owned, each menu will vary, sometimes drastically, according to foodstuffs that are available in the vicinity. And it's pretty affordable as well. But I'm sure if you do a good amount of research, you'll find a few good places to choose from.
    Last edited by RavenParadox; December 23rd, 2015 at 11:36.

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