We ate great vegetarian food in Kyoto. There's Buddhist cuisine, including Shojin Ryori, macrobiotic, and delicious, places if you know where to look. You certainly won't starve, but it isn't necessarily cheap either.
Monday 22nd of January 2018 08:42:16 PM

About The Authors

Ken Goldberg and
Kathryn Kefauver Goldberg
Berkeley, California, USA
"Watashitachi wa bejitarian desu." (We are vegetarians.)

Places we went



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13. Tosai, We Miss You (Downtown Kyoto)—Ken

Back in 2004, one of my favorite restaurant finds was Tosai. Tucked away in a traditional looking house, one block north of the Nishiki-Koji market, downtown. I'm really sad to say that Tosai has closed.

I remember well coming there to have lunch on day it was raining lightly. I slid open the doors and asked, and the women cleaning up and cooking explained that they weren't open. I was bold enough to ask for a recommendation, for a nice vegetarian lunch somewhere close.

I could never have expected that the young woman I asked would put on her outside slippers and walk me three blocks to another place. I held the umbrella as we talked with just a few shared words. She took me to Kosendo-sumi, asked if they could make me lunch, and we said goodbye.

Of course I came back to Tosai that night for dinner. As I entered the crowded restaurant, a different woman met me at the entranceway and started looking around for an open place for me to sit. The woman I met earlier saw me from across the room and said, in English, "He is my friend."

I felt a special connection to Tosai, and I was really looking forward to taking Kathryn there. I grieved when I saw the sign. I missed it by just a month. I wish them well.

Tosai, we'll miss you

Posted on Sat, Nov 3, 2007 at 2:30 PM