We really did find delicious Vegetarian food in Japan, including great Kaiseki and Shojin Ryori restaurants. Just as special were little macrobiotic vegetarian places with loyal customers and a strong following.
Monday 22nd of January 2018 08:41:59 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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16. Tofu Restaurants: You're on Notice--Ken

Hello. Moshi-moshi.

Here ye, here ye, Tofu restaurants, you're on notice.

Many vegetarians like tofu. Many vegetarians in Japan will seek tofu. So what gives with the "We don't have anything vegetarian at our tofu restaurant."

Way back in 2004, I walked along Kiyamachi-dori, and came across this elegant restaurant sign and photographed it. It wasn't until I got home that one of my Japanese colleagues saw the picture, read the sign, and told me that it says that this is a "tofu restaurant."

Some Tofu Restaurant, this was

Fast forward to 2007. Kathryn and I walked up the same street, and I recognized the place immediately. Despite my complete Kanji illiteracy, I knew that this was a tofu restaurant.

Sure enough, just inside the entryway, there was a counter selling fresh tofu. We asked the nice woman there about vegetarian options, causing her to hail the owner. Back we went through the wooden alleyway and into the garden where the owner met us at the restaurant door.

We asked, he understood, and his answer was polite but curt, "No, we can't make a vegetarian meal."

I'll let you draw your own conclusions. You can guess mine.

Posted on Sun, Nov 4, 2007 at 6:00 PM