Just wanted to send a quick tip to fellow vegans who are traveling to Japan here. I live in Tokyo, and I definitely know the struggle of being vegan here… Though while in Japan I obviously want to enjoy its incredible food culture without having to worry about the inclusion of dashi or fish powder or other animal products, which can be a challenge…
But I participated in my first airKitchen (https://airkitchen.me/
) class recently – airKitchen is basically Airbnb but for cooking classes in Japan for foreigners/travelers. You learn how to cook Japanese dishes from Japanese hosts in their homes, and there are a TON of veg-friendly cooking classes in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto… so not only do you learn how to make vegan sushi, ramen, bento, or whatever else you’re interested in, but you get this rare opportunity to visit a local’s home and share this intimate cultural exchange experience with your host! After cooking everything, you sit down and enjoy the meal with your host which was definitely a highlight.
I tried out the 'Shojin ryori for vegans and vegetarians with Tempura' class with Yoko and her family and it was amazing. Shojin ryori is traditional Japanese temple food influenced by Zen Buddhism. Wish I could add photos of the meal we made to this post...
Here are the vegan classes in Tokyo: https://airkitchen.me/list/tokyo/vegan.php
Vegetarian classes here: https://airkitchen.me/list/tokyo/vegetarian_special.php
This is the class I took! https://airkitchen.me/kitchen/134.php
Happy to answer any questions about my airKitchen experience and otherwise when it comes to vegan living here. Another favorite resource of mine is 'Is it vegan (Japan)?' – https://isitveganjapan.com/
And wanted to add a little disclaimer that I do work part-time for airKitchen here in Tokyo. However, I found airKitchen through a Japan Times article about veganism (https://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2019/03/16/food/airkitchen-plus-new-way-find-vegan-vegetarian-food-japan/
), which spurred me to reach out to them and join the team when I moved to Tokyo a few months ago. So while I do have an obvious connection to airKitchen, I’m genuinely excited about what the service offers both travelers and hosts in terms of cultural exchange and culinary experience – especially for vegans like myself.