Sunday, May 22, 2016

Survival Japanese as a Traveling Vegetarian

In you stay at a temple in the Mount Koya area, you may be able to enjoy a vegetarian food named
  • 精進料理  /  しょじん りょり  /  Shojin ryori 
    • This is a buddhist temple food
But, normally Shojin ryori is not served outside the temple.

Survival Guides

If you are a vegetarian traveling in Japan, you may want to read the following general guides first:
In this article, we try to offer more suggestions and helps for a vegetarian traveling in Japan.

Most Common Japanese Vegetarian Foods

If you are a vegetarian, you may want to consider the following common vegetarian dishes in Japan:[1]
  1. Mochi /  / もち / mochi
  2. Eggplant /  なす / nasu (and other vegetable side dishes)
  3. Skewer  /  串物  / くしもの / kushi-mono
  4. Pickles  /  漬物 / つけもの / tsukemono
  5. Daikon / 大根 / だいこん / daikon
  6. Beans /  / まめ / mame
  7. Nori seaweed (and kelp) / 海苔 / のり / nori
  8. Tofu / 豆腐 / とうふ / tofu
  9. Burdock root (and sometimes carrot) 
  10. / 金平/ きんぴら / kinpira
  11. Rice / 米 /  コメ / kome
If you stay in Kyoto area, you will find more vegetarian choices like:
  • Tofu skin / 湯葉 / ゆば / yuba 
  • Wheat Starch  / なマーフ  / nama-fu 
  • Kyoto-style vegetables / 京野菜 / きょ やさい / kyo yasai 
  • Dark seaweed / 鹿尾菜  / ひじき / hijiki
  • Dried daikon strips / きりぼし大根 /  kiriboshi daikon 

Dashi Broth

Dashi (だし)is a Japanese stock or broth, and it is a fundamental ingredient in many Japanese dishes including vegetarian dishes. Dashi is made from kombu (dried kelp), bonito flakes (dried and smoked skipjack tuna that is shaved into thin flakes), anchovies/sardine (iriko or niboshi), or a combination of all or two of them.

In case you are a vegan, maybe you want to pay more attention to what ingredients are used in the Dashi (だし) broth.

Useful Japanese Phrases

As a vegetarian, you can watch Yuka's video here to learn some useful phrases while you travel in Japan:

I am a vegetarian

 私 は ベジタリアン です
Watashi wa bejitarian desu

I don't eat meat 

わた     にく    
 私  は お肉 を 食べません
Watashi wa Oniku wo tabemasen

I don't eat seafood 

わたし      さかな     た
  私 は お 魚 を 食べません
Watashi wa Osakana wo tabemasen

I don't eat egg 

わたし       たまご      
私 は お 玉子 を 食べません
Watashi waō tamago o shoku bemasen

Is bonito used in the dashi broth?
             ぶし    つか
おだし に  かつお節 わ 使って いますか
Odashi ni Katsuobushi wa tsukatte imasuka?

I'm a vegan 

わたし   かん ぜん さい しょく しゅぎしゃ

 私 は 完  全  菜  食 主義者   です
Watashi wa kan zen saishoku shugisha desu

Photo Credit


  1. 10 vegetarian foods you can order at almost any Japanese restaurant
  2. 食べログ (Tabelog
    • Restaurant search in Japan
  3. Meaning of Japanese
    • Pronunciation sounds good
  4. Japan Guide: 4 Useful JAPANESE Phrases for Vegetarians :JAPAN 101 (video)
  5. Japan Travel Guide: 5 Things You Should Know about Restaurants in Japan (video)
  6. Japan Guide : 5 Things You should Know about Restaurants in Japan #2 : Japan Travel Guide (video)
    • Need to know about what otoshi (or cover charge) is at izakaya (居酒屋).  
      • Normally, you cannot avoid paying for otoshi.
  7. Eating vegan in Japan – survival guide
  8. Some vegan restaurants in Kyoto (2008)
  9. Groceries in Japan – A Short Guide
  10. Survival Japanese at Restaurants (Travel for a Purpose)
  11. Romanization of Japanese
  12. yōshoku (洋食)—Western-style Japanese Foods
  13. Survival Japanese at Restaurants (Travel for a Purpose)
  14. 111 Japanese Phrases for Beginners (video).
  16. Japanese: Top 25 Adjectives to Learn (Travel for a Purpose)
  17. Japanese: Top 15 Questions to Learn (Travel for a Purpose)

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