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The Tokyo Olympic Games are right around the corner – and although spectators and travelers won’t be permitted to watch the games this time due to the lingering pandemic, all the buzz around Tokyo has us dreaming up our next trip to the capital city.
Although Japan is best known for its meat- and fish-centric fare, vegetarian and vegan dining has slowly but surely become more easily accessible, particularly in the bustling Japanese capital. Below, we’re laying out some of our favorite sustainable and vegetarian-friendly spots to eat, stay, and play in Tokyo — from a multi-course Shojin ryori meal (a traditionally vegetarian Buddhist cuisine) to all the best spots for thrifting and supporting local artists and artisans.
Vegetarian Tokyo Guide: Where to Stay
Muji Hotel Ginza
The recently opened Muji Hotel Ginza (yes, the same Muji as the retail stores) will appeal to anyone looking for a simple but comfortable approach to hospitality. The guiding ethos behind the brand is to “eat well, walk more, sleep well, clean often” which is reflected throughout the property, from the locally-sourced and preservative-free dining options to the organic bed linens. The boutique hotel also puts sustainability at the forefront with a large majority of the interior crafted from repurposed ship debris and trolley paving stones that ran through the city over a hundred years ago. 6F, 3-3-5, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo; hotel.muji.com
Vegetarian Tokyo Guide: Where to Eat and Drink
Finding vegetarian noodles in Japan can be challenging as most ramen shops use katsuobushi or pork bones in the broth. Thankfully, certain restaurants like DAIAN can help quell your craving. This decadent soba restaurant features 100 percent domestically grown noodles and an umami-packed, plant-based dipping sauce that will impress vegetarians and omnivores alike. 2F Daian Bldg, 3-36-6 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku,
Pizza might not immediately come to mind when you’re conjuring up dinner plans in Tokyo — but Savoy is going to be some of the best pie you’ll ever have, trust us! The entire restaurant is incidentally vegetarian as the only two menu items are margherita or marinara pizza — but the carefully crafted wood fired pies are second to none. 3-3-13 Azabujyuban, Minato-ku, Tokyo; savoy.vc
Kiboko Wine Bar
Looking to unwind with a glass of wine after a long day? Head to Kiboko Wine Bar. The strictly vegan establishment offers up plant-based takes on traditional Japanese fare and an international wine list with vegan-friendly wine from all over the world. 5-5-8 Shinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo; vegan-kiboko.com
The sophisticated Daigo is a traditional shojin ryori restaurant—a totally meat-free Buddhist cuisine that focuses on the appreciation of seasonal vegetables and soybean-based fare – that happens to have two Michelin stars. Guests may dine in private chambers surrounding a traditional garden. 2-3-1 Atago, Minato-ku, Tokyo; atago-daigo.jp
Shimokita Garage Department
The Shimokita Garage Department comes as an open-air curation of vintage goods and independent artisans. Dozens of vendors offer unique jewelry, second hand clothing, and handmade crafts at a very fair price. 2 Chome-25-8 Kitazawa, Setagaya City; k-toyo.jp
Gallery Hana Shimokitazawa
Looking to explore a curation of Tokyo’s emerging young artists? The cozy Gallery Hana Shimokitazawa has made a name for itself for its commitment to supporting young creatives. 3-26-2 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku; g-hana.jp
Vegetarian Tokyo Guide: What to Do
The Meguro River is particularly popular come cherry blossom season—but it makes a striking nature-focused walk at any time of year. The river weaves through nearly five miles of Tokyo and offers a striking juxtaposition between natural splendor and the bustling city skyline. japan.travel
The public transit in Tokyo is incredibly useful for getting around the city—but even more so for exploring outside of the city limits. If you’re hoping to escape the bustle of the city for a couple of hours, take the train to Mount Mitake for a morning hike. The 90-minute commute is well-worth it to catch a glimpse of the sacred cedar trees, the Musashi Mitake shrine, and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape from the top. japan.travel