Vegan in Kyoto

Kyoto was one of the cities I visited in my trip to Japan. It was a super quick train ride from Tokyo to Kyoto on the Shinkasen. I picked up a few onigri from the convenience store to snack on the trip and left a Tokyo that was pelting down with rain.

By the time I got to Kyoto, I was craving my vegetables and fresh fruit. A quick stop at the local supermarket got me this dinner feast. I have found it helpful to learn to read a few words for ingredients I don’t eat, such as meat, fish, egg, milk, bonito and dashi.

I woke up feeling energized (go plant power!) and decided to take a 30 minute local train ride to Arashiyama. I arrived early in the morning and the beauty of Arashimaya was breathtaking. I took a walk in the bamboo forest which was gorgeous and peaceful at that time of day. I enjoyed walking through the Tenryu-jin Shrine which has a beautiful garden and where my lunch spot was located. Shigetsu is a Zen Buddhist restaurant acknowledged by the Michelin Guide for serving exceptionally good food. You can select set meals from a menu if you make a reservation but only one meal is available if you show up without a reservation

The photo above really doesn’t do it the justice. The flavors are delicate and food is enjoyed in a zen environment whilst sitting on tatami. It costs ¥3,000 for a 5 course meal plus. ¥500 for the entry into the garden.

Walking around Arashimaya, I found these unique mochi which comes from the area. They come served with matcha or ground roasted soybeans. The mochi was tender and delicate, unlike any other mochi I have ever had, and possibly the best mochi I have ever had.

Since I was told that Kyoto has excellent matcha, I couldn’t resist going to Ain Soph which recently opened a branch in Kyoto. They offer a white chocolate matcha pancake which was delicious but super rich. I should have shared it…maybe next time!

For my last dinner in Kyoto, I headed to Togaden which is a tofu restaurant upstairs and downstairs is a tofu shop. They offer a wide variety of tofu and have a vegan menu.

Kyoto is a smaller city than Tokyo and easy to navigate. There are quite a few vegan places to eat and with a little research they are easy to find.

If you are travelling to Tokyo, check out the Vegan in Tokyo post.

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