Plant Based Eating at a Ryokan in Japan (Traditional Japanese Inn)
By Molly Patrick
Aug 24, 2019,
After a walk around the ryokan, we robed up in a traditional japanese bathing robe called a yukata. We were ready to hit the Onsen!
BLISS. Pure fucking bliss.
The spring water was hot and the air was fresh and cool. I could hear the river down the hill and the trees blowing in the breeze. This photo captures me in a pure state of joy.
As a side note, most Onsens in Japan do not allow you in if you have tattoos. This one did allow it, but if you find yourself at one that does not and you happen to have a tattoo, you can cover them up with bandages (depending on how many you have).
Back in our room, after our hot bath it was time for dinner. Dinner is served in your room while you wear your yukata. We were expecting a regular dinner.
We had no idea we were about to be served an 11-course meal! I called ahead before we arrived at the ryokan and requested that all of my food be plant based. They were happy to accommodate my request.
Let’s start with the first course. You might have a lot of questions about this meal. I don’t have answers for you. There was definitely some cucumber on my plate. The rest, I am not sure. It was some rice and a bunch of fresh local veggies. Whatever it was it was delicious.
Courses two and three were an amazing clear broth with a dumpling and some sea vegetables that were brand new to me.
Course four was some fresh steamed veggies and a tahini sauce that was INSANE. So good!
Courses five and six were some kind of savory veggie pancake wizardry and a baked eggplant with a miso glaze.
Courses seven and eight were shiitake mushrooms, lotus root and tofu skin in an orgasmic glazy broth and edible flower and leaf tempura. I’ve eaten some exotic shit, but this might have taken the cake.
Courses nine and ten were pickled veggies and the best miso soup I have ever had. There was also white rice which I did not eat because by this point my tummy was a solid 5 months pregnant.
The last course was some fresh fruit for dessert. Mango, peeled grapes and watermelon. Yes, they PEELED my grapes.
By the end of our meal I felt high on life and totally stuffed. I had never experienced such an array of food presented to me with such love and care. Luanne was ready to pass out from the whole experience. Her tummy was also 5 months pregnant.
After dinner, these two lovely women cleared our room and made our beds.
It was time for sweet sleep.
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