Plant Based Eating in Tokyo, Japan: a Culinary Adventure in the Far East


Tokyo is wonderfully odd.

What other place on earth do the toilets sing to you, shower your ass with warm water, make waterfall sounds so no one can hear your bathroom business AND have the option of birds singing in the background? Yes, there were toilets that did all of this and then some.

We were recently in Japan for 10 days and we visited Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. I started with our Ryokan experience last week. This week I’m covering how to eat plant based in Tokyo and next week I will cover Kyoto and Osaka.

If you’re planning a trip to Tokyo and want to keep it plant based, this post has your name written all over it (in beautiful Japanese calligraphy). I’m sharing pics and tips from my trip and then I’m bringing in an expert on the vegan food scene in Tokyo, Jackie Janssen of Foodie Adventure Japan. She gives us the inside scoop about plant based eating in Tokyo, along with her 10 favorite vegan restaurants

Let’s start with some pictures of our trip to set the scene!

This is not a sponsored post. We did not get paid to write it or comped with free hotel stays, plane tickets, meals, tours, travel gear, etc… mentioned or photographed in this post.

Goodbye Malaysia, hello Japan. Off to the airport for another adventure.

We stayed at Citadines (the purple and yellow building) in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo. We chose this hotel because it was relatively close to a major train station, it had a small kitchen in the room, and we were able to book it with credit card points.

We arrived to our room at 1 AM after a 7-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur. Here are a few tips if you find yourself in Tokyo. Download the Google Translate app and play around with it before you leave home for your trip.

When you arrive, make sure you get cash and a local SIM card with data for your phone BEFORE you leave the airport. Once you are out of the airport the language barrier gets really tough. A pocket-sized Japanese vocabulary book is also helpful.

We took a cab to our hotel because it was so late. It’s not cheap to take taxis but it’s worth it when you first arrive. Make sure you know exactly where you are going so you can easily show the address to the driver (in Japanese if possible). I showed him the map of where our hotel was and he was able to figure it out. Seriously though, get a SIM card with data before you leave the airport, it will save you a ton of frustration.

The hotel had breakfast each morning from 7 AM-10 AM. It was a hodgepodge of mostly Western-style food. There were even a couple of options for me!

I nommed on bell peppers and beans. Each dish had a tag near it with the allergens listed. Super helpful.

I was surprised to see an oil-free dressing! I didn’t have any though because I’m pretty sure that blue bottle symbol is milk.

I had bell pepper strips, beans, orange slices and whole wheat toast for breakfast. It wasn’t amazing, but it was food and so I was happy.

The hotel had a subway map which was really helpful. The Tokyo subway system is insane. You really don’t need a car because you can get anywhere by train. I thought it was super complicated but Luanne navigated the fuck out of it. She’s good with details like this and she finds this stuff easy.

There were info desks in almost all the train stations we went in and most of them spoke English, so if you get confused, just find the info desk and ask for help.

Back in our room after breakfast, finishing up some work. This is one reason why we started an online business, so we could work from anywhere in the world.

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Our Sweary Saturday Love Letters are written by our ex-boozer, ex-smoker, plant-loving co-founder, Molly Patrick.


  1. Susan D on August 31, 2019 at 10:14 am

    Wonderful!!!! Sounds like you had a delightful time, and damn girls! You both are tenacious!!!!!

  2. Karen on August 31, 2019 at 10:26 am

    Loved reading this article. Thank you. My condolences to your dad❤???❤???
    Much love, karen

  3. Cisa on August 31, 2019 at 10:43 am

    Having lost my Daddy 5 years ago and watching and caring for older members of my family as they, frankly, decline, my heart goes out to you both. When we were younger, we
    seemed to be sailing in smooth, pleasant waters. As we get older, with those folks in our family declining and dying, it can so often seem that we have now lowered our sails and are simply attempting to adjust to the storm…
    I have learned that you never truly recover from the loss of a beloved. All that bullshit that people throw at you saying: “Oh, it will just take time” is actual fuckery. Instead, this becomes your new “normal”.
    It sucks and hurts.
    But, one thing that gives comfort to me is to share the stories and memories of those I have lost with my children who have never met most of these now dead folks. To share not only keeps the memory of those who died alive, but it establishes in my children who they are and where they come from.
    Even if there are no kids, I believe this type of recollection, to anyone with whom you want to share, in a weird way, I suppose, keeps those beloved lost persons alive…
    As for your dad’s stroke, I, again, am so sorry. This unexpected shit just falls upon us, and it sucks. Just remember to take care of yourself, and your mom should do so as well. (I know you are not in the same state as your parents.) Caregiving is exhausting but must be done…
    Warm thoughts of love to both of you.

  4. Sue on August 31, 2019 at 3:42 pm

    What a great experience your trip was. Thanks for making me feel apart of it.
    So sorry to hear about Luann’s father passing. Never easy to loose a parent. Also sorry to hear about your father, hope he is on the mend.

  5. Danie Goodrich on August 31, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    Im sorry to hear about your dads. Fast healing for your dad Molly and condolences to Luann. Can you clarify the prices of the melons? It looked like $70.00 and $250.00 which seems highly unlikely. Love your weekly posts!

    • Luanne Teoh on August 31, 2019 at 11:39 pm

      The price of the melons are from around $250 for the rock melon to $700 USD. Yes hundreds 🙂

  6. Connie Winstead on August 31, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    I love going on these travel journeys with you guys. I’ve never been out of the USA so it is a real treat. We are currently going thru the ageing parent thing and it’s really hard. My wife’s Mom is in TX and we are in CA. Jenny was there for two months this summer finally moving her Mom to assisted living. So sorry to hear about both of your Dads. It so hard but nevertheless we persist. Thank you for your time and photos. You are so wonderful and real. Love Connie & Jenny

  7. Lesley Nicol on August 31, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    I have really enjoyed reading your experiences in Japan and love the photos. Very surprised to see the graffiti on the roller door in one of the small side street photos. I had to laugh because it seems the graffiti tag all looks the same in any language. Your writing really makes me want to go and visit.
    May you and Luanne and your loved ones concerned find all the support and strength needed as you go through this pain that life throws at us all.

  8. Marie Roberts on August 31, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to write this detailed blog – it’s fascinating!! I love your new jumpsuit!! Haha 🙂

  9. Cheryl on August 31, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    Your post rings true again for me. Lost my cousin yesterday. She’s only about 6 or 8 years older than me (I am almost 68) so I am feeling mortal. Thanks for the tips on traveling to Japan. It’s our next trip to plan.

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