April 12, 2010
Vegetarian options in Tokyo
Rusha Haljuci's March 21, 2010 New York Times Travel section response to a reader's request for places to go for vegetarians visiting Tokyo follows.
To answer your question, I contacted Ken Belson, a reporter at The Times who lived in Japan for 12 years. In an e-mail message, he wrote that strict vegans may have trouble finding food because many dishes are cooked with pork or fish broth and mixed with bits of fish or meat, and without knowledge of Japanese, it can be hard to communicate your needs. “Still, there are many ways to survive as a vegetarian,” he wrote. He recommended shopping at convenience stores and supermarkets, which carry vegetarian food, as well as eating at kaiten (conveyor belt) sushi restaurants where you can pick out what you like.
I also came across two helpful Web sites that provide a list of vegetarian restaurants. At the vegetarian-centric site Happycow.net you can search by location (Tokyo included) and get a list of restaurants flagged as “Vegan,” “Vegetarian,” “Veg-friendly” or “Health Store.” Bento.com is a bilingual site that lists restaurants, cafes and bars throughout Japan. Click on “Tokyo area” then scroll down and select “Vegetarian” cuisine. The traditional Zen vegetarian cuisine, shojin-ryori, which is served in temples, can be found in a handful of restaurants, including Sasa-no-yuki (2-15-10 Negishi, Taito-ku; 81-3-3873 1145; sasanoyuki.com), which opened in 1691 and specializes in tofu dishes; and Itosho (3-4-7 Azabu Juban, Minato-ku; 81-3-3454-6538).
Times readers' comments on the piece were far more informative than the article; the best follow.
• Tempura restaurants will serve a vegetable-only meal by request. Tenya
is a large chain that serves "yasai tempura teishoku" of deep-fried
sweet potato, bamboo shoots, eggplant, maitake mushrooms, kabocha
squash, and green beans for only 650 JPY.
• Daigo is a vegetarian restaurant in Atago with a gorgeous Japanese garden. A bit on the high end.
Minato-ku, Atago 2-3-1
• Na Kaiseki Sen is a vegetarian restaurant by chef and owner Yumiko
Kano. She has been included in a Mark Bitterman article in the past.
Chef Kano has authored a dozen cookbooks all based on vegetarian
cooking. She is a creative and talented chef. She does run a cooking
school from her restaurant and as a result it is open on a limited
Na Kaiseki Sen
Setagaya-ku, Shimouma 5-35-5
• One of my favorite restaurants in the city is Kintame. It is a pickle
shop that is based in Kyoto and has a restaurant on the 12th floor of
Daimaru department store at Tokyo station. Order the bubuchazuke and
you will get a variety of over a dozen different types of pickles. The
meal comes with fish and I believe the egg uses fish-based dashi so
watch out for these. But, to try a variety of vegetables pickled in a
variety of ways it is a unique dining treat in Japan.
• While there are places in Japan where being a vegetarian/vegan is extremely difficult, Tokyo is not one. ^^; In 2007, I bought a wonderful Guide called Japan Vegan Restaurant Pocketguide (website for where to buy this book: http://www.childrenofthecarrot.info... ) which lists tons of restaurants in Tokyo that are vegan. My favorites are: Eat More Greens, Loving Hut, DevaDeva Cafe, The Brown Rice Cafe and the Pure Cafe. Deserving honorable mention Govindas, Saishoku Kenbi buffet and ChienFu out in Tachikawa. Many of these restaurants are reasonably priced and many are convenient and easy to get to.
• The website Vege-Navi has a large list of vegetarian, vegan, and macrobiotic options in and around Tokyo.
http://vege-navi.jp/ (follow the link at the top for the English page)
BehindTheMedspeak: The Poison Review
What a tremendous resource .
Free, the way we like it.
And you don't have to be a medical professional to get access.
A great feature is its rating system , because they read the toxicology literature, medical websites, and all sorts of related stuff, then rate papers on a strict one-to-five skull scale, "... as a quick guide to those articles that are, in our opinion, well worth your attention, and those that are less so."
Go ahead, dive in, then surprise your doctor by asking him a question to which you know the answer and he/she doesn't.
The reaction will tell you a lot about that doctor.
If you've got your doubts about yours, better wear a Kevlar vest, just in case.
Some M.D.s don't do very well when shown to be less than omniscient.
Perhaps you've heard the phrase "shoot the messenger?"
Snail Tape Dispenser
Weighted non-skid base.
5"L x 2.25"W x 3.75"H.
Holds up to 3/4" tape.
"English designer James Laurie has cut the top of a drinking glass into points so that the glass can be used to trap spiders in the corner of a room. Called 'Cornered,' the tumbler can still be used for drinking."
Laurie's instructions on how to employ the glass follow.
1. See a spider.
2. Wait for it to stop, perfectly poised in the corner of the room.
3. Go collect custom glass from cabinet.
4. Fold a sheet of paper crisply down the middle.
5. Walk over to corner.
6. Place glass slowly and precisely into the corner, while the spider patiently waits.
7. Then slide folded paper accurately down the glass, so that corner, glass, and seam are aligned, sealing the spider inside.
I like it.
Google Magazine — by Roz Chast
Dog Flotation Device — 'Lateral stabilization prevents rollover'
Note the ring at the front, enabling you to walk your dog (as it were) while enjoying the life aquatic.
From the website:
Keep your dog safe and calm in the water.
The innovative patented design features lateral stabilization, preventing dangerous rollover in smaller breeds and allaying fears in water-timid dogs.
Perfect for boating, swimming and hydrotherapy.
[via Bem Legaus!]
'It's a man's world. So they think.'
Advertisement for SKY TV.
Hand-painted silk kimono — 'Koi meets girl'
By Paris Kain, best known for his Abraxas Rex jewelry line.