info for vegetarians
| January, 2001 |
Tokyo Vegetarian-friendly
Restaurant Guide
Diary - Living in Tokyo
as a Semi-Vegan
Recommended Readings
Written in Japanese
Articles about Vegetarianism
written by Hiroko Kato
Online Vegetarian/Vegan Handouts
Shopping Guide
Good News & Good News
Links for Vegetarians
August: Healthy vegan snack, vegan peach cobbler, stray cats, and so on.
September: Vegan pizza and brownie as well as experiences at several vegan restaurants.
October: New soymilk product and vegan ramen noodle, and so on.
November: Stories about the meeting with Japan Vegetarian Society chairpersons, vegan wedding meal, and experiences in Kyoto and Vietnam.
December: Attended Japan Vegetarian Society's meeting, delicious vegetarian food in YOKOHAMA China town, wasting time and money on staling foods, and trip to Penang.
January: Experimenting some vegan breakfast recipes, receiving an e-mal from the reader, pondering bug's life, and so on
February: Tried a macrobiotic restaurant in Tokyo, and the trip to Laos.
March: Struggling to get a vegan flihgt meals at Malaysian Airline.
April: Having vegan wedding plates again, business trip to Cambodia and Vietnam, and busy days.
May: Nayonnaise discovery and some food disasters.
June: Life is going on.
February: Attended a meeting on refugee issues in Japan held by Amnesty International Japan
March: Fresh soy milk and fasionable fake leather sneakers, etc.
April A conversation with my husband over a TV show and "Meatarians vs. vegetarians."
May A trip to the U.S. for research. Had an opportunity to attend a fantastic vegan wedding of my friend's.
July A thought on eating whale meat.


Just I've been busy and didn't have time to write my diary. But there are a lot of things I should tell. Since I don't remember which happend when, I write them down as I recall.

Ramen noodle I got in the fancy supermarket was vegan! One of them was Thai's Tom Yum Kun, very hot and sour, and another was Malaysian curry noodle. They show that those famouse meals of South East Asia could be made vegan, though a lot of MSG must be used in. I excited and enjoyed them a lot. Well, I should confess that the noodles were a little bit spongy. The quality of the noodle made me wonder a question: Why no major Japanese ramen noodle makers ever try to produce vegan or vegetarian ramen in Japan? Oh, some of them sell the one in the US, I know, but as one who is addicted to ramen noodle, I should write a letter to them, urging they can find customers of vegan ramen in Japan as well.

In the same fancy supermarket, I found sesame soy milk. Of course I put a package in my basket and tried. Mmm. it was yummy! (And healthy!) The problem is I need to go to that supermarket to buy the soy milk though the maker dominates the market and sell their regular product, plain soy milk, even in convenience stores.

These days, my favorite breakfast is somen noodle. First I used the leftover of ramen noodle's soup (not vegetarian) but I've noticed that I could make vegan soup stock by myself. I bought dried shiitake mushrooms in the market and put a couple of them into the jar with three pieces of kombu seaweed and poured water in it. In the fridge, keep it overnight and voila! There is vegan soup stock. I use it in somen noodle and miso soup. Easy and delicious. I've got additional ingredients from used shiitake as well.

I started volunteering, answering foreigners' e-mails coming to Japan Vegetarian Society. Since JVS is always short of staff, no one could work for that. I got five e-mails and most of them were seeking vegetarian restaurants information in Japan. They were from England, France, and an Indian guy who lives in Japan. Too bad that I found the French guy already arrived Japan when I received his mail. But I believe it's not so difficult to keep vegan way in Japan as long as you stick to Italian or Indian restaurants and we have plenty of them. The problem happens when you try authentic Japanese food. You can try some Buddhist vegan restaurants as well as enjoy natural or macrobiotic restaurants but the number is small except for big cities. At least, I should finish and upload my Tokyo vegetarian restaurant guide page as soon as possible.

JVS invited me to make a speech in their annual conference. The theme will be "My experience with American vegetarians." They'll pay me for that as well as train fee. Great!

Rice ball is one of vegan things you can eat in Japan. It depends what ingredients are in it (caution! the current trend is meaty), and I've found that grilled rice ball with soy sauce is really a feast and good way to preserve left over rice. I make rice balls after the dinner and they become my breakfast. Now the flavor of soy sauce is coming from the oven. I've got to go!

I've received an e-mail from the reader! Besides my friends, she was the first person who wrote to me, reading my diary page. She was asking if it would be okay for vegetarians to travel in Japan. I may need to work on my restaurant page quickly.

I live on the ninth floor and can't get it why we have so many small bugs around these days. How do they fly to such a high place with their tiny bodies? Regularly a couple of bugs are flying in our apartment and it's so annoying. But the real trouble comes after I hit and kill those bugs. I can't stop thinking about what I should do as one who is trying to make the world less cruel. Yes, I would kill mosquitoes; I would kill cockroaches; I would hurt a person who attempts to hurt myself or someone I love. I can't be a saint. But I wonder what I can be then.

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Copyright (C) 2002 Hiroko Kato, Tomoko Kinukawa(designer).All rights reserved.