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Tokyo’s streets can be described as an orderly chaos: starting with the scramble crossing in Shibuya to the luxurious Omotesando avenue, to Takeshita Street, home to the strange looks of the Harajuku girls near Asakusa temples. The city is a mix of old traditions and the modern ways and as such it offers many opportunities to eat excellent vegan food, organic, elegant and delicious things to taste using chopsticks. Here is a day of tasting vegan-vegetarian foods while visiting Tokyo’s hot spots.
7:30am BREAKFAST AT PURE CAFE'
Right around the corner from the shop Comme Des Garçons, in Omotesando, you find Pure Cafe with its Western style teas, herbal tea, bio coffee accompanied with delicious cakes and cookies such strawberry Shortbread Cake. You can also flip through art books and international magazines available for free at the Café’s small library while enjoying a shake, juice or organic soda. The kitchen stays open until 10 p.m. and offers day menus for 15 dollars or so (1500 yen).
5 - 5 - 21 Minamiaoyama, Minato, Tokyo
Open seven days, 8:30am - 10:30pm
9:00am SHOPPING AT CRAYON HOUSE MACROBIOTIC MARKET
On the lower floor of the Crayon House there is an organic shop with fresh fruit and vegetables as well as the biggest daikons you will ever see. You don’t weigh things to price them, instead you pay by the unit and each apple or kiwi has a 100yen tag on them (about a dollar). Inside the shop there is a wide variety of macrobiotic ingredients: you must try the tofu and fresh miso. Next to the shop there is a small macrobiotic buffet with both vegetarian and vegan dishes.
Crayon House Market
3-8-15 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Open seven days, 11am-2pm, 7pm-11pm
01:00pm LUNCH AT BROWN RICE CAFE
If you are around the Shibuya area, stop by Neal’s Yard Remedies for Ayurveda products: behind the shop there is a very chic vegan restaurant called Brown Rice Cafe. Elegant dishes and complete menus are consumed in a silent garden. Organic vegetables, hearty soups and brown rice (of course) with black gomasio or pink cherry plum salt for flavor. You can have an entire menu with mix vegetables, boiled tofu, rice, soup, takemono (pickles) and ice tea for 2000 yen (about 20 dollars).
Brown Rice Cafe
Green bldg, 5-1-17 jingumae, 150-0001 Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Open seven days, 12:00am - 09:00pm
05:00pmm, STREET FOOD ON THE GO AT GINZA KANRA
In the Ginza district there is a very elegant pastry shop called Ginza Kanra, a place you must visit to try the traditional Japanese sweets. Take French and Viennese pastry shops off your mind, let yourself be transported by the minimal interior, soft colors, exquisite geometries and combinations. The key ingredients are rice, organic azuki beans from the Hokkaido region, agar agar to make jelly and green tea. Must-try the Domiyoji: pink rice cakes filled with anko (a sweet dough made with red azuki leaves), wrapped inside a cherry leave and decorated with a pickled cherry.
Ginza Corridor Street, 6-2 Ginza Chuo-ku Tokyo
Open seven days, 10:00am - 9:00pm
08:00pm, DINNER IN ASAKUSA DISTRICT
After you visit the temples and go shopping in the streets of Kappabashi-dori, you will also see a dozen shops where to buy kitchen utensils: knives, pans, accessories, and Japanese utensils at a very low price. You can go eat at one of the many great restaurants that serve traditional food, along with its vegetarian version, in the area. On the English menu you will immediately recognize the vegetable tendon, which will be served with daikon, okra, lotus and daigaku-imo, the sweet Japanese potato, all deliciously fried to crispy dough.
10:30pm, A DRINK IN OLU OLU
Finally, you can visit the very green Setagaya district, South of Shibuya, and end the day with a beer or an organic Japanese whisky at the Olu Olu Cafè. You can also choose a cocktail that will remind you of Honolulu at this small café that combines traditional Japanese and vegan food with Hawaiian cuisine.
Olu Olu Café
1-11-1 Ikejiri, Setagaya-ku, Sangenjaya Tokyo
Open seven days, 11:30am – 3:30pm, 6pm - 11pm