The Japanese diet is based on fish, poultry, eggs, rice,… Therefore if you are vegan you might have a hard time eating the way you like it. If you are planing to stay at a Japanese Ryokan the challenge to find a Vegan Friendly Ryokan might soon give you a headache. So here is our shortlist of Vegan Friendly Ryokans and Temples.
Yudanaka Onsen Seifuso
Yudanaka is mostly popular for the Snow Monkeys. For a Vegan Friendly Ryokan in this area, Yudanaka Onsen Seifuso is without a doubt the best one. This Traditional Ryokan was built in 1890. You can find very eccentric sculptures throughout the ryokan. Guests can relax in different styles of hot spring baths.
This ryokan can arrange all kind of meals. They always have imagination to serve vegetarian or vegan meals. Yudanaka Onsen Seifuso serves fresh, seasonal Japanese cuisine to their guests. In the winter please check in to Yudanaka Onsen Seifuso early as there is a lot of snow on the road leading up to the ryokan. It is better you check-in early at the Ryokan especially in the winter because the way to the Ryokan is full of snow.
Hakone Kowakien Ten-yu
Hakone is a famous hot spring resort but when it comes to vegan friendly Ryokans only few options will be available. This is a luxurious modern ryokan. The concept of Hakone Kowakien Ten-yu is the harmony of authentic Japanese hospitality and nature. You can watch the sunrise while bathing in an open air onsen (hot spring) bath with panoramic views. In addition, all rooms come with their own private open-air bath. In the evening, get you will enjoy a beautifully presented delicious Japanese-Western meal. Vegetarian and Vegan guests are welcome. Enjoy the heavenly experience of true Japanese hospitality during your stay. Check-in time is from 15:00 to 17:00 and check-out time is before 11:00 am.
The Japanese cuisine is not really open to vegan however, there is a place where vegans will be more than welcome: Koyasan. Koyasan is one of the best places to experience an overnight stay at a temple lodging (shukubo) where you can get a taste of a monk’s lifestyle, eating vegetarian monk’s cuisine (shojin ryori) and attending the morning prayers. Shojoshin-in is a large traditional Buddhist Temple. It is one of the oldest temples on Mount Koya (Koyasan) – built 3 years before Kongobuji Temple. Shojoshin-in has Japanese style guest rooms as well as a “Hanare” (private guest residence which has a private bath and toilet), Japanese style gardens and a pond. Shojoshin-in is Vegan Friendly Temple since they serve Shojin Ryori (monk’s cuisine). The early morning service is followed by a short tour of the temple’s treasures (in Japanese). Shojoshin-in usually performs a fire ceremony at 13:00. It’s not everyday so please ask for it during check-in. This temple has a great location at the beginning of the tomb-lined pathway to Okunoin, making it convenient for your late-night stroll to the mausoleum. Originating as a thatched hut built by Kukai more than 1,150 years ago and once the second-largest temple in Koyasan after Kongobuji, today it boasts attractive 150-year-old buildings, including a large wooden structure with rooms overlooking a small garden and pond. In total there are 21 rooms at Shojoshin-in.
Ainokura is a pretty village in Toyama prefecture. It’s not yet as popular as Shirakawa-go but it isn’t less attractive. Ainokura is known for its Japanese thatched-roof farmhouses. The buildings are called “Gassho-Zukuri” or “hands-in-prayer,” and there are about 20 Gassho-Zukuri in this village. For more information about Ainokura please see our travel content partner Japan-Guide.
Yomoshiro is a great Vegan Friendly Ryokan. Here you will have an authentic Japanese experience. Yomoshiro is made of one building with four guest rooms and it is run by a warm welcoming family. Dinner there features vegetables that is collected by the father from the surrounding mountains and is prepared in the style of a traditional Japanese family.
For more details, have a look at our Special Meal Requirements page.