Vegan Dining Guide to Nara, Japan
Vegan Nara Japan Restaurant GuideVegan Nara Japan Restaurant Guide

Vegan Nara Eating places

Nara, Japan has fairly a wide variety of vegan meals, due partially to its Buddhist traditions. 

Nara was the capital of Japan from 710 to 794, not lengthy after Buddhism was launched to the nation. As such, it turned an necessary energy base for the Buddhist religion, whose followers had been taught to keep away from harming sentient beings. 

In reality, meat was banned all through Japan for hundreds of years. Buddhist temple delicacies, generally known as shojin ryori, has lengthy been in style right here, and it is fully vegan.

In line with the listings on HappyCow, inside the metropolis heart there are 5 totally vegan eating places and 5 vegetarian eating places. 

These are all inside simple strolling distance of one another and Nara’s predominant sights, which implies you do not have to waste time and power in your seek for vegan meals. Save that for the sightseeing, as there’s rather a lot to see in Nara.

Since I didn’t have time to pattern all of the vegan meals in Nara, I did some analysis earlier than my journey and selected what appeared to be three of one of the best eating places for vegans visiting Nara. All three had totally vegan menus, and all had been cozy, informal locations with a pleasing environment.

Disclaimer: Clearly, the restaurant business world wide is in a state of flux as a result of COVID-19 pandemic. Within the data on every restaurant beneath, I’ve indicated whether or not or not it’s at the moment open and, if not, when the house owners plan to reopen. 

The scenario is continually altering, although, so it’s greatest to verify with the restaurant earlier than you flip up.

Vegan Cafe Ramuna

Japanese curry at Vegan Café RamunaJapanese curry at Vegan Café Ramuna

Ramuna is a superb vegan Nara restaurant that is close to the principle sights.

This can be a very cute place on a quiet backstreet not removed from Todaiji Temple and the opposite sights in Nara Park, well-known for its roaming deer. Due to its handy location, I like to recommend visiting right here for lunch whereas out sightseeing in Nara.

The menu is basically cute, too. Every copy is handwritten on development paper, with images of the dishes pasted in. It’s run by only one lady who does all the pieces from cooking to serving, so you will have to attend a short while to your meals.

After we visited, she was a bit late opening and confirmed up simply as we had been about to go away. She was very apologetic, although, and the meals was value ready for. It’s additionally fairly fairly priced.

A lot of the dishes are Japanese, with a number of Western choices like burgers and pizza. I had the spicy soy milk ramen, and Nick selected the vegetable and bean curry. Each had been fairly good, even when the ramen couldn’t fairly compete with TowZen in Kyoto, which makes one of the best ramen I’ve ever tasted.

Present standing: Most up-to-date submit was that they had been promoting lunch containers for take away and supply and would reopen on 6 Might 2020. Test  for the most recent updates.

Along with the café, the identical house additionally homes a small store that sells hard-to-find imported vegan substances like hummus and peanut butter. Additionally they promote some vegan on the spot noodles and microwavable curry packets, which might have are available in actually helpful when we walked the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage path.

Present standing: Reopened on 9 Might 2020


Veggie platter at Onwa Nara restaurantVeggie platter at Onwa Nara restaurant

Veggie delight platter at Onwa Nara restaurant

This vegan restaurant will get numerous rave opinions on HappyCow, however for me, it did not fairly stay as much as the hype. Maybe my expectations had been too excessive.

I ordered the “vegan delight” platter, which incorporates small servings of a wide range of totally different dishes. It was well-presented and in addition fairly tasty, nevertheless it simply wasn’t very filling. The issue was that solely two of the small dishes had been one thing I might actually sink my enamel into.

As for the remainder, it was salads and pickled greens. Granted, Nara is known for its domestically grown natural greens, generally known as yamato yasai. However I left the restaurant nonetheless feeling hungry and needed to snack on one thing else earlier than going to mattress.

This was not unusual for me in Japan, as I discovered the portion sizes there to be notably small. And I’m not saying this as somebody used to supersized American parts. I haven’t lived within the States for greater than 20 years. Even in contrast with European eating places, the portion sizes in Japan are undoubtedly on the small aspect.

However perhaps I simply did not order nicely. Their burgers and karaage (deep-fried chick’n) are fairly in style, and I’ve learn that the burgers are fairly massive, so I am going to most likely strive that subsequent time if I am going again to Onwa.

This placeis additionally advisable by vacationers with celiac illness for its gluten free choices and the employees’s willingness to accommodate. Additionally they provide a wide range of muffins and different desserts, together with matcha ice cream.

Present standing: The restaurant is closed till 2 June 2020, nevertheless it appears they’re planning to supply their desserts by means of a supply service within the meantime. Test their Fb and Instagram for the most recent updates.


Japanese tapas in NaraJapanese tapas in Nara

A number of Japanese tapas at Kuppila Nara restaurant

This can be a excellent spot to return both for a meal or only a drink. The one seating is at stools on the bar, which led to us having an fascinating dialog with the proprietor and one other buyer.

As for the menu, within the night the setup is sort of like a tapas bar in Spain. The every day menu is written on a chalkboard and consists of a wide range of small dishes costing about 350 every, plus a every day soup and every day curry. 

Nick and I every ordered a soup after which 4 tapas to share, which was simply the correct amount of meals. We additionally had brownies for dessert, which had been superb! In reality, all the pieces was scrumptious. 

At lunchtime, Kuppila affords a set lunch for 950 yen, which is a superb deal. I liked this place and would undoubtedly like to return for a return go to. The placement is nice too, only a 10-minute stroll from the JR Nara station, and even much less from the Kintetsu Nara Station

Present standing: Reopened for lunch on eight Might 2020. Kuppila was nonetheless closed within the evenings on the time of writing, however that is solely non permanent.

Different Veg Eating places in Nara

As I discussed above, there are at the moment 5 vegan eating places and 5 vegetarian eating places within the metropolis heart of Nara. Along with the three vegan eating places above that I’ve personally visited, listed here are a pair extra that undoubtedly appear like they’d be value attempting.


This restaurant specializing in wholesome, vegan meals is only a stone’s throw from Kintetsu Nara Station. It’s a small place run by only one lady, and he or she affords a number of totally different set meals to select from. 

Beforehand, she used fish inventory in some dishes, however she has stopped doing this, so all the pieces on the menu is vegan now. 

Present standing: Their web site is beneath development however says they had been planning to open a brand new location, known as Pure Café Kururu, in March 2020. I wasn’t capable of finding out if their unique location is at the moment open; strive checking the web site for updates.

Kinatei (喜菜亭)

This vegetarian restaurant affords free refills of miso soup and brown rice with each meal. Visitors appear to like the English-speaking proprietor, who additionally teaches vegan cooking lessons.

Multi-course kaiseki meals are served within the evenings, however solely with an advance reservation required. Kinatei is conveniently situated close to the JR Nara station.

Present standing: Their most up-to-date FB replace was that they had been promoting lunch containers for take away and supply and would reopen on 6 Might 2020. Test
their Fb web page for the most recent information.

Have you ever been to every other nice vegan Nara eating places that I missed? Let me learn about them within the feedback beneath!

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