In Tokyo, local vegetarians are dedicating themselves in the New Year to getting local mainstream restaurants to offer more vegetarian options, as part of the lead up to the 2020 Olympics. In a bright, modern restaurant in west Tokyo, a quiet revolution is being plotted. About 30 vegetarians have met to discuss how they can convince the restaurants of Japan’s capital city to start serving vegetarian food.
The group, Tokyo Smile Veggies, aims to get restaurants to offer vegetarian dishes by the time they arrive. They plan to do this by hosting workshops explaining what vegetarianism means, by offering recipes and training to chefs, and by getting restaurants that are vegetarian friendly to display signs.
“We don’t want to increase the number of vegetarian restaurants,” said one of the group’s four founders, Aya Karasuyama. “We want vegetarian food to be served in normal restaurants. This hardly exists at present. People think vegetarians are strange and only eat salad.” They are holding an event on Sunday, a vegetarian and vegan foods party, especially aimed at non vegetarians.
We’ve written about the resurgence of vegetarianism in China. Let’s hope the same happens in Japan.