Vegetarian's Japan Guide

Dengaku Chaya: The Vegan-Friendly Tofu Restaurant in Morioka

If you like tofu and other soy products, stop by Dengku Chaya (田楽茶屋) when you visit Morioka. The tofu maker has a branch in Morioka’s city center, opposite the famous Sakurayama Shrine (櫻山神社). So, it is a great spot to enjoy healthy lunch after exploring Morioka’s landmark, Morioka-jō Castle Site Park (盛岡城跡公園). And, the great news is, the restaurant can accommodate the vegan/vegetarian diet!

About Dengaku Chaya

Dengaku Chaya was opened in 1965 as a handmade tofu maker in Takizawa City (滝沢市) in Iwate Prefecture. Since then, the company has used soybeans mainly from Miyagi Prefecture and continues to make tofu with high sugar content. In addition to the high-quality soybeans, underground water from the foot of Mt. Iwate is used for Dengaku Chaya’s tofu-making.

Apart from the delicious tofu, Dengaku Chaya is also good at making side dishes. On any given day, about 20 types of handmade side dishes are available for purchase.

What is worthwhile to mention is that sugar or other sweeteners aren’t used to make their tofu side dishes. Preservatives are also excluded from the ingredients. So, if you want to try Japanese-style healthy home cooking, Dengaku Chaya is your top choice in Iwate.

In August 2010, Dengaku Chaya opened their branch in Morioka at the side of Morioka-jō Castle Site Park, making it more convenient for their customers to enjoy their tofu and home cooking.

Dengaku Chaya Morioka Uchimaru Branch (田楽茶屋 内丸店)

Dengaku Chaya’s Uchimaru Branch receives the main store’s soy products and side dishes each morning. It also has a small dine-in space fitting a four-seater and four two-seater tables. Various tofu meals are served during lunch hours, and are priced very reasonaby. The most expensive set menu was only 780 yen when we went there in 2024.

Denraku-Chaya-Morioka-Iwate-Japan

Even if you don’t have time for lunch here, you can still purchase a couple of side dishes during the day, such as the tofu dengaku and tofu skin, and enjoy them elsewhere! 

Soy milkm soy snacks, and soy scones are also sold here.

Note that it isn’t a vegan restaurant. However, some side dishes are vegan. Please utilize the phrases in our Essential Japanese Travel Phrases for Vegetarians and Vegans article to check with the staff on the day to confirm what you can eat.

Our Visit to Dengaku Chaya Morioka Uchimaru Branch

Because we didn’t know its existence, we didn’t plan to visit Dengaku Chaya during our three-day trip to Morioka. However, we always look for tofu makers when we travel in Japan. So, we were thrilled to stumble on one on our way back to our hotel in the later afternoon on our first day in the city. 

After confirming what is vegan, we bought their soy milk, tofu dengaku (豆腐田楽), and tofu croquette (豆腐コロッケ) and enjoyed them in our hotel after heating them up with the microwave.

Liking the taste of their products, we came back for lunch on our last day in Morioka. Because the miso soup in the set menu contains fish stock, we told the staff that we don’t want it. We were pleasantly surprised when we saw the cup of soy milk on the tray when our meals were served. 

Apart from the miso soup, she also replaced the non-vegan seasoned bamboo shot rice with rice mixed with vegetable pieces. The boiled tofu, usually served with fish stock, was also customized for us; we had it with soy sauce. 

While enjoying our meal there, we noticed that it is a spot popular among the locals. We even saw one of the staff from Rokugatsu no Shika purchasing her lunch!

Tip: If your cup becomes empty, help yourself and refill it with hot tea or cold water on the side of the dining area.

Dengaku Chaya Morioka Uchimaru Branch’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • Dengaku Chaya is open from
    • 10:30 am to 6:30 pm on weekdays
    • 10:30 am to 2 pm on Saturdays
  • Lunch is served from Tuesday to Friday from 11:30 am to 3 pm or until sold out from April to November, 2024.
  • The restaurant is a 20-minute walk from Morioka Station.

Over Vegan-Friendly Cafes and Restaurants in Morioka

Coffee-and-Scones-at-Rokugatsu-no-Shika-Morioka-Iwate-Japan
Click the photo for other vegan-friendly spots in Morioka!

While Morioka is one of the biggest cities in the Tōhoku region, vegan options are still limited. So, if you are strict with your diet, advance planning for your visit is essential.

To assist you with your planning, we have gathered the vegan-friendly spots in Morioka that are worth checking out in our Where to Find Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in Morioka article!

Discover the Must-Visit Attractions in Morioka

When you hear of Morioka, Wanko Soba and Morioka cold noodles are probably the two first things that come to mind. But the city isn’t just about food. It also has many cultural attractions, hot springs, nature and more!

So, refer to our Morioka article for ideas about where to stop by when visiting Iwate Prefecture’s capital city!

Azumaya Honten Morioka Iwate Japan
Click the photo for travel ideas in Morioka!

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