Vegetarian's Japan Guide

Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter’s Vegan-Friendly Spots

Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter is a must-visit destination in Okayama. The traditional townscape is perfect for photo taking, the Japanese cultural experience and activities, and adoring the artworks in galleries and museums. But where to dine? Read on for the vegan or vegetarian-friendly restaurants you can enjoy with your non-vegetarian friends and families!

Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter’s Vegan/Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurants and Accommodations

Tsubame Cafe (つばめ喫茶室)

You must have had a hamburger. But in Japan, instead of sandwiching a hamburger patty between two buns, the patty is commonly cooked as a main dish and eaten with rice. While a hamburger set menu can be found at most Teishoku restaurants that offer various set menus, most of the hamburger aren’t vegan. So, if you are keen to try a vegan hamburger in the Japanese way, visit Tsubame Cafe at Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter. The staff is friendly, and the service is great!

Tsubame Cafe is a vegan restaurant that was renovated from a traditional storage. While it only has one set menu, the Veggie Hamburger Teishoku (ベジハンバーグ定食), you won’t regret dining here. All the vegetables and fruit used are sourced locally, ensuring the freshness of the ingredients. The set comes with plenty of side dishes, allowing you to taste the deliciousness of vegetables. The hamburger is also amazing. The vegan chicken karaage is another dish on the set menu that makes you crave more.

In addition to the lunch menu, you can also visit the cafe for vegan desserts. The cakes here are so phenomenal that you would doubt whether they really don’t contain any dairy and egg. The soy milk café au lait is also nice.

☛ If you don’t eat pungent vegetables, such as garlic, let Tsubame Cafe know in advance. They can cater to it.
☛ Talk to the staff if you need more rice.

Tsubame Cafe’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • Tsubame Cafe is open from 11:30 am to 4 pm from Tuesday to Sunday.
  • Kamadaya Tofu Restaurant is a 10-minute walk from JR Kurashiki Station (倉敷駅).

Marche & Cafe Nature (マルシェ&カフェ ナチュール)

Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter is a historical township filled with many traditional houses. If you want to dine in one of them, visit Cafe Nature. The cafe, which is particular about using natural and organically grown vegetables and fruits, serves vegan light meals. Of course, no chemical seasonings or additives are used, so it will be one of the most healthy meals you have in Japan!

Cafe Nature’s first floor is an organic shop called Marche. The cafe space on the second floor is spacious and has a wooden theme. Since the cafe was opened, the number of vegan dishes has increased from two to five, and they are all incredible. While it isn’t cheap to dine at Cafe Nature, it is one of those vegan restaurants where meat eaters would still enjoy dining. Plus, organic ingredients are used! Drinks served also don’t contain any animal products. For dessert, give the popular soy milk ice cream a go!

As Cafe Nature opens at 7:30 in the morning, you can also make it your first stop to visit in Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter. Enjoy a delicious cup of soup with bread from Boulangerie mugi nearby.

Marche & Cafe Nature’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • Cafe Nature is open from 7:30 am to 5 pm.
  • Marche & Cafe Nature is a 10-minute walk from JR Kurashiki Station (倉敷駅).

Boulangerie mugi(ブーランジェリームギ) and Cafe mugi(カフェムギ)

Boulangerie mugi is one of the best bakeries in Kurashiki. The bakery that blends into Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter’s traditional townscape is where you can stop by when you are running low on energy from walking. The freshly baked bread from the bakery will surely keep you going for your exploration. The bread baked from natural yeast is so delicious that there might be a queue when you get there. Opening at 7:30 in the morning, there usually won’t be many items left on the shelf if you only get there in the afternoon.

As soon as you step into the store, you will be greeted by the nice aroma of wheat. One of the reasons the bread at Boulangerie mugi smells and tastes amazingly has to be the ingredients used. Without using addictive and even animal fat, the wheat’s original flavor is brought out, and the resulting bread is fluffy with a moist texture.

On Boulangerie mugi’s second floor, there is a nicely decorated cafe space serving coffee and tea. So, if you are here for breakfast or need a rest, head upstairs, where you can eat the bread you purchased from the bakery. Sandwiches are also available, but they aren’t vegetarian.

Note Cafe mugi is currently closed until further notice.

Tip: You can also enjoy Boulangerie mugi’s bread at its sister cafe, Cafe Nature (4 shops away). The staff can heat the bread for you. In fact, it is the best way to enjoy breakfast at Cafe Nature as the portion of the morning soup set is small.

Boulangerie mugi’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • Boulangerie mugi is open from 7:30 am to 5 pm.
  • The bakery is a 10-minute walk from JR Kurashiki Station (倉敷駅).

CUORE Kurashiki (CUORE倉敷)

CUORE Kurashiki is a fancy hostel that has a bar cafe attached. While the bar isn’t completely vegan/vegetarian, they have a vegan menu or can exclude ingredients you can’t eat from a certain dish, including pungent plants such as garlic. Close to the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter, it is a great place to stop by for lunch or dinner when you visit the city’s most popular tourist destination. As the hostel has many foreign guests, the staff speaks English, so you shouldn’t experience any issues when communicating your dietary requirements.

The food and drinks at CUORE are phenomenal, and the portion is good, too! Because it is also treated as the hostel’s living room, the cafe bar has a homey vibe. There are sofa seats and table seats for you to choose from. If you aren’t too shy, strike up a casual conversation with the staff or other customers. They are all friendly, you can surely have an amazing time here.

If you aren’t in a rush, spend a night at CUORE Kurashiki. Unlike most hostels, each of CUORE’s rooms is decorated differently, and they aren’t super small like most Japanese hotels in the city center! The common facilities, such as shower rooms, are cleanly maintained, giving you a pleasant experience. Shampoo, conditioner, and body soup are available for free. A toothbrush, skincare set, body sponge, and razor are provided for a small charge.

Note there are no stairs in the building. Climbing stairs can be tiring if your room is on the second or third floor.

CUORE Kurashiki’s Restaurant’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • Bar CUORE is open from
    • 7 am to 9 am (for hostel guests only)
    • 11 am to 2 pm for lunch
    • 5 pm to 12 am for dinner
      • The last order is at 11:30 pm.
    • 11 am to 12 am for cafe menu
  • CUORE Kurashiki is a 10-minute walk from JR Kurashiki Station (倉敷駅).

Ryokan Kurashiki (旅館くらしき)

Ryokan Kurashiki is a Japanese-style hotel in the middle of the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter. With a long history, the hotel was originally owned by a family selling sugar in the Edo era (1603 – 1868). Since then, more than 200 generations have lived in this big house. During this time, the complex was gradually transformed into a hotel. The hotel’s transformation integrated the best of both the Eastern and the Western cultures.

Staying at Ryokan Kurashiki is a great experience for all due to their top-class service and hospitality. The visitor can enjoy the beauty of Japanese culture with the comfort of Western bedding.

Kaiseki Ryōri is a multi-course Japanese meal that is traditionally only available for dinner but is also offered at lunchtime nowadays. The course menu is extremely refined, with each dish comprising different shapes, textures, and colors.

Vegetarian Dining Ryokan Kurashiki

Dining at Ryokan Kurashiki

Here at Ryokan Kurashiki, even if you are not staying over for the night, you will still be able to try their gourmet meals consisting of a succession of small but beautifully presented dishes. And the best thing is, they can make the course vegetarian!

If it is also your dream to be served at a traditional ryokan, where the staff will wear proper kimono, then Ryokan Kurashiki will make this wish come true! Whilst the price tag is certainly not for just anyone, we reckon it is worth biting that bullet!! So yes, do save up!

Below is how much it will cost you to dine at Ryokan Kurashiki’s restaurant. There are 2 choices for lunch:

  • Kaiseki Lunch Box (四季の散歩道御膳): 2,035 yen (only available for the first 50 orders)
  • Ryokan Kurashiki Kaiseki (旅館くらしき御膳): 2,750 yen (reservation-only)

HERE is the link to ryokan’s website for some photos of the lunch menu (note the food in the photos isn’t vegetarian).

Booking is essential, and please let them know your dietary requirements when you book. You can book by emailing [email protected]. Whilst communication with the hotel in English shouldn’t be a problem, if you want to learn basic Japanese phrases, we have summarised some phrases for you HERE (=゚ω゚)ノ.

How to Get to Ryokan Kurashiki

All you need to do is get off at JR Kurashiki Station (倉敷駅), follow the Google Maps at the left, and you will be there in 10 to 15 minutes!

Check out our recommended route HERE that differs from the Google Map suggested route to experience the local atmosphere (=゚ω゚)ノ

Taku Okonomiyaki & Curry (広島お好み焼 -カレー TAKU)

Heard of Okonomiyaki? It is a Japanese savory pancake containing a variety of ingredients of your choice. The term “okonomiyaki” translates to “as you like” in English!

There are two styles of Okonomiyaki – Hiroshima style and Osaka style. Here at Taku, they offer Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki, which includes noodles that the Osaka style doesn’t have (which is what we love about it as we are all big eaters!).

The vegetarian okonomiyaki at Taku with noodles is 803 yen. You get to choose from either yakisoba noodles or udon noodles.

When you order, don’t forget to remember the following:
Yasaitamasoba okonomiyaki 野菜玉そば for vegetable okonomiyaki with yakisoba noodle
Yasaitamaudon okonomiyaki 野菜玉うどん for vegetable okonomiyaki with udon noodle
Yasaitama okonomiyaki 野菜玉 for vegetable okonomiyaki without noodles

You can also add the below toppings with extra charges:

  • Rice cake, corn, udon noodles, soba noodles, or cabbage: 110 yen
  • Cheese and kimchi (it should be noted that seafood may be added into the seasoning during the fermentation process): 220 yen

Click HERE for the restaurant’s menu in Japanese. If you need help with the translation, contact us HERE!

Important: as yummy as the curry looks on the menu, unfortunately, we have confirmed with the restaurant that the curry contains animal ingredients (even the ones containing only vegetable toppings). On the other hand, we couldn’t confirm whether the okonomiyaki sauce is vegan.

Taku Okonomiyaki & Curry’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • Taku Okonomiyaki & Curry is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 11:30 to 14:30 and 17:30 to 22:00.
    • The last order is taken at 9 pm.
    • On Sundays and public holidays, it opens from 11:30 am to 3 pm and 5:30 pm to 9 pm.
      • The last order is taken at 8 pm.
  • CUORE Kurashiki is a 15-minute walk from JR Kurashiki Station (倉敷駅).

Kamadaya Tofu Restaurant (とうふ料理 鎌田屋)

Kamadaya makes all of its soybean products in-house. The restaurant is budget-friendly, and the taste is impeccable! We have reviews showing that even big meat eaters love the restaurant! Click HERE for photos of what you can expect from there. The menu is, unfortunately, in Japanese, so if you require some assistance, please contact us HERE, and we will get back to you (=゚ω゚)ノ.

However, please note that it has been confirmed by the restaurant that the broth contains bonito. So if you are strict with your diet, it will be hard for you to find anything to eat there.

Kamadaya Tofu Restaurant’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • Kamadaya Tofu Restaurant is open from 11 am to 3 pm from Wednesday to Sunday.
    • If Monday or Tuesday falls on a public holiday, it will close on the next business day.
  • Kamadaya Tofu Restaurant is a 15 to 20-minute walk from JR Kurashiki Station (倉敷駅).

Taiwan Tenshin-bō (台湾点心房)

If you plan to spend a night around Kurashiki Station, you can visit Taiwan Tenshin-bō for dinner. While the Taiwanese restaurant on Kurashiki Ario’s 1st floor doesn’t have a dedicated vegan/vegetarian menu, you can ask the chef to specially prepare vegetarian/vegan fried rice or stir-fried vegetables for you.

Taiwan Tenshin-bō’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • Taiwan Tenshin-bō is open from 11 am to 10 pm.
    • The last order is taken at 9 pm.
  • The restaurant is a 5-minute walk from JR Kurashiki Station (倉敷駅).

Explore Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter

Kurashiki Bikan Area
Click the photo for ideas about places to visit in Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter!

Now you know where to get your 3 meals sorted, it is now time to discover what you can do at the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter. The old township has a lot to offer, and you can easily spend a day here!

For more information, refer to our article on Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter!

3 thoughts on “Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter’s Vegan-Friendly Spots”

  1. I went to Kushu Kushu tonight based on this post and unfortunately the veggie skewers I ordered (eggplant and mushroom) all came out with pork wrapped around them. Even the plain noodle dish and cucumber dish came with shrimp. None of this was implied in the menu. Luckily my husband could eat what I couldn’t.

    1. Hi Isabelle,
      Thanks for letting us know. Our sincere apologies for the incorrect information and unpleasant experience. It has been a while since we first published the article. We will update the articles as soon as possible. For the time being, we will remove the restaurant from the list.

      Kind regards,

    2. Hi Isabelle,

      Just want to let you know that the article has been updated. A few vegan restaurants and vegan-friendly spots have been added.

      Again, apologies for the unpleasant experience and hopefully you are enjoying your Japan trip.

      Kind regards,

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