Vegetarian's Japan Guide

Where to Find the Vegan-Friendly Restaurants Around Gion

Gion, a district in Kyoto where the elegant Geishas and Maikos live, is the most-visited spot in Japan’s ancient capital. The good news is there are a couple of vegan or vegan-friendly restaurants in Gion, allowing you to visit Gion anytime without needing to worry about where to dine!

The Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in Gion

Gion Tanto (祇園 たんと)

In Kyoto, if you are craving Japan’s street food, such as Okonomiyaki or Teppanyaki, visit Gion Tanto. The restaurant in a traditional house is just at the side of the Shirakawa River (白川), allowing you to eat while overlooking the small stream from the window.

Eating Okonomiyaki in Gion Tanto’s traditional setting is an absolute dream. Putting your shoes in the antique-like wooden shoe case with a wooden plate as a key and sitting on the tatami mats make the dining experience more enjoyable! The service is top-notch, too!

When you get to Gion Tanto, ask the staff for the vegan menu. The vegan menu available since 2020 is in English (with Japanese notations underneath). Apparently, Genmai Dashi Chazuke Nijiya’s owner contributed a lot to the creation of Gion Tanto’s vegan menu.

Don’t worry about the sauce and mayonnaise used. They are vegan, too! In fact, Gion Tanto will clean the iron plate before cooking vegan dishes, ensuring your vegan diet is strictly kept!

☛ The mochi corn okonomiyaki is better than the soy meat okonomiyaki.
☛ Gion Tanto is quite famous. Even celebrities visit it. So arrive early, or there might be a queue, but we guarantee the wait is worth it!

Gion Tanto’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • Gion Tanto is open from:
    • 12 pm to 3 pm
    • 5 pm to 10 pm
    • The last order is 30 minutes before closing time.
  • Scroll down their Official Website for the business calendar.
    • The restaurant doesn’t open on the days marked as “休業”.
  • Gion Tanto is a 5-minute walk from Keihan’s Shijo Station (京阪四条駅) or a 10-minute walk from Hankyu’s Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station (京都河原町駅) or Keihan’s Sanjo Station (京阪三条駅).

ZIRAEL Vegan Restaurant (ジラエル ビーガン レストラン)

If you are after a meal full of fresh vegetables, visit ZIRAEL, close to Gion. The vegan restaurant specializes in turning Japan’s carefully selected vegetables into various cuisines. On one plate, there are several different cuisines for you to enjoy. A couple of the menu items are also gluten-free!

Ⓒ FB Japan Vegetarian Community (洪千媚)

The food here is nicely seasoned, which will blow your mind. The must-order is probably their Kyoto Vegetable Plate (京野菜プレート), prepared from mainly vegetables freshly harvested in Kyoto.

While what is on the plate changes daily and depends on which plate you order, it can include various kinds of salads, soy meat, a cup of soup, dumplings, rice, dessert, and a drink.

If ZIRAEL’s owner is around, have a chat with him. He is extremely friendly and hospitable and will give you some tourist advice if you need it. Don’t worry about the language barrier. He speaks Japanese, English, and Chinese!

☛ Their chickpea croquette and dumplings are really nice.
☛ As there are only 8 seats, fill out a contact form HERE to check if you can reserve.

ZIRAEL Vegan Restaurant’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • ZIRAEL is open from 12 pm to 7 pm from Wednesday to Monday.
  • The restaurant is just an 8-minute walk from Keihan’s Gion-Shijō Station (祇園四条駅).
    • It is between Yasaka Shrine (八坂神社) and Chion-in Temple (知恩院).

Gion Soy Milk Ramen Uno Yokiko (ぎをん豆乳ら~めん うのゆきこ)

Gion Soy Milk Ramen Uno Yokiko is a vegan and gluten-free ramen restaurant close to the center of the Gion district. Moreover, can prepare ramen noodles without using pungent ingredients such as garlic. While the price of the noodles is steep, the ramen here is phenomenal.

The noodles are made from rice flour and konbu seaweed, making them chewier than normal ramen noodles. If you are on a diet, the organic konjac noodles will be perfect for you (^_-)-☆. Besides the broth and noodles, there is much more in the bowl, including dumplings, mushrooms, and various vegetables from Kyoto. If you still feel unsatisfied after finishing the noodles, order a bowl of brown rice topped with vegan cheese and add the remaining broth. The resulting risotto will be amazing too!

The restaurant’s ambiance is cozy. The friendly and fun owner and staff make the dining experience unforgettable. Whether you are a vegan or just love delicious food, Gion Soy Milk Ramen Uno Yokiko is a must-go restaurant when you are in Kyoto’s city center.

You can refer to their menu HERE before visiting.

Tip: Gion Soy Milk Ramen Uno Yokiko’s dumplings and croquettes are superb.

Gion Soy Milk Ramen Uno Yokiko’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • Gion Soy Milk Ramen Uno Yokiko is open from
    • 9:30 am to 8:30 pm on weekdays
    • 11 am to 8:30 pm on Saturdays
    • The last order is taken at 8 pm.
  • The restaurant is just a 2-minute walk from Keihan’s Gion-Shijō Station (祇園四条駅) or a 5-minute walk from Hankyu’s Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station (京都河原町駅).

Tokkyu Ramen (元祖特級ラーメン 寛)

If you are after a smaller ramen shop at the cheaper end, where the locals would visit for a quick dinner, visit Tokkyu Ramen. The noodle restaurant has both meat and vegan ramen, and the portions are big! And don’t judge the deliciousness of the noodle soup by the restaurant’s appearance. While the place isn’t nicely decorated, the food is genuinely good and authentic.

Note Tokkyu Ramen can only accommodate 10 to 12 people at one time. So arrive early to avoid the queue during the normal lunch and dinner hours.

Tip: Usually, medium-sized noodle soup is enough if you aren’t starving.

Tokkyu Ramen’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • Tokkyu Ramen is open from:
    • 11:30 am to 12 am from Saturday to Tuesday.
      • On Sundays, it closes early, at 8:30 pm.
  • The restaurant is just a 10-minute walk from Keihan’s Gion-Shijo Station (祇園四条駅) or a 12-minute walk from Hankyu’s Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station (京都河原町駅).

CHOICE (チョイス)

Very close to Sanjo Keihan Station (三条京阪駅), CHOICE is a stylish vegan restaurant that remains at the top of most vegans’ list of the best vegan restaurants in Kyoto. Opened by a plastic surgeon, it is a café for those who pursue beauty by eating healthily. You can almost find every dish in an ordinary café veganized at CHOICE!

CHOICE’s menu focuses on whole food, organic and gluten-free ingredients. As the menu changes according to the time of the day, the café will definitely satisfy your desire for a pleasant meal or tea time.

Because CHOICE is a gluten-free restaurant, their pasta is made from buckwheat flour. But surprisingly, the texture is still good! The vegan Mozzarella and smoked cheese are delicious too!

Another recommended dish is the vegan quiche. It is hard to find a vegan version that perfectly resembles the typical quiche!

Moreover, CHOICE’s vegan ice cream is a must-try. Unlike most vegan ice creams, which are made from soy milk, it is made from brown rice, giving it a creamy texture.

You can refer to CHOICE’s menu HERE beforehand.

Just note the dishes’ portions aren’t big.

CHOICE’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • CHOICE is open from 9:30 am to 9 pm from Wednesday to Sunday.
  • The cafe is just a 1-minute walk from Kyoto Subway’s Sanjo Keihan Station (三条京阪駅) or Keihan’s Sanjo Station (三条駅).

Tosuiro (豆水楼)

If you are after a nice traditional-style restaurant to taste the famous Kaiseki Ryōri in Kyoto’s city center, consider Tosuiro. Apart from the seafood-based course menus, Tosuiro also has a vegan or gluten-free Kaiseki in both of their restaurants in Kyoto called Rokuhara (六波羅). It is one of the best restaurants to enjoy Kyoto’s signature tofu dishes and seasonal vegetables. Every bite of the tofu dishes has a rich soybean taste. Tosuiro is the place to discover how delicious a simple soybean product can be!

Tosuiro’s main restaurant is on Kiyamachi-dori Street (木屋町通). It was renovated from an old house completed in the early 20th century. While there are normal table seats, sit at the traditional-style tatami seats if possible. Unlike many traditional-style facilities, the lower table is built into the ground, giving you the legroom you need!

The restaurant in Gion was also renovated from an old house and is even older than the house in the Kiyamachi area. The house from the late 19th century also has a traditional storage, which was also transformed into a dining area. If you want to experience dining in a traditional storage, reserve early because there are only two tables!

No matter which of Tosuiro’s restaurants you visit, the ambiance is cozy and blissful. If you are lucky enough to sit at the counter seat, strike up a conversation with the friendly chef. By watching how he prepares your food, you will know how passionate he is about cooking and the level of detail and effort he puts into his work.

Tosuiro’s restaurants are the top choice in Kyoto to spend quality time over amazing food and services with your family and friends.

☛ It is best to reserve a table in advance as Tosuiro is popular.
☛ Arrive with an empty stomach. Although each dish isn’t big, there will be a lot of food.
☛ You can reserve the Kawadoko (川床) seats from early May to late September at Tosuiro’s Kiyamachi restaurant. Although it will cost 1,500 yen more, dining on a platform built over the Kamo River is the best way to experience the Japanese dining culture in summer.

Important: Check with the restaurant in advance if they can accommodate children.

Tosuiro’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • Tosuiro Kiyamachi and Tosuiro Gion Store are open from:
    • 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. from Monday to Saturday
    • 11:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Sundays and public holidays
    • Please arrive by 8 p.m. for dinner.
  • Tosuiro Kiyamachi Store is a 5-minute walk from Kyoto City Subway’s Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae Station (京都市役所前駅).
  • Tosuiro Gion Store is a 15-minute walk from Keihan’s Gion Shijo Station (祇園四条).


Hyssop is a café in the hotel, GOOD NATURE STATION. It offers elegantly presented and tasty vegan dishes based on the concept of “Taste the Plants”. The café’s business hours are divided into 5 sections: breakfast, lunch, light meal, café, and dinner time. Each time slot has a menu with a couple of vegan options. So if you travel with non-vegan families and friends, both of you will have something to eat when you dine at Hyssop!

For lunch, you can order a Herbal Lunch Plate consisting 7 different colorful dishes in one plate. And for dessert, how about a plate of tofu pudding topped with seasonal fruits, granola, and shiratama rice cakes?

If you are after a vegan-friendly hotel, book a night with GOOD NATURE STATION. Their accommodation plans can include vegan meals from Hyssop.

☛ If you want to dine at their stylish terrace seats, you can make a booking through their website HERE. When the weather is chill, the round stone hearth in the middle will keep you warm.
☛ Check with the staff for dishes that can be made without the use of pungent ingredients, such as garlic.
☛ Hyssop can also cater to the halal diet.

Hyssop’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • Hyssop is open from
    • 8 am to 10 am for breakfast
    • 11:30 am to 2:30 pm for lunch
    • 2:30 pm to 5 pm for light meals
    • 5:30 pm to 9 pm for dinner
      • The last order is taken at 8 pm.
  • The café is just a 2-minute walk from Hankyu’s Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station (京都河原町駅) or a 4-minute walk from Keihan’s Gion-Shijo Station (祇園四条駅).

Genmai Dashi Chazuke Nijiya (玄米だし茶漬け 虹屋)

You might have heard the term Izakaya (居酒屋), a type of informal Japanese bar that serves alcoholic drinks, side dishes, and snacks. But because Izakayas in Japan aren’t vegetarian or vegan-friendly, it is usually the restaurant type that we skip.

Vegan Japan ヴィーガン日本: Nathan Michon

The good news is Kyoto has a vegan Izakaya near Gion! The food offered at Nijiya is incredible, and what brings the dining experience to the next level is the hospitality you will receive. The dashi broth used at Nijiya is made from konbu (kelp), dried shiitake mushroom, reddish, and burdock. All of these ingredients are highly nutritious. The resulting broth is, hence, not just delicious but healthy.

Although the number of items on the menu is limited, all of them are amazing. Because the restaurant takes the dashi broth so seriously, what you must try at Nijiya is the Chazuke. All rice served at Nijiya is pesticide-free brown rice. Combined with the dashi broth, the rice dish is good for your stomach and body. The plums on top of the brown rice also add to the Chazuke’s deliciousness.

Another thing that is worth mentioning is the dumplings. They are made without leek, shallot, and garlic, so your breath won’t smell afterwards!

The vegan yakitori skewer is another remarkable dish. You will be surprised by how well they prepare the skewers and how meaty they are. Even the meat eaters love them!

Nijiya is small. There are only six seats opposite the kitchen counter. But because of its size, striking a casual conversation with the chef or other customers is easy.

The restaurant is also pet-friendly. So don’t be surprised if you see various kinds of animals during your visit!

Genmai Dashi Chazuke Nijiya’s Business Hours and Access Information

  • Genmai Dashi Chazuke Nijiya is open from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., usually from Tuesday to Saturday.
  • The izakaya is a 5-minute walk from Kyoto Subway’s Sanjo Keihan Station (三条京阪駅) or Keihan’s Sanjo Station (三条駅) or a 2-minute walk from Hankyu’s Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station (京都河原町駅)

Discover Other Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in Kyoto

Your visit to Kyoto may not just be about visiting Gion. The good news is the prefecture has other vegan-friendly restaurants close to spots in the rural area. While the options can be limited, there might be a restaurant close to where you want to visit serving delicious vegan or vegetarian dishes that satisfy your cravings!

Refer to our Guide to Kyoto’s Vegan-Friendly Restaurants for more information!

Click the photo for more information about Kyoto’s vegan-friendly restaurants.