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We made history running the very first vegan group trip to Japan, and it was a huge success. While Buddhism-inspired vegetarianism has been part of the Japanese culture since around the 6th and 7th centuries, "veganism" as a concept is very new. In this first episode, I provide a frame through which to understand the challenges and the threads of eating plant-based in Japan, including 

  • the influence of Buddhism and other factors that resulted in a mostly plant-based culture for most of its history
  • how the move toward modernizing Japan — as of 1868 — contributed to the increase in meat consumption 
  • the regional aspect of Japanese cuisine
  • the "foodie" aspect of Japanese cuisine, which can also lead to food rituals and ceremonies, as well as fodder for satire

I also provide a number of suggestions for what to look for generally if you are traveling in Japan as a joyful vegan, including

  • which items typically have animal products
  • what and how to ask for vegan options
  • where to find the best options as a vegan



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Thank you for listening.




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