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Vegan Eats

We don’t just ‘cater to vegans’, we create tours FOR vegans! We take out all the awkward explaining and guesswork that usually comes with travelling vegan. Every meal is carefully planned so your only job is to eat all the delicious food that’s brought to you!

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Make Friends

Our tours are personal and limited to 10-15 people making them a great way to form new bonds. We also include meet ups with local people who have a passion for veganism to exchange ideas with and further the movement.

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Experience

You won’t find any zoo or aquarium visits here – just tours packed full of sightseeing, cultural experiences and of course eating! We go from bustling cities to relaxing in rural escapes to show our guests the true diversity of new and exciting places.

VEGAN TOUR OF JAPAN

MAY 11-20th 2020

 

We’re heading East for (as far as we know) the very first vegan tour of Japan – the culinary capital of the world! Prepare to have a sense explosion as you experience the most populated city on Earth, marvel at Mt Fuji, visit temples and of course eat your way across the country.

This tour is aimed at those who have never been to Japan and would like to experience a bit of everything without having the hassle of finding places where they can eat. We have included sightseeing and activities that most people will love, while allowing enough free time for people to tailor their trip to their own tastes.

Dates: May 11th – 20th 2020

Duration: 9 Nights

Group Size: 10 – 15 People

Cost: £2975 (based on double occupancy)

Minimum Age: 18

Start Location: Tokyo

End Location: Hiroshima

 

  • Delicious vegan breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday from the start to the end of the tour
  • Travel by coach, bullet train, local transport and gondola/ropeway
  • Experience the vibrancy of Tokyo
  • See Mount Fuji
  • Visit temples and the geisha district in Kyoto
  • Learn to cook Japanese at home in a vegan cooking class
  • Spend the night in a traditional Buddhist Temple
  • Visit the Hiroshima Peace Museum & Memorial Park
  • Stay on the Island of the gods, Miyajima Island
  • Learn about Japanese animal advocacy and meet local vegans
Day 1 (Pre-Tour)

Konnichiwa!

The tour doesn’t officially begin until tomorrow to allow for people’s different schedules (eg early/late flights). There is so much to do in Tokyo so if you enjoy city life, we would highly recommend spending some time here before or after the tour to enjoy your chosen activities. There are lots of vegan restaurants in Tokyo and most people speak at least a little English so you shouldn’t have a problem getting by.

Guests are to make their own way to the hotel where the pre-tour night is included in the tour price. Transport and meals are not included but we are happy to offer travel advice (public transport in Tokyo, especially from the airport is very efficient and signposted in English) and make recommendations on where to find vegan food.

The Kijimas (your hosts) will be checked in and available should you need anything.

 

Included:

Hotel Accommodation

Excluded:

Travel to and within Tokyo
Any activities and meals

 

Day 2 - Tokyo

The tour officially begins! You will meet your tour group in the morning for breakfast and then we will set off to the eclectic Harajuku area. This is where many Tokyo fashion and pop culture trends are born and you will have a couple of hours of free time to choose what suits your tastes best; eg explore the quirky shops, stroll through Yoyogi Park, visit the famous Meiji Jingu Shrine.

We will meet back up for lunch and then get our crafting skills on with a lesson in Origami (the classical Japanese art of paper folding). You will be able to make your very own souvenirs to take home and impress your friends/family with. You will also be able to see a master origami artist at work and see origami paper being dyed by craftspeople.

Our next stop is Akihabara (aka Electric City). The home of the otaku (geek) culture of gaming, electronics, manga and anime. This fast paced area gives a wonderful glimpse of modern Japan and here you will have time for your chosen activities (did someone say virtual reality ninja training?!). If you’d like something a little slower paced, you can visit the Kanda Myojin Shrine which is one of the oldest buildings in Tokyo and the Daijingu Shrine which is dedicated to love and marriage.

In the evening we will have a vegan cultural exchange with vegans living in Japan. This will be a great way to make friends, learn about what life is like for vegans in Japan and strengthen bonds in our growing community. We will also be given a talk by a member of LIA (Life Investigation Agency) – an independent campaigning organization who investigate, expose, inspire and campaign against animal and environmental abuse. They have been responsible for a number of legal actions against abuse in Japan including the Taiji dolphin drive hunt. They will be telling us about their work, how animal advocates in Japan are trying to make changes and what we can do to help.

 

Included:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner
Hotel accommodation
All Travel                                               
Origami Class
Donation to animal advocacy group
Donation to vegan outreach non profit

Excluded:

Non-standard drinks at meal times
Activities during free time

 

 

 

Day 3 - Kawaguchiko (Mt Fuji)

Goodbye Tokyo, we will pack our overnight bags and leave the hustle and bustle of the city for a little more serenity in the Yamanashi prefecture.

We will stop off at Arakurayama Sengen Shrine and will tackle a 400 step climb up the mountain to see the iconic Chureito pagoda. If we’re lucky and the weather is clear, we will enjoy a wonderful view of Mount Fuji.

After lunch, we will make our way to Lake Kawaguchiko. There are so many things to do here so you will have free time to take your pick. Your optional activities will include things like; taking a ropeway up the mountain, thrill seeking at a theme park, visiting an ice cave or hiking a sea of trees.

We will then check into our guest house where dinner will be prepared for us. Each room has a private bathroom but you will have the opportunity to book a 30 minute slot in a private onsen bath. Public baths are normal in Japan but can be strange to visitors to Japan – if public nudity isn’t your thing, a chance at having a private onsen is not to be missed!

 

Included:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner
Guesthouse accommodation
All travel
Luggage Courier (Tokyo to Kyoto)     

Excluded:

Non-standard drinks at meal times
Additional activities during free time

 

 

Day 4 - Kyoto

This morning we will say goodbye to the countryside and make our way to Kyoto – home to over 2000 shrines and temples and 17 Unesco world heritage sites, Kyoto is the ancient capital of Japan.

We will visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine by walking through the “sen-bon-torii”. This translates to “walkway of a thousand gates”, though it is said that there are over 10,000 vermilion gates in the shrine complex.

Our next stop is Nishiki Market (aka ‘The Kitchen of Kyoto’) which is home to 135 open fronted shops. Sadly, most of these won’t be vegan friendly but that doesn’t mean we have to miss out! Together, we will go on the hunt for vegan treasures for you to sample.

Before Dinner we will take an evening walk through the Gion area and will be given a tour by a local guide who will teach us about the history of Kyoto. 

 

Included:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner
Hotel accommodation
All travel
Entrance to Fushimi Inari Shrine
Guided tour of Gion                                     

Excluded:

Non-standard drinks at meal times
Additional activities during free time          
  

 

 

Day 5 - Kyoto

Today is the day for you to get hands on with a vegan cookery class! Hosted by a Kyoto-nian who has a passion for veganism – she regularly organises classes and events for locals to help promote the vegan ethos. We have purposely chosen everyday dishes that you can easily make with ingredients from western supermarkets  – nothing super fancy or difficult but still exciting enough to host a Japanese themed dinner party for your friends at home 🙂

We will enjoy the fruits of our labour for lunch and then in the afternoon, we will visit Arashiyama where you can explore the mountain temples and take a walk through the iconic bamboo forest at your own pace. You can choose to rent a bike and visit several different temples, famous for their historical importance and rakan statues or choose the more quiet temples to spend your time. Or, if you like being out on the water, why not hire a boat and go for a row? If you prefer architecture, you can check out Togetsuku Bridge, Arashiyama’s most famous landmark or take a stroll along a preserved historical street lined by traditional townhouses.


Included:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner
Hotel accommodation
Vegan cooking class                          
All travel

Excluded:

Non-standard drinks at meal times
Additional activities during free time

 

   

Day 6 - Kyoto / Nara

On our last morning in Kyoto you will be given some free time for your chosen activities. There are lots of temples to visit within the city or for those who want a break from temples, there are different neighbourhoods to explore and a number of other activities including:

Traditional Japanese tea ceremony
Museums
Samurai experience
Manga drawing class
Kimono dressing & photo shoot

In the afternoon we will make our way to Osaka, stopping along the way in Nara, Japan’s first Capital city. Here we’ll visit UNESCO World Heritage Site,Todai Ji temple, to see one of the worlds largest wooden structures. We’ll take a stroll through the temple complex where we will no doubt encounter the free roaming deer that Nara is famous for. If time allows, we will make our way towards Kasuga Taisha, Nara’s most celebrated shrine.

 

Included:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner
Hotel accommodation
All travel  

Excluded:

Non-standard drinks at meal times
Additional activities during free time
 

 

Day 7 - Koyasan

Today we will be packing our overnight bags and travelling to Mount Koya by train and cable car. The temple village of Koyasan has been named a UNESCO world heritage site and is home to around 50 temples and it is in one of these shukubo that we will be checking into for the night.

After lunch you will have a few hours to take in the fresh mountain air and discover Koyasan at your own pace. Optional activities include:

Hike an ancient pilgrimage route in a beautiful mountain setting
Hire an audio guide and visit the temples that most appeal to you
Explore the area by bike (early booking essential as there are only 15 bikes available on the mountain)

In the evening, you will be given a short meditation class at our temple and will then be treated to an assortment of Shojin Ryori, “Monks Food”, dishes freshly prepared in a traditional manner. In the evening you will be taken on a night time walk through an old cemetery guided by a monk who will teach us the history of the mountain.

 

Included:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner
Temple lodging
All travel
Meditation class
Guided walk through cemetery        

Excluded:

Non-standard drinks at meal times
Additional activities during free time
   

 

 

Day 8 - Osaka

If you like an early start, we would highly recommend attending the morning prayer session conducted by our temple hosts. After another delicious breakfast of shojin ryori, you will have a couple of hours free to do some last minute exploring before we leave the serenity of the mountain forest behind and travel back to the modernity of Osaka.

After lunch, we will explore the famous shopping districts of Shinsaibashi and then Dotonburi which are jam packed with things that give Osaka its charm. With a mix of department stores, big name retailers and small independents, this is the perfect place to find that something special for yourself or some quirky souvenirs to take home. You will have free time to explore the shops, game centres, pachinko parlours or whatever else takes your fancy in these lively neighbourhoods. There are a couple of temples and museums dotted around for those who aren’t big on shopping.

 

Included:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner
Hotel accommodation                     
All travel
                            

Excluded:

Non-standard drinks at meal times
Additional activities during free time
   

 

Day 9 - Hiroshima / Miyajima

We will have another early start today as we take the bullet train to Hiroshima. On arrival, we will have the bulk of our luggage stored and take our overnight bags with us as we explore the region.

Our first stop will be the Hiroshima Peace Park where you will see the Atomic Bomb dome which commemorates the nuclear tragedy of 1945. This area has not been regenerated since the bombing and the twisted metal and rubble serves to show the destruction of war while acting as a symbol of peace. We will visit the Peace Memorial Museum, a sobering experience and one that is so important when learning about the history of Japan and its people.

After lunch we will catch a ferry to Miyajima, considered to be the island of the gods. We will stroll through the shopping street of omotesando and will visit the famous Itsukushima shrine. Unfortunately the famous floating torii is under construction for the year so won’t be visible but there is still plenty of beauty to be experienced on the island.

 

Included:

Breakfast, lunch & dinner
Luggage Storage (Hiroshima)
Guesthouse accommodation
All travel
Peace Memorial Museum admission and audio tour
Itsukushima Shrine Admission

Excluded:

Non-standard drinks at meal times
Additional activities during free time

 

 

 

Day 10 - Miyajima

On our last morning of the tour, we will make our way up Mount Misen by rope way or any hikers in the group can leave early to do the 2km climb up. From here we can enjoy the spectacular views of the different elements which make up Japan; city, nature, sea and mountains. We will travel back to Hiroshima, collect our luggage and say our goodbyes as the tour ends. From Hiroshima, there are easy routes back to Osaka or Tokyo for those with flights home.

 

 

Included:

Breakfast & Lunch
Mount Misen Ropeway
Travel back to Hiroshima                  
          

Excluded:

Non-standard drinks at meal times
Activities during free time
Any travel or meals after lunch when the tour ends
 

 

Considerations

Vegan in Japan
While Japan is slowly becoming more vegan friendly, it is still extremely difficult to secure good vegan options at regular restaurants and hotels, especially outside of cities. We want to give our guests the best experience of Japan possible while still sticking to our shared morals. Our first choice is always to support vegan businesses and when this is not possible, we talk to and encourage omni establishments to offer vegan options.

Change of plans
On most tours, food is often an after thought as there are so many great food options just about anywhere in Japan. A lot of our planning however has been centred around being able to eat amazing vegan food. For this reason, the tour may change slightly if for example, a vegan cafe or restaurant we have booked has closed down (which often happens in Japan).

Breakfasts
When choosing hotels, we have been limited by breakfast options as we won’t settle for extremely limited buffet options at most hotels, especially as many have confirmed to us that items that look vegan have hidden animal-ingredients in them. When possible, we have chosen accommodation based on those who are progressive enough to offer a good vegan breakfast. On a few mornings, we will eat at cafes or offer a large selection of vegan bread and pastries.

Grey areas
As long term vegans ourselves, we have tried to make this tour as vegan as possible but, as in most countries, it is almost impossible to be 100% vegan. Modern farming methods in the UK for example often use animal manure from factory farms but most would still allow this, as veganism is defined as avoiding animal exploitation “as far as is possible and practicable”. In Japan, veganism is far less established and the vegan bar tends to sit lower. There are 2 grey areas that we feel we need to bring to our guests’ attention:

Sugar – Most sugar sold in the UK is safe for vegans but in other countries, eg the US, it can be filtered through bone char. The ingredients are still vegan but the processing is not. It is understood that in Japan, companies are changing as new methods are being introduced, but the practice of using bone char is still commonly used. A lot of vegans in Japan and elsewhere, do not worry about sugar and this is the stance we have taken. Our aim for this tour is to encourage Japanese businesses to increase their vegan food options as simply and easily as possible. Ruling sugar out due to processing methods, feels to us like asking restaurants in the UK in 2019 to only use fruit and veg that is farmed veganically. We hope for change but understand our limitations and seek to grow the movement as best we can from the positions we are in.

Soy Sauce – Japanese products are not required to list trace ingredients in their ingredients list if they are not an allergen. The vegan community in Japan is actively campaigning for better labelling and a petition can be signed here. A lot of soy sauce in Japan has fish stock inside but pure soy sauce is easily available which is what we have requested for all meals on the tour. It is harder to be certain that processed foods do not contain fish if soy sauce is an ingredient so we recommend guests to be vigilant when for example looking for snacks during free time as a product may look vegan from the ingredients but may contain trace amounts of non-vegan products.

Bedding – We have requested vegan bedding in all hotels but a couple of them have a limited amount of synthetic bedding so we cannot 100% guarantee non-down bedding.

Day 1 (Pre-Tour)

Konnichiwa!

The tour doesn’t officially begin until tomorrow to allow for people’s different schedules (eg early/late flights). There is so much to do in Tokyo so if you enjoy city life, we would highly recommend spending some time here before or after the tour to enjoy your chosen activities. There are lots of vegan restaurants in Tokyo and most people speak at least a little English so you shouldn’t have a problem getting by.

Guests are to make their own way to the hotel where the pre-tour night is included in the tour price. Transport and meals are not included but we are happy to offer travel advice (public transport in Tokyo, especially from the airport is very efficient and signposted in English) and make recommendations on where to find vegan food.

The Kijimas (your hosts) will be checked in and available should you need anything.

Included:
Hotel Accommodation

Excluded:
Travel to and within Tokyo
Any activities and meals

Day 2 - Tokyo

The tour officially begins! You will meet your tour group in the morning for breakfast and then we will set off to the eclectic Harajuku area. This is where many Tokyo fashion and pop culture trends are born and you will have a couple of hours of free time to choose what suits your tastes best; eg explore the quirky shops, stroll through Yoyogi Park, visit the famous Meiji Jingu Shrine.

We will meet back up for lunch and then get our crafting skills on with a lesson in Origami (the classical Japanese art of paper folding). You will be able to make your very own souvenirs to take home and impress your friends/family with. You will also be able to see a master origami artist at work and see origami paper being dyed by craftspeople.

Our next stop is Akihabara (aka Electric City). The home of the otaku (geek) culture of gaming, electronics, manga and anime. This fast paced area gives a wonderful glimpse of modern Japan and here you will have time for your chosen activities (did someone say virtual reality ninja training?!). If you’d like something a little slower paced, you can visit the Kanda Myojin Shrine which is one of the oldest buildings in Tokyo and the Daijingu Shrine which is dedicated to love and marriage.

In the evening we will have a vegan cultural exchange with vegans living in Japan. This will be a great way to make friends, learn about what life is like for vegans in Japan and strengthen bonds in our growing community. We will also be given a talk by a member of LIA (Life Investigation Agency) – an independent campaigning organization who investigate, expose, inspire and campaign against animal and environmental abuse. They have been responsible for a number of legal actions against abuse in Japan including the Taiji dolphin drive hunt. They will be telling us about their work, how animal advocates in Japan are trying to make changes and what we can do to help.

Included:
Breakfast, lunch & dinner
Hotel accommodation
All Travel
Origami Class
Donation to animal advocacy group
Donation to vegan outreach non profit

Excluded:
Non-standard drinks at meal times
Activities during free time

Day 3 - Kawaguchiko (Mt Fuji)

Goodbye Tokyo, we will pack our overnight bags and leave the hustle and bustle of the city for a little more serenity in the Yamanashi prefecture.

We will stop off at Arakurayama Sengen Shrine and will tackle a 400 step climb up the mountain to see the iconic Chureito pagoda. If we’re lucky and the weather is clear, we will enjoy a wonderful view of Mount Fuji.

After lunch, we will make our way to Lake Kawaguchiko. There are so many things to do here so you will have free time to take your pick. Your optional activities will include things like; taking a ropeway up the mountain, thrill seeking at a theme park, visiting an ice cave or hiking a sea of trees.

We will then check into our guest house where dinner will be prepared for us. Each room has a private bathroom but you will have the opportunity to book a 30 minute slot in a private onsen bath. Public baths are normal in Japan but can be strange to visitors to Japan – if public nudity isn’t your thing, a chance at having a private onsen is not to be missed!

Included:
Breakfast, lunch & dinner
Guesthouse accommodation
All travel
Luggage Courier (Tokyo to Kyoto)

Excluded:
Non-standard drinks at meal times
Additional activities during free time

Day 4 - Kyoto

This morning we will say goodbye to the countryside and make our way to Kyoto – home to over 2000 shrines and temples and 17 Unesco world heritage sites, Kyoto is the ancient capital of Japan.

We will visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine by walking through the “sen-bon-torii”. This translates to “walkway of a thousand gates”, though it is said that there are over 10,000 vermilion gates in the shrine complex.

Our next stop is Nishiki Market (aka ‘The Kitchen of Kyoto’) which is home to 135 open fronted shops. Sadly, most of these won’t be vegan friendly but that doesn’t mean we have to miss out! Together, we will go on the hunt for vegan treasures for you to sample.

Before Dinner we will take an evening walk through the Gion area and will be given a tour by a local guide who will teach us about the history of Kyoto. 

Included:
Breakfast, lunch & dinner
Hotel accommodation
All travel
Entrance to Fushimi Inari Shrine
Guided tour of Gion 

Excluded:
Non-standard drinks at meal times
Additional activities during free time

Day 5 - Kyoto

Today is the day for you to get hands on with a vegan cookery class! Hosted by a Kyoto-nian who has a passion for veganism – she regularly organises classes and events for locals to help promote the vegan ethos. We have purposely chosen everyday dishes that you can easily make with ingredients from western supermarkets  – nothing super fancy or difficult but still exciting enough to host a Japanese themed dinner party for your friends at home 🙂

We will enjoy the fruits of our labour for lunch and then in the afternoon, we will visit Arashiyama where you can explore the mountain temples and take a walk through the iconic bamboo forest at your own pace. You can choose to rent a bike and visit several different temples, famous for their historical importance and rakan statues or choose the more quiet temples to spend your time. Or, if you like being out on the water, why not hire a boat and go for a row? If you prefer architecture, you can check out Togetsuku Bridge, Arashiyama’s most famous landmark or take a stroll along a preserved historical street lined by traditional townhouses.

Included:
Breakfast, lunch & dinner
Hotel accommodation
Vegan cooking class
All travel

Excluded:
Non-standard drinks at meal times
Additional activities during free time

Day 6 - Kyoto / Nara

On our last morning in Kyoto you will be given some free time for your chosen activities. There are lots of temples to visit within the city or for those who want a break from temples, there are different neighbourhoods to explore and a number of other activities including:

Traditional Japanese tea ceremony
Museums
Samurai experience
Manga drawing class
Kimono dressing & photo shoot

In the afternoon we will make our way to Osaka, stopping along the way in Nara, Japan’s first Capital city. Here we’ll visit UNESCO World Heritage Site,Todai Ji temple, to see one of the worlds largest wooden structures. We’ll take a stroll through the temple complex where we will no doubt encounter the free roaming deer that Nara is famous for. If time allows, we will make our way towards Kasuga Taisha, Nara’s most celebrated shrine.

Included:
Breakfast, lunch & dinner
Hotel accommodation
All travel

Excluded:
Non-standard drinks at meal times
Additional activities during free time

Day 7 - Koyasan

Today we will be packing our overnight bags and travelling to Mount Koya by train and cable car. The temple village of Koyasan has been named a UNESCO world heritage site and is home to around 50 temples and it is in one of these shukubo that we will be checking into for the night.

After lunch you will have a few hours to take in the fresh mountain air and discover Koyasan at your own pace. Optional activities include:

Hike an ancient pilgrimage route in a beautiful mountain setting
Hire an audio guide and visit the temples that most appeal to you
Explore the area by bike (early booking essential as there are only 15 bikes available on the mountain)

In the evening, you will be given a short meditation class at our temple and will then be treated to an assortment of Shojin Ryori, “Monks Food”, dishes freshly prepared in a traditional manner. In the evening you will be taken on a night time walk through an old cemetery guided by a monk who will teach us the history of the mountain.

Included:
Breakfast, lunch & dinner
Temple lodging
All travel
Meditation class
Guided walk through cemetery

Excluded:
Non-standard drinks at meal times
Additional activities during free time

Day 8 - Osaka

If you like an early start, we would highly recommend attending the morning prayer session conducted by our temple hosts. After another delicious breakfast of shojin ryori, you will have a couple of hours free to do some last minute exploring before we leave the serenity of the mountain forest behind and travel back to the modernity of Osaka.

After lunch, we will explore the famous shopping districts of Shinsaibashi and then Dotonburi which are jam packed with things that give Osaka its charm. With a mix of department stores, big name retailers and small independents, this is the perfect place to find that something special for yourself or some quirky souvenirs to take home. You will have free time to explore the shops, game centres, pachinko parlours or whatever else takes your fancy in these lively neighbourhoods. There are a couple of temples and museums dotted around for those who aren’t big on shopping.

Included:
Breakfast, lunch & dinner
Hotel accommodation
All travel

Excluded:
Non-standard drinks at meal times
Additional activities during free time

Day 9 - Hiroshima / Miyajima

We will have another early start today as we take the bullet train to Hiroshima. On arrival, we will have the bulk of our luggage stored and take our overnight bags with us as we explore the region.

Our first stop will be the Hiroshima Peace Park where you will see the Atomic Bomb dome which commemorates the nuclear tragedy of 1945. This area has not been regenerated since the bombing and the twisted metal and rubble serves to show the destruction of war while acting as a symbol of peace. We will visit the Peace Memorial Museum, a sobering experience and one that is so important when learning about the history of Japan and its people.

After lunch we will catch a ferry to Miyajima, considered to be the island of the gods. We will stroll through the shopping street of omotesando and will visit the famous Itsukushima shrine. Unfortunately the famous floating torii is under construction for the year so won’t be visible but there is still plenty of beauty to be experienced on the island.

Included:
Breakfast, lunch & dinner
Luggage Storage (Hiroshima)
Guesthouse accommodation
All travel
Peace Memorial Museum admission and audio tour
Itsukushima Shrine Admission

Excluded:
Non-standard drinks at meal times
Additional activities during free time

Day 10 - Miyajima

On our last morning of the tour, we will make our way up Mount Misen by rope way or any hikers in the group can leave early to do the 2km climb up. From here we can enjoy the spectacular views of the different elements which make up Japan; city, nature, sea and mountains. We will travel back to Hiroshima, collect our luggage and say our goodbyes as the tour ends. From Hiroshima, there are easy routes back to Osaka or Tokyo for those with flights home.

Included:
Breakfast & Lunch
Mount Misen Ropeway
Travel back to Hiroshima

Excluded:
Non-standard drinks at meal times
Activities during free time
Any travel or meals after lunch when the tour ends

Considerations

Vegan in Japan
While Japan is slowly becoming more vegan friendly, it is still extremely difficult to secure good vegan options at regular restaurants and hotels, especially outside of cities. We want to give our guests the best experience of Japan possible while still sticking to our shared morals. Our first choice is always to support vegan businesses and when this is not possible, we talk to and encourage omni establishments to offer vegan options.

Change of plans
On most tours, food is often an after thought as there are so many great food options just about anywhere in Japan. A lot of our planning however has been centred around being able to eat amazing vegan food. For this reason, the tour may change slightly if for example, a vegan cafe or restaurant we have booked has closed down (which often happens in Japan).

Breakfasts
When choosing hotels, we have been limited by breakfast options as we won’t settle for extremely limited buffet options at most hotels, especially as many have confirmed to us that items that look vegan have hidden animal-ingredients in them. When possible, we have chosen accommodation based on those who are progressive enough to offer a good vegan breakfast. On a few mornings, we will eat at cafes or offer a large selection of vegan bread and pastries.

Grey areas
As long term vegans ourselves, we have tried to make this tour as vegan as possible but, as in most countries, it is almost impossible to be 100% vegan. Modern farming methods in the UK for example often use animal manure from factory farms but most would still allow this, as veganism is defined as avoiding animal exploitation “as far as is possible and practicable”. In Japan, veganism is far less established and the vegan bar tends to sit lower. There are 2 grey areas that we feel we need to bring to our guests’ attention:

Sugar – Most sugar sold in the UK is safe for vegans but in other countries, eg the US, it can be filtered through bone char. The ingredients are still vegan but the processing is not. It is understood that in Japan, companies are changing as new methods are being introduced, but the practice of using bone char is still commonly used. A lot of vegans in Japan and elsewhere, do not worry about sugar and this is the stance we have taken. Our aim for this tour is to encourage Japanese businesses to increase their vegan food options as simply and easily as possible. Ruling sugar out due to processing methods, feels to us like asking restaurants in the UK in 2019 to only use fruit and veg that is farmed veganically. We hope for change but understand our limitations and seek to grow the movement as best we can from the positions we are in.

Soy Sauce – Japanese products are not required to list trace ingredients in their ingredients list if they are not an allergen. The vegan community in Japan is actively campaigning for better labelling and a petition can be signed here. A lot of soy sauce in Japan has fish stock inside but pure soy sauce is easily available which is what we have requested for all meals on the tour. It is harder to be certain that processed foods do not contain fish if soy sauce is an ingredient so we recommend guests to be vigilant when for example looking for snacks during free time as a product may look vegan from the ingredients but may contain trace amounts of non-vegan products.

Bedding – We have requested vegan bedding in all hotels but a couple of them have a limited amount of synthetic bedding so we cannot 100% guarantee non-down bedding.

Super Vegan Travel runs in partnership with RG Travel, proud member of Protected Trust Services. This gives us the financial protection we require when booking your travel. They are fully compliant with the package travel regulations and members of the CAA. 

Please click here to find out more.

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