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 Post subject: Tokyo & Manila
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:59 pm 
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I would love any recommendations in Tokyo and in Manila! I'm really excited because I just booked tickets, but the trip isn't for months yet.

I've browsed the previous Tokyo threads and happy cow, and have to admit that I'm still a little lost. I know there are vegan doughnuts at Doughnut Plant (you see my priorities here), and a few macrobiotic or vegan places (Eat More Greens, Cafe 8, Pure, Gaya, Loving Hut), plus shojin ryori restaurants (which one(s) should we try?). But any other suggestions for restaurants, tasty/fun supermarket products, or interesting food markets that aren't focused on fish/meat would be rad.

We haven't decided where to stay yet, so any input on either neighborhoods or actual places to stay would also be super (should we try renting an apartment or is it better to stay in a hotel with an English-speaking concierge if you don't speak Japanese?). We'll just be there for a few days, so price isn't too much of an issue, and we're ok paying a bit more for convenience/proximity to stuff we want to do given that it's a short trip.

I'm not as worried about Manila as I'll have access to a kitchen and a bunch of my family lives there (this is my first trip to Manila to meet my extended in laws), but places not to miss would be great. Particularly those that aren't raw or too "healthy" so that non-veg family members will find something. Are there fun places to shop for food that I should check out? We'll be in Makati. Anything fun to do there or nearby? I'm weirdly excited about going to the malls since they're such a thing, but should probably figure out some more enriching tourist options. Don't worry, I'm also going to the beach, but that part of the trip is out of my hands.


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 Post subject: Re: Tokyo & Manila
PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:24 pm 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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I know you said you're not on a super tight budget but the only place I've ever stayed at and can recommend in Tokyo is the Sumidagawa hostel. It was really great! It is close to a metro stop, so it was super easy to get around the city and to/from the airport. It was also very friendly to English-speaking tourists and we met lots of world travelers there with cool stories to share. We had a private 2-person room and we had our own little A/C unit which was AMAZING in August. Unfortunately I don't have any restaurant recommendations...we only tried to go to one veg restaurant and after searching for it for an hour we found out it was closed for good. We ended up cooking a lot at the hostel.

I hope you have a wonderful trip! I want to see your foreign food pr0n pics!

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 Post subject: Re: Tokyo & Manila
PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:30 pm 
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I've been to both (Tokyo a few times), but wasn't vegan when I visited either city! I was vegetarian when I was last in Tokyo about four years ago, and didn't have too many issues finding things to eat- just lots of sushi and udon dishes with tofu. My Japanese is very limited (I can pretty much just introduce myself, count, thank people and say 'peach') but I had no issues. There's English everywhere and even the trains, which look terrifying at first, are super easy to figure out. I was there for a uni thing so I was on a tight budget, and I stayed at the Ace Inn Shinjuku in a capsule dorm. It was pretty fun, and they had really cheap beer vending machines. I found Tokyo really easy to get around by metro, so if you stay near a station you should be fine.

I only went to Makati once when I was in Manila, to visit the embassy, and it was like a whole other world from the Manila that I knew- I stayed in Malate and Sta Mesa whenever I headed up from Laguna. The malls are pretty crazy, but you might not get a lot out of them if you're American. They were kind of a novelty for me at first, since I'd never seen stuff like TGI Friday's outside of movies before- it was like being in a mini-America. I liked the bookstores there though, mainly for the huge Rizal sections. I was pretty busy whenever I was in Manila (working with a street children's organisation) so there wasn't much time for touristy things beyond going to Intramuros once to get my visa extended.

I wasn't vegan at the time and also mainly ate at the children's shelter, but I did eat a ton of taho from the street vendors, which is vegan and awesome. Astig Vegan is a great blog to check out for vegan Filipino recipes if you want to impress the family, and there are also a few links to places to eat. There's also a list of top vegetarian-friendly places in the Philippines here (there seem to be a few options in Makati). There's also apparently a vegetarian noodle house/small grocery store in Makati, here.

I can't wait to see what you find! I was testing for Terry's upcoming world food book recently and she has some great Filipino recipes in there, eating adobo again made me miss the Philippines so much!

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 Post subject: Re: Tokyo & Manila
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:50 am 
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thanks guys! I'll definitely share what I find!


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 Post subject: Re: Tokyo & Manila
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:37 pm 
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Saggy Butt
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I just got back from japan and the food was so awesome! I'll have to look back at my pictures to remember the names of all the places we ate but I highly recommend the vegan ramen shop at Tokyo Station, T's. If you're not traveling, you have to buy a platform ticket to get to it (160 yen i think) but it is sooo worth it! And there's a Doughnut Plant really close to it!


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 Post subject: Re: Tokyo & Manila
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:42 pm 
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Saggy Butt
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Oh and like Erinnerung said, try to stay near a metro, preferably one with several different lines. But it is really easy to get around.
If you're there during baseball season I recommend going to a game or two. We went to 3 and it was a super fun way to spend the evening.

Edit: when i say it's easy to get around i mean that taking the metro and walking around is easy. Finding an address is nearly impossible so get a good map and check out google street view ahead of time!


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 Post subject: Re: Tokyo & Manila
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:05 am 
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Thanks! I saw T's on the internet, and will definitely check it out.


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 Post subject: Re: Tokyo & Manila
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:37 am 
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Kale Wreath
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Cafe 8 is closed now, so don't try to go there! Sad but true.

I spend most of my time in south-west-ish Tokyo, so know a lot about what is there but not much else.

Now I can't remember if I recommended it before somewhere else, but T's restaurant in Jiyugaoka:
http://ts-restaurant.jp/
Probably my favourite now. So delicious. The gratin especially. And it might be the only place you'll find something cheesy-like. Highly recommended.

I'm just generally in love with Jiyugaoka. The macrobiotic patisserie, Simply Modern, is there too:
http://gracefulsweets.jp/organictearoom.html
The pastry stuff (scones etc) is a bit crumbly/dry, but I love their creamy pies and cakes.

And if you want to go on a short adventure in a residential neighborhood and the timing is right, go to Nanyoubi, the vegan muffin shop in Midorigaoka (a couple of stops from Jiyugaoka):
http://www.nanayoubi.com/
It's a really adorable place but I heard that the owner is sick or something so they are very irregular. They also sell sometimes at a cafe in Jiyuaoka called Ikanika:
http://www.ikanika.com/cafe/top/
I haven't been there yet but it seems to be pretty vegan-friendly.

And the vegan ice cream shop in Okayama (also close to Jiyugaoka), Mihane Ice:
http://mihane.jp/
The shop itself is pretty nice, but they also sell at various department/health food stores in Tokyo.

Also, if you happen to be in Sangenjaya for whatever reason (which you probably won't be), there is this place:
http://www.cafe-ohana.com/
It's not my favourite, but I'm glad there's a veg place in my neighbourhood.

A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled across this place in Hiroo, Island Veggie:
http://www.islandveggie.com/ISLAND_VEGG ... i/Top.html
I'm not sure what's Hawaiian about it really, but I was pretty impressed with what I ate and they do to-go as well.

Also in Hiroo, my favorite little supermarket:
http://naturalmart.jp/

Not strictly vegan or Japanese, but if you happen to be in Ebisu Garden Place area and get hungry, there is an Italian/Spanish-style deli that has clearly-labeled vegan items (a rarity, for sure):
http://gardenplace.jp/restaurantcafe/granodeli.html

There's a Macrobiotic deli in Ebisu too, although I haven't been there yet. I bet they have lots of cool things though:
http://www.macrobiotic-marche.jp/marche/1.1/526/

If you're in Kichijoji, there's DevaDeva:
http://devadevacafe.com/

I'm ashamed to say that, despite living in Tokyo for almost 2 years, I have yet to visit a Shojin Ryori restaurant. They're just so expensive...

I think that's all I got!

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 Post subject: Re: Tokyo & Manila
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:55 pm 
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that is amazing! Thank you! I had no idea there was vegan ice cream around!


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 Post subject: Re: Tokyo & Manila
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:08 am 
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What a great post,thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Tokyo & Manila
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:31 am 
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Husband and I really want to take our 8yo to Japan (Tokyo) some time soon. We have the situation where I'm vegan (duh) but my son (not vegan) also has food sensory issues and barfs at the thought of rice or vegies. He won't eat anything you'd find on a Japanese restaurant menu. I know there are western foods in Japan but well, I don't want to keep having to buy stuff and even then my son would probably only eat a ham and cheese pizza or peanut butter sandwich and, say, apples, pear and canteloupe and tasty cheese. We're starting to get him to try more things now, telling him this is the deal if he wants to go to Japan (because sometimes he is being stubborn then tries a food and likes it), but it's really slow going as he genuinely feels ill at the sight or smell of some foods.

So we're thinking we'll have to splurge a bit and rent one of those holiday apartments (from holiday rental websites) that have a kitchen where we can prepare our own stuff. I think having our own kitchen is pretty much a necessity and now it looks as if I may have to be gluten free.

Just got told that there are no food restrictions going in, my friend is heading to Japan in three days and is loading up on food for the flight and her stay. Yay!


Some questions for those of you who have been to Tokyo:

* have you stayed in a holiday rental with kitchen and if so what are your recommendations?

* chances are I'll have to take in a tub of peanut butter and buy bread. What's the bread situation like? Ideally we'd prefer a gluten free option but if not, wholemeal/wholegrain that isn't sweetened for 'western tastes' (so I've been told)

* what are the best times to go that aren't heavy with tourists?

* What are the best places to take kids? Gaming related would be good, same with big nature walks. Yep I can google of course but I love personal recs too :)

* what do you suggest I do in terms of shopping etc if we end up with our own kitchen?


I'm so exciteddddd! now I have to see if we have the money to go...


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 Post subject: Re: Tokyo & Manila
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:01 am 
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Yay! We're going to Japan in 2014 and I've already got it pretty much planned down to the itinerary.

I was going to suggest T's Tan Tan, as pistachiorose did. Here's a blog entry about it that I found:
http://vegouttokyo.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/ts-tan-tan-vegan-ramen-in-tokyo-station.html

We're hoping to stay in a rental apartment for our time in Tokyo, most of them appear to have a kitchen with a fridge-freezer, rice cooker, microwave/electric grill oven and small hob. I don't think that they're a splurge, we're looking at around £1000.00 for two weeks. Check out the listings on http://www.tripadvisor.com and see what fits your budget.


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