Many of you who live in Japan may have come across the Ohsawa Japan brand at some point. They are the creators of the “Macrobiotic Diet” and almost all of their food is vegan. Many of their products can be found in Natural Food Stores throughout Tokyo. But today, I would like to introduce their main store which is located in Ikejiri, Tokyo.
Not only are many of the products at the shop vegan, but many of them are very clearly labeled as such. This makes it easy for the consumer to know what it is without having to scour through the ingredients list looking for potential surprises. Ohsawa Japan also really focuses on organic, natural foods so you don’t have to worry too much about what’s in everything!
They even have clearly-labeled vegan natto, something which I have never seen anywhere else.
They have a variety of flavors of vegan instant ramen noodles.
And many other vegan instant foods such as curry, hayashi rice, mapo tofu, etc.
They have a wide range of chocolate, many (but not all) of which are vegan (the vegan ones are labeled “vegan”).
I even found vegan (and gluten free!) “tofu jerky”! I was really excited to find it because I used to love jerky and I haven’t been able to eat it since I went vegan. As for the taste, I thought it was wonderful! I will definitely be buying it again.
If you go early enough, they have vegan bentos for sale! I haven’t tried them yet but they looked quite healthy and delicious!
The bento changes according to the days of the week, with Monday and Wednesday being provided by Keitan55 and Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday being provided by Organic Kitchen (Upon looking at their site, it seems like Organic Kitchen bentos are not always vegan, although they may be for this shop. In any case, I assume it would be pretty easy to tell, since they label everything really clearly at Ohsawa.)
In the back of the store, there is a hall which leads to an elevator. On the second floor, there is a cooking school which is connected to Ohsawa Japan. This cooking school teaches Macrobiotic cooking, which lines up really well with vegan cooking (macrobiotic foods are almost always vegan).
They have regular courses which you can sign up for which are several weeks or months long. They also have trial lessons and one-day classes for specific types of cooking like “osechi-ryouri” (Japanese traditional New Year’s food) and soba.
I attended a trial lesson a few weeks back. There were only 4 students and they took many preventative measures to reduce the chance of COVID-19 spread. All members wore masks, washed hands as soon as coming in, and got our temperatures checked. There was also plexiglass between us at the table where we sat.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get around to taking any pictures. But I had a really great time! I probably would have signed up for regular lessons but immediately after that the “third wave” came and I decided it wasn’t the best time for me even with all the preventative measures in place.
However, they do have online lessons, which I am contemplating! I am also still considering taking in-person lessons once the pandemic calms down a bit.
I should also mention that right next to the Ohsawa Japan shop, there is a vegan restaurant called “Beyond Veg”.
The food is usually served in an all-you-can-eat buffet style (although at the moment I believe they have stopped offering the buffet and have adjusted to single-servings due to the third wave of the pandemic) at a price of 2000 yen per person (I’m not sure if the price is the same for single-plates or not).
The food served is different every day, but they usually have some similar options like curry, carrot salad, something fried, something boiled, etc.
They also have really amazing cakes! On this day they had chocolate and I think blueberry.
You can also do take-out for 1500 yen. Although it is a big pricy, you get a LOT of food and the quality is really high. In addition to the bento box pictured below, I also got a cup that I could fill with curry. I brought it home and ate it together with my husband. They had brown rice too, but since we had rice at home I decided to fill my bento with side-dishes and dessert.
When there is a buffet going on, you can actually serve yourself for the take-out bento as well. Now, I suppose, they probably fill the bento for you (due to COVID-19).
The staff at this restaurant are really super friendly too! I highly recommend stopping by this restaurant after shopping at Ohsawa Japan!
One more thing I would like to recommend is to follow Ohsawa Japan on Instagram! Their main account is @ohsawa_japan_group and they also have an account that is mainly recipes @ohsawa_japan_recipe . The restaurant also has an account @Beyond_Veg . I follow all of these accounts to learn about new products and recipes! Recently, I tried my hand at this one:
The result: Success!! 🙂