Is Japanese Vegan Food Actually Good?

Is Japanese Vegan Food Actually Good?


So after five years and a hundred
videos we’re finally gonna feature some food in a video that doesn’t contain
meat in it. I know there are many vegans and vegetarians that watch this channel and it’s a miracle that you watch at all given how nearly every video features
either Wagyu beef pork or fried chicken but today we’re visiting the ancient
northern capital of Hiraizumi, a town which once even rivaled Kyoto in size
and scale and on our trip we plan to do some meditation, explore one of Japan’s
most picturesque temples, and of course eat some vegan dishes. I say way because
my good friend Ryotaro is going to be coming along as well and who knows
amidst the meditation and the vegan cuisine I might come back a better
person. Yeah it’s pretty unlikely. So we’re at a UNESCO world heritage site;
Motsu-ji temple. It’s been here since 850AD So it’s most almost like 1200
years. 1200 years. Older than Ryotaro even. Just two years older than I. And we’re
gonna do something called zazen which is a Buddhist practice; the best way to
summarise up is it’s that thing where they hit you with a stick while you meditate. That is too
much of summarising mate. It’s a bit of a simplification, but what’s the actual purpose of this Zazen kind of Buddhist practice. So it’s almost like a
meditation but this is this is to stimulate your five senses. Stimulate your five senses? And enable you to concentrate even more than you can. So by the end of this I’ll be like in touch with myself. In touch with yourself; yeah that sounds very romantic. But it’s not. Alright well let’s go and stimulate our
five senses. Zazen literally means seated meditation
with the posture requiring the practitioner to sit with folded legs and
arms on a small cushion. For one hour we sat in silence with the impending presence of the stick. The awakening stick is used to gently slap the meditator to reset their concentration or to reinvigorate those who are
struggling to meditate under tiredness or stress. It’s not a form of punishment,
you actually ask for it by bowing and putting your palms together and
unsurprisingly it was difficult for me to hide my delight at Ryotaro
getting whacked. It’s more difficult than you think to
concentrate especially when you are incredibly aware of your feet being
frozen solid by the cold temperatures The stick didn’t hurt thankfully; you
kind of find yourself lost in the smell of the incense, the cool crisp morning
air, the sound of the bell being rung, You feel you’re in a heightened state of
awareness with your senses and it’s quite nice it’s a nice way of starting
the day I guess, but given its the morning It’s still 9 o’clock I was trying a
little bit to not fall asleep it’s easily done what you’re doing that. Before heading for lunch I asked our guide about the kind of benefits you’d
get from doing zazen regularly. If you could summarize the experience in three words, what would those words be? Refreshing, concentrating, crispy whacked. What? Oh Chris being whacked I though you said crispy whacked. Like some sort of new biscuit snack. Crispy whacked. See you can think up new products for biscuits when you meditate. Having meditated for an hour and being
whacked with a stick we went for an early lunch at a nearby restaurant serving
vegan cuisine inspired by Zen Buddhism So today is the day I finally give
something back to vegan viewers recently we’ve been having a lot of meat in the
videos in fact I think it’s always just been meat in the videos; this is the
first time we’ve actually had some sort of vegan dish. First time in how many years? In 5 years! It’s called Shojin Ryouri; Shojin literally means Buddhist cuisine and ryouri means cooking. And it’s an array of wonderful
multicolored dishes, each and every one is Vegan. Actually at first glance it
doesn’t look like a vegan dish, when look at everything you think these
mushrooms must contain some sort of chicken or pork in This tempure must have some shrimp or fish in. It’s all Vegan; 100% Vegan. So this is sesame tofu with wasabi on the top. This is vegetable tempura It’s a Koya tofu deep fried and they put some hot ginger sauce on the top with the mushrooms. It’s a sashimi konyaku potato and they actually slice it so that it looks like a sashimi. It’s soba buckwheat noodles on the side and there’s seaweed on top. It’s actually sticky rice wrapped with seaweed. Tempura is an absolute miracle you take a nice freshly picked vegetable and then
dip it in batter and it just makes it so much better; you
know tempura was actually the first Japanese food I ever had back when I was about nine and that was what I decided Japanese food must be good, it’ll start
there. To be fair one of the reasons we haven’t made a video on vegan or
vegetarian cuisine is it’s quite difficult to come by if you’re eating
out many people that who I know who live in Japan that are vegans cook at home and that’s the way they get around it. If you eat something like
soba noodles or udon noodles yes they are vegan but the dipping sauce broth
they come in usually often contains things like fish. Tempura is a good one though. Yeah but the dipping sauce actually contains fish
bones so what want you to be careful is that we have two kinds of broth when it comes to Japanese food normally it’s a tuna base broth
or Konbu based broth which is seaweed based broth which is okay for vegans to eat. So if you ask the restaurant for eating soba or udon, ask them to bring the konbu which is the seaweed broth and with that you can get by. Ok, that’s quite a useful point there. A good friend of mine who is a
vegan his name’s Regan, when he lived in Japan
he used to just eat nuts from the supermarket; nuts and bananas, but I think he was just being a bit austere. There are ways around it, so if you do your research you don’t have to let it get in a way of your trip. So we’re about to journey out into the countryside to see one of the most most picturesque temples in all of
Tohoku and we’re going to get there by an ancient method of transportation; the
same kind of transportation they would have used about a thousand years ago. I am of course talking about go-karts. So we’re gonna drive to this really famous photogenic temple with this go-cart and it’s 50CC
and it can go up to speeds of 70 km/h and how much is that in the miles? Not a clue mate. I’ve seen a few cars driving down the
road with rather surprised and shocked looking drivers seeing a go-kart with a
chubby foreigner just driving it down the road. It’s a bit weird I think; quite a rare sight. So here we are at the Takkoku no Iwaya temple There’s a temple in a cave Yeah that’s a pretty dramatic looking spot It’s got a bit of a sinister story to it There used to be the Ainu people the native Japanese people living
here in a cave before this temple was built but the new Japanese people came and tried to get rid of them. So you got rid of the
natives, forced them out Yeah forced them out So they actually took the cave
and then they actually built the temple to cover the cave. Bloody hell yes. That is quite sinister. Steal their cave and put a temple in front of it. So they could not get in. Within the temple there are 33 statues
of the God of War Bishamonten However, they’re only put on public display every
33 years and given that the last time was 2010 you’ll have to wait until 2043
when you can revisit the temple in your flying car. While you’re waiting 33
years there you can still grab yourself some good fortune. So now I bought a good
luck charm and this good luck charm is said to be the strongest in the whole
Japan Why is that? I’m not sure; it’s just said to be the strongest and people say that it can make you rich make your butler go away Make your what go away? Your bad luck I thought you said make your butler go away. That’s not good luck. I hate it when my butler goes away. And it also makes Chris go away. it says that the you should hang this on
to your house entrance does it say anything particular well here I can’t really read it You can’t read it? It’s the best 1000 yen you ever spent. Yeah it might work you know it may
just take Chris away from my sight And it did! And it did! Despite getting slapped in
the face with numerous flies while driving I do quite want a go-kart now as
fast as a scooter but with the comfort of a real chair; the perfect way to
explore the countryside. Hiraizumi is about a two-hour ride north from Tokyo
by bullet train or 30 minutes from Sendai and if you’re interested in
visiting any of the places we visited on our trip you can find the details in the
description box below but for now guys as always many thanks
for watching we’ll see you next time. I want one. I don’t know how much it costs. I don’t know how much they costed or where to buy them, but I want a go cart
for Christmas. So if father Christmas is watching, you know what to do.

100 thoughts on “Is Japanese Vegan Food Actually Good?”

  1. I'm surprised nobody has made a series yet driving from Hokkaido to Kyushu on a Go Kart. Perhaps I can be the first and then write a book about it.

  2. Japanese Buddhist food is more vegetarian than vegan as they mainly prohibit eating meat, and doesn't go into the strict prohibition of all consumables that may have been produced with the help of animals products that many vegans prohibits. And some sects sometimes prohibit strong odor plants (eg. garlic), and sometimes may or may not prohibit dairy, etc. And that is just the stricter sects too, as other Buddhist sects allow eating chicken and fish, and some Buddhist branches allow meat in general.

  3. NOTE: There is no such thing as vegan food , its just called normal food , thank you chris for this video we sane people enjoy watching you taste good health , hope you can see the up side to why we get so angry

  4. I just couldn't take Chris seriously when he was trying not to smile when the other guy was being spanked. Slapped. Sorry.

  5. This was so nice. I am vegan and when I went to korea I actually got to try buddhist cuisine. It is good to mention that buddhist cuisine many times does not contain things like garlic and strong seasonings as this aligns with the belief system. It is a rather crisp, clean, wholesome flavor. very different from things like street food and things you usually see out and about.

  6. If and or when I move to Japan I'm going to go to Iwate. I'm a city boy by heart, but Iwate is the home of my hometown's Sister City: Hanamaki

  7. Your vegan friend's name is Regan… Vegan… Regan.. Regan the vegan… He was never going to like meat, really.

  8. Meditation, vegan food and a freaking go kart! This would be heaven for me! Last thing would be an awesome drive through the maintains on an 86😂

  9. That food looks so good! Thank you for showing some veggie power without being an absolute tool about it. Vegans are like teens being celibate, they shouldn't be shamed for their choices, but they are and it's really petty. We're sorry that not eating meat is such a burden, but I still don't see how our diet effects omnivores :/

  10. Thanks so much for making this! And great tip on the kombu broth. Would love a video sometime on how you could manage in the cities, avoiding seafood / getting vegetarian food.

  11. Yaaaay! Went vegan and love the diet but going for a honeymoon in Japan in September. SUPER excited but nervous. I have to avoid dairy and red meat the most. How hard is that to do?
    Thanks!

  12. That all looks amazing 😍 I'm vegan so どうもありがとうございます (I hope Google translate didn't mess that up 😅)

  13. I ate Vegan food in Vietnam at a temple and it was all extremely good. I wish I asked how it was made tho. Alot of Rice paper/noodle stuff

  14. Would love to go to Japan but problem is i hate all fish type food and love pizza and cheese based foods which tends to be something Japan doesn't cater to much, how the Japanese get by without pizza is beyond me.

  15. I have to steer clear of seafood because I'm allergic so this video was extremely helpful when I visited Tokyo! I had no idea there was still parts of fish even in things like the broth of noodles. So this helped me out greatly <3

  16. Pretty sure 'good Vegan food' is pretty much a contradiction in terms unless you happen to want things that happen to be Vegan. Vegetarian can be hard enough, but the whole Vegan 'ideology' isn't usually good nutrition. (And of course they get ideological about it, which is obnoxious projection cause they aren't as well balanced as they want to believe.)

    A friend who used to periodically want to be Vegan was always reciting memes like, "On average, herbivorous animals live 25 percent longer," I'm like, "They also spend eighty five percent of their waking hours chewing. Also, every time you go veggie I gotta fix up another used car cause you end up in a ditch every time you do this. After being bewildered and clumsy a few months and trying to believe it's good for you when you're obviously mentally-impaired enough to think it's ecologically-sound to drive sixty miles for something officially 'Vegan.'"

    You know, pick your battles. Be actually mindful of what you do, don't just pick a label like it's a religion and compromise everything else and crash your damn car cause you can't think straight. Never mind blame someone else for not participating in malnourishing your brain. I'm not exactly the poster child for the ideal diet, but if you eat less, you're probably better off than binge-and-purge schemes we get in the West.

    There's a tendency in the West to mistake 'deprivation' or 'pain' for 'virtue,' (it's kind of ingrained, even) but it's just not really paying attention. "Oh, great, you burned ten gallons of gas and scrapped a Camry , and a Subaru, and a Corolla, and to save the world half a cow fart cause somehow doing the math, or keeping your brain in a state where you can do the math got lost somewhere. Then they're like, 'If everyone stopped eating meat, it'd be great!"

    And, no, that's not quite what species we are.

    I mean, some people can be vegetarian or Vegan pretty OK, and function: a lot of people in the world can't. It's like being gay or straight or right or left-handed. You can't just decide to make your brain and nervous system and such function those ways: you can or you can't. And probably shoudn't. I mean, our host here is left-handed, why should he go out of his way to suck at being right handed?* Starving his brain of nutrients wouldn't help that even if it were worthwhile. I've had other friends who tried to go Vegan and ended up kind of constantly hungry for certain energy drinks. I didn't have the heart to tell them it was cause they were made with animal products and they wouldn't get any smarter in their current state if I pointed this out.

  17. I'm watching this for the second time now. Chris could you try out some of the vegan restaurants in japan or try out airkitchen.jp?

  18. I'M DYING FOR THAT FOOD!!!!!! (Came here for vegan Japanese food. I am so satisfied 😋😋😋 but now I'm even more hungry 😔)

  19. Veganism is only healthy when supported with a religious foundation.

    Far too many "vegans' don't take it 100% serious, and do more harm to their bodies, than good.

  20. Does the restaurant you go to have a special formula for the batter they use on the tempura? Tempura batter is usually made with a lot of egg/egg-yolk, which means that it is not vegan friendly

  21. 日本に来たらスーパーマーケットに行くのがおススメだよ!野菜の天ぷらにご飯も売ってるからね!

  22. Catching up on your older videos. Thought I'd drop a comment just in case you're still paying attention to it. FYI – there are 5 vegan restaurants in Sendai: Mashriq, Nofu Cafe Morino Ashibina, Oak Cafe, Organ, T's Tan Tan

  23. I found a few vegan and vegetarian places in Osaka and Tokyo. Just use the Happy Cow app and you'll have a few more options 🍲

  24. Im vegetarian and I appreciate the thought, but sometimes I like to look at the things I cant have. So all of your meat videos are nice.

  25. Guys what's the song that pops up around 7:46? I REALLY need to know, it's been bothering me to no end and I can't find it anywhere else

  26. Vegetarian here.
    I quite literally mainly watch your videos to either:
    A. Learn a little Japanese, and a little bit about Japan
    B. Get an idea what it's like before I decide to take a vacation there.

  27. In modern day it is bad to roll your neck like that because it will weaken and round the edges of the vertebrae in your neck. Get in a car wreck and find that what should've been a severe case of whiplash will kill you by dislocating your head from your vertebrae.

  28. wow, so Buddhist is as hypocritical as Christianity: steal alnd/caves in the name of god, sell souvenirs in the church/temple, the god of war/Conservative's love of war….yep.

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