We’ve created a handy Japanese language guide for vegan travelers in Japan or going to Japan. Including phonetics and Japanese script. A printable PDF is also included. See below for phrases that will come in handy when eating out, as well as help you reduce the waste you create.
While Japanese culture on the surface may look like it is based on orderly perfection, it also embraces the Wabi-Sabi philosophy. This concept is all about the art of finding beauty in imperfection.
When it comes to Japan’s cuisine, while it is based on rice, noodles, seaweed, seasonal vegetables it also relies heavily on seafood. Nevertheless, Japanese cooking involves all sorts of delicious vegan items. These conflicting qualities give Japanese food the distinction of being among the most plant-based of all cuisines, yet simultaneously one of the least vegan-friendly. In fact, it’s so difficult to reliably order a vegan meal at a typical Japanese restaurant that you probably shouldn’t even attempt without our handy guide. Most all dishes have a seasoning powder called dashi, which is usually made primarily of fish flakes and shows up everywhere in Japanese cooking. It’s added to soups, sushi rice, dipping sauces, dressings, and many other savory dishes.
Japanese menus are not very transparent and it’s not always apparent what is inside each dish. It is helpful to have a list of phrases you can refer to when speaking with the server so you can politely find out if a dish is vegan or not.
We love this handy Japanese language guide for vegan travelers over many other language PDFs out there for the following reasons:
- It’s been edited by native Japanese speakers, not Google!
- It includes some general phrases. This is important because if you are making requests in Japanese, it is really important to properly greet the person before making your requests.
- Phrases are included that are a little bit more involved than just saying you are vegan. You can explain what that really means and even thank the chef for accommodating you. These are all things that will endear the people to you and your requests. Politeness, and humility (more than you might use at home) is a highly valued trait so showing this to the people that you want to get something from will be so helpful.
- Our language guide also shares some commonly desired phrases to try to reduce the amount of waste you might inadvertently be given in Japan . Say no to that straw and that plastic bag!
- We have the written Japanese, but also the phonetics as well. If you are not being understood, then just show them the text!
- We also have a few phrases in case of an emergency which will hopefully get people’s attention straight away. We hope you won’t need them!
Feel free to just print out the webpage but we invite you to print out the PDF of this Japanese guide for vegan travelers, keep it in your purse and pull it out as and when you need it. If you can’t be understood with phonetics in Japanese, then you can just point to the desired phrase in the script section!
Japan Vegan Language Guide
To download the PDF version of these phrases, fill out the form above
|How are you?||Ogenkidesuka?||お元気ですか？|
|That was delicious!||Oishikattadesu!||おいしかったです！|
|I eat vegan||Watashi wa bīgandesu||私はビーガンです。|
|I am a vegan. I do not eat meat, fish, shellfish, poultry, eggs, milk, or milk products (butter, yogurt cheese)||Watashi wa bīgandesu. Niku,-gyo, kōkaku-rui, toriniku, tamago, gyūnyū, nyūseihin (batā, yōguruto, chīzu) o kuchi ni shimasen||私はビーガンです。肉、魚、甲殻類、鳥肉、卵、牛乳、乳製品（バター、ヨーグルト、チーズ）を口にしません。|
|Does this food contain meat, fish, shellfish, poultry, eggs, milk, or milk products?||Kono tabemono ni wa, niku,-gyo, kai, toriniku, tamago, gyūnyū matawa nyūseihin ga fukuma rete imasu ka?||この食べ物には、肉、魚、貝、鶏肉、卵、牛乳または乳製品が含まれていますか？|
|I can’t eat meat||Watashi wa niku ga tabe raremasen||私は肉が食べられません。|
|Please no broth made from meat or fish.||Niku ya sakana o tsukatta sūpu wa yamete kudasai||肉や魚を使ったスープはやめてください。|
|Fish flakes – bonito||Sakana-bushi katsuobushi||魚節・鰹節|
|Shrimp paste||Ebi no pēsuto||海老のペースト|
|No fish sauce||Nanpurā nashi||ナンプラーなし|
|I don’t want ___||Ga taberaremasen||が食べられません|
|Please tell me if I order something that is not vegan||Watashi ga bīgande wanai tabemono o chūmon shite itara oshietekudasai||私がビーガンではない食べ物を注文していたら教えてください。|
|Can you suggest anything from your menu that is vegan or you can make it vegan?||Menyū no naka de, bīgan no mono ya, shefu no kata ga bīgan ni henkō dekiru mono o menyū o oshiete moraemasu ka?||メニューの中で、ビーガンのものや、シェフの方がビーガンに変更できるものをメニューを教えてもらえますか？|
|I eat vegan||Watashi wa bīganfūdo o tabemasu||私はビーガンフードを食べます。|
|Can you check with the chef that this is vegan?||Kore ga bīgandearu koto o shefu no kata ni kakunin shite moraemasu ka?||これがビーガンであることをシェフの方に確認してもらえますか？|
|Can you make this dish vegan?||Kore o bīgan ni henkō shite moraemasu ka?||これをビーガンに変更してもらえますか？|
|Please fry in oil -not butter||Batāde wanaku abura de chōri shite moraemasu ka?||バターではなく油で調理してもらえますか？|
|Thank you for accommodating me at your restaurant. I really appreciate you and the kitchen staff looking after me.||Anata no resutoran de watashi o ukeirete kurete arigatōgozaimasu. Anata to chūbō sutaffu ni osewa ni natta koto, hontōni kansha shite imasu.||あなたのレストランで私を受け入れてくれてありがとうございます。あなたと厨房スタッフにお世話になったこと、本当に感謝しています。|
|Does this have any leather, silk, wool, or anything else from an animal?||Kore ni wa, kawa, shiruku, ūru nado no dōbutsu yurai no mono ga tsukawa rete imasu ka?||これには、革、シルク、ウールなどの動物由来のものが使われていますか？|
|No plastic bag, please.||Binīru-bukuro wa irimasen.||ビニール袋はいりません。|
|No straw, please.||Sutorō wa irimasen||ストローはいりません。|
|I really don’t want a straw||Hontōni sutorō ga iranai ndesu||本当にストローがいらないんです。|
|Please call an ambulance||Kyūkyūsha o yonde kudasai!||救急車を呼んでください！|
|I need someone that speaks English now. It’s an emergency||Dare ka eigo o hanasu hito wa imasu ka? Kinkyū jitaidesu!||誰か英語を話す人はいますか？緊急事態です！|
|Please send an ambulance with a doctor on board if possible||Dekireba ishi no notta kyūkyūsha o onegaishimasu||できれば医師の乗った救急車をお願いします|