Eating Vegetarian in Japan
Eating vegetarian is pretty simple in Japan. They like their meat here but soy is a staple in the cuisine as well. Our night at the Ekoin Temple and Monastery included dinner as well as breakfast- all vegetarian.
Dinner was served in the a big room in traditional Japanese style. We ate on the floor with chopsticks. It was really fun!
Dinner included miso soup, soba noodle soup, green tea, rice, pickled ginger and unknown pickled substance, seaweed salad, sesame tofu, and unknown salad, eggplant tempura, unknown root vegetables, and pineapple.
I loved everything except the seaweed salad (really bitter! but I really like it back in the US- strange) and the taro root.
My group is not as cool as me and a few complained throughout the meal. I was a little annoyed but my delicious soup and eggplant tempura brightened my mood!
Breakfast the next morning was very similar. There is some oddly meaty tasting tofu in the upper left corner, green tea, rice, seaweed paper, seaweed salad (much better this time!), soup with tofu, and a pickled plum.
Everything was delicious except for the God-awful pickled plum. So very terrible.
The seaweed paper was fun in that you mashed it on top of the rice and then rolled it to make your own sushi hand roll. Mine did not work out so well but it tasted good with some of the meaty-tasting tofu in it.
While I’m not a vegetarian, I can eat that way occasionally. The Ekoin Temple and Monastery was a great experience and I’m glad I was able to visit Koyasan. I would highly recommend one night here on a Japan trip!