An average night for a vegan in Japan, two tofu restaurants apologetically turn us away with the comment – “Sorry, everything has fish stock in it.” I am sure I am more sorry than you are. I thought to myself. It’s bitingly cold, only getting colder. I angrily begin to blame her for saying that she knew some vegan-friendly restaurants. “If it’s not definitively vegetarian, then there is no chance of it being vegan-friendly. Why haven’t you figured that out yet?” I jab sharply. I am starving and cold. This creature problems are getting the best of me. Though honestly I think that every time this happens a considerable portion is also aimed at the society that is so against crealty-free, healthier food and living. So ignorantly throwing away its own future health and environment for just a little “delicious” food.
“F#ck it” We are going to that place I told you about.
I trudged off angrily in the direction of the restaurant I researched before we left. Its on the other side of the city – about a 20 minute walk. My stomach growls as if imitating my mood.
Finally, as if by a miracle, we arrive without getting lost. It’s after 8 pm. We haven’t eaten since 2:00 – a measly store-bought salad, bland inari sushi, and tofu constituted our shared “meal”. Kinatei – “happy vegetable stop”.
The restaurant sign says Kinatei “For Vegetarians”. The owner Kyoko welcomes us in. The place is surprisingly empty for a such a big day it was Wakakusayama-yaki festival day. Thousands of people had descended upon the city that day. “Dinner is a course-only menu. We have 2500-5000 yen courses.” She explained
“The 2500 is fine.” I replied.
“I was not going to open today. But it was too cold so he (pointing to the only other customer) and I found it too cold out at the festival. So we came back and starting eating out bentos here. I was not going to open at all today. If i don’t get a reservation, I am not opening up. I was going to close soon too. We just back. God must have been with you.”
I think he always is.
I am seriously God must have been with you. We would not have opened if we had not come back.
“Hallejah!” (in English)
She laughs, “People actually say that.”
Good conversation and a fantastic, vegan kaiseki (traditional Japanese multiple mini-dish course meal). I turned to my dearest. I am so sorry for being so angry with you. Thank God we found this place.
Thank you Happycow.com! Thank you God!
Thank you Kinatei (Kyoko-san)
P.S. Kinatei review to come. Find the link here.