Japan Diary: Kobe

We woke up at 7am (again, another early start) to visit Kobe which the guys wanted to visit as its known for its beef. I wasn't too keen to go there but before heading to the beef district we visited the Herb Gardens. We got a little lost on our way to find the Herb Gardens but once we got there we took the cable cart up. 

Unfortunately we didn't have enough time (I guess we got more than a little lost) to venture down the mountain like we'd planned as Luan had made a booking to go to Royal Mouriya which is a place specialising in Kobe beef.

To our surprise this place was pretty dang fancy and I was so surprised that they catered for vegans too! The chef made this amazing garlic fried rice which he prepared in front of us and it smelt so fragrant. I also ordered a salad which was pretty nice considering I'm not usually a leafy person.

I was even more surprised when I found this vegan bakery which specialised in waffles closeby. The name of the bakery was Kanauta. I got the chocolate and matcha one and it was a yum! The texture is different from a typical waffle, it tasted spongy and light with the texture similar to a muffin but fluffier. 

Afterwards my friends felt pretty peckish and wanted to consume more Kobe beef skewers so we walked around to find some. It was a bit of an awkward time to have a snack as it wasn't lunch time because it was too late, but also too early for dinner. So most places weren't open. We finally tracked down this beef skewer place (thanks to Google for the lil tip) but once we got there it was closed!! We did a bit more walking a found a place opposite China town. I was pretty full and didn't feel like eating anything (and they probably didn't have any vegan food besides rice) so I didn't order anything. The rest of the guys ordered meals. The waiter started bringing out the dishes which was part of the set. He started bringing out soup and even gave me a serving. My friends and I thought it was oddly nice that they brought it out. Then suddenly they brought out individual bowls of salad. I was starting to feel pretty suspicious and felt that this was oddly too kind... especially for free..? Then the waiter came back and with a plate of meat and plonked it on the table and I was so shocked!! It turns out Luan had double ordered two :O (Don't worry I didn't eat it).

On our way home we dropped by the supermarket and got some snacks and decided to call it an early night because we were planning to visit USJ the next day.

If you want to read more about this trip or this day in particular, visit Luan's blog here.

Japan Diary: Nara Deer Park

One of the highlights from this trip was visiting Nara Deer Park. I was so excited to go and it was my first time going there. I would highly recommend getting a one day pass for visiting Nara and getting around to the deer park and to the temples. It was definitely worth it (500 yen!!!) as you could catch public transport as much as you want. Our first stop was at Kofukuji temple.

Our second stop was Yoshikien Garden which was a short walk from Kofukuji Temple. 

We made our way towards the deer park afterwards and there were so many deers! I was so obsessed and kept taking lots of photos so be prepared for the spam below :')

It was pretty difficult finding vegan meals in regular Japanese restaurants  - but theres always rice and salad! This was the standard:

We went back to Osaka and went on the ferris wheel at Osaka Aquarium.

Our plan afterwards was to go to this cafe close by called Kuma cafe as its apparently owned by an Aussie and they had really good reviews for food, but when we arrived they told us they were closing. So we headed back to Dotonbori to find a place to dine. There were only a couple of places that had vegan options (as stated on Happy Cow). We went to El Pancho which was a Mexican restaurant.  We were all so hungry as we only had 1 meal quite early during the day too.

It ended up being a long day, but one of my favourites!

Japan Diary: Osaka

December 18th 2017 - Day 5 in Japan

When we arrived in Osaka from Kyoto, we were greeted by slightly warmer temperatures and it felt less cold. 

Our plan today was to visit Osaka castle which was walking distance from the train station. Who would've thought there'd be a castle in the middle of the city?

There were also little food stalls but unfortunately there was no vegan food :(
But luckily I packed a salad!

We headed to Dotonburi. Dotonburi is packed with street food like takoyaki which actually originated from this city.

There wasn't much vegan food in Osaka that I could find, but I used the Happy Cow app on my phone which displays all restaurants that have vegan options. As a group we decided to split up and Luan and I went to find food I could have, then we found a place for him to eat at as he didn't feel like vegan food. We visited Cafe Atl and we got a potato tart, a risotto and a green tea banana cake which was so delicious. Afterwards Luan had food at an okonomiyaki place and he said it was quite nice.