I will be setting sail (via airplane) to Japan for the first time next week. Am fully expecting to go nuts in any number of mechanical food vending facilities and department store food halls, but would love some site-specific insider Information. I will be splitting my time between Tokyo and Kyoto (with a little bit of Monkey-Park thrown in for good measure). In Tokyo, I have intentions upon Tsukiji for an early morning tryst, but beyond that my slate is clean. I am looking for the most amazing food related shopping centers in town, the finest tofu purveyors, fresh soy milk huts, and with the blessing of Nordon, god of good, perhaps even a straggling roast chestnut vendor who got lost on the way home from chestnut season.
Now comes the hard part. The part where I look into your eyes and tell you that I am a vegan and ask you not to turn away but to hold my hand. I love food, but will not compromise my chastity for the sake of Dashi or her cruel master, Bonito. I am prepared to make do with creative shopping at markets for my sustenance, but would love a few vegan friendly tips on restaurants or markets. The "Internet" has been bountiful in Kyoto restaurant options, but Tokyo seems to be a vortex. Please help me put some meat on my bones without eating either.
Just as a final point of clarification, The tips for amazing markets need not be confined to vegetarian-centric places. I am equally fascinated by the local food culture and consider exploring it an integral part of my trip. Don't pull any punches, I can take it.
Thank you in advance for your suggestions. I will report back in obscene detail upon return to Hollywood, CA, where dreams are forged daily.
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