Arashiyama-kan Tofu & Vegetable

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 14 reviews )
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0758610159
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41−2 Nishikyo-ku Arashiyama Nakaoshitacho, Kyoto, Japan, 616-0004

Small vegetarian cafe in Arashiyama run by elderly couple. Specialty is veggie version of traditional Japanese bento lunch. English menu available but not spoken. Open Mon-Sun 10:00am-5:00pm.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Ovo, Japanese

Reviews (14)

First Review by Mattstoia

A Peaceful Meal - Edit

The host was super friendly and knowledgable. He explained to us the principles behind Shojin Ryori - Buddhist Cuisine. We tried the tofu & leek donburi (¥950) and Shojin Ryori Bento Set (¥2000). The donburi was simple yet heart-warming. The bento set blew my mind. Every item was made with pesticide free ingredients grown locally on the purest land & water of Kyoto. Each item was cooked meticulously to bring out its flavor without using additive. I've never felt so at peace after a meal. This is the kind of food you need to eat in order to reach enlightenment.

The only problem I had was the opening hours. On their website said they are from 9am - 5pm. But it opened at 10am. I passed by the place at 6pm and was able to get seated.

Pros: English Menu, Friendly Host, Delicious Food

Cons: Confusing opening hours

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Friendly traditional spot - Edit

Super friendly mom and pop small shop. Not sure why the description says "vegetarian". I did not see anything with milk or cheese. The man made it clear what we were eating was only made with plants. The gentlemen didn't speak good English but tired very hard and used a translator. He brought us and taught us about the temple next door. Traditional Japanese food. Very unique experience, so happy we went!

Updated from previous review on 2017-06-15

Pros: Traditional Japanese , Friendly staff

Cons: Off the main drag

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Friendly owner, great food! - Edit

This place is an experience. The owner here loves to chat, so it's a great place to practice Japanese! He even took us on a quick tour of the temple just above the restaurant.

Food is authentic home-style Japanese. He will tell you to eat the tofu last due to the quality of the soy sauce!

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Great vegan experience - Edit

We were lucky to find this small restaurant owned by a very friendly Japanese. He recommended that we try the bento box, which consisted of a dozen small dishes that he kindly explained to us using Google translate on his IPad :) Everything was vegan, yummy and very healthy ! Price is more than reasonable given the quantity and quality (2000 yen pro bento box).

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great vegan bento! - Edit

The owner is awesome, he took us on a tour of a temple while our food was being prepared. The husband and wife make everything from scratch. They even made the manju from local red beans and rice! The guy used an iPad to try and translate for us.

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try to find something to eat in arashiyama? this is the one - Edit

my visit to this restaurant has been a great experience, while i was waiting for my meal to be sever, the owner 村上san offered me a quick tour to the nearby temple 法輪寺, which was amazing, and the lunch set are just as good as those over priced one, it was 1500 yen, and it's surprisingly good, would definitely visit again if i go to kyoto.

Pros: reasonable price, owner very friendly

Cons: non

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Great food, lovely people - Edit

One of the highlights of our trip to Japan in August 2016. Run by an elderly couple who serve great vegan food.

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Very Good but AUTHENTIC - Edit

I capitalized the word "authentic" in the title to warn you of exactly that - the food you will get from this restaurant will be good but will be very very Japanese. Some Westerners may find it to be too exotic for their tastes.

My girlfriend and I visited because we were in Arashiyama and tried eating at the Tenryu-ji temple, but it was booked full for the day. Despondent, we looked around on Happy Cow for an alternative and found this. Just over the bridge, it is in a refreshingly quiet part of the city. The sitting area is small like most restaurants in Japan, with various Japanese paintings and artifacts decorating the walls. The elderly couple who run the place, as otherwise mentioned, are kind but do not speak English. They were very helpful with the menu, mainly pointing to the "lunch special" and suggesting we get that. This is the veggie bento that is referred to in the Happy Cow listing description. It comes with most or all of the things you see in the pictures listed here. The food is well prepared and arrives quickly, but as I said in the title be warned it is exceptional authentic! I only knew what about 2/3s of the dishes were, and many of the flavors were unfamiliar or offensive to the tongue. There were several types of tofu, including fried, dipped in horseradish sauce, and one which was cold and crumbly. We had a vew slices of veggies, some fermented soy crumbles, a star shaped serving of sticky rice, sea weed salad, and a whole bunch of other stuff I couldn't identify. One was a gelatinous blob which had no flavor and a rather unsatisfying texture. To wash it all down we were served a warm concoction which another patron told us was a seaweed tea.

Overall I'm glad we went, if you are looking for authentic and reasonably costed vegan Japanese then this is the place for you. That being said to my Western taste buds it wasn't very satisfying, and indeed repulsive at times, and the portions were too meager to fill my stomach. We ended up get hungry again only a few hours later. Despite all of that I will give this restaurant four stars for its speed, cost, presentation, kindness, and willingness to put up with foreigners puzzling over their food :).

Pros: Cost, Authentic, All Vegan

Cons: Authentic, Small Portions, Japanese only menu

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Most amazing vegan Japanese meal! - Edit

My husband, 5 year old daughter and I travelled to Arashiyama to see the bamboo garden. Since we are strict vegetarians, we were looking for lunch and came upon this place through Happy Cow. I can vouch that my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the food. It was VERY reasonable, super high quality and we got a real sampling of a beautiful, colorful, nutritious, well balanced and most importantly super tasty vegan Japanese meal. Easily the best we had in our 15 day trip in Japan! The place is 10 minute walk from the station. Go here and you wont be disappointed!

Pros: Excellent Vegan food, Good Value

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Very excellent vegan/vegetarian food! - Edit

Arashiyama-kan was well worth the stop, and was one of our highlights in Arashiyama. The couple who own the restaurant are very friendly. I can speak some Japanese so was able to have a long conversation with the gentleman owner, he is extremely knowledgable about local sites and loves teaching about amazing Japanese historical facts and famous places, I learned a lot from him. The food is really delicious (some of the best I've tried from all over Japan!), we had the vegan bento box which was obviously made with love. The gentleman told me they use local organic ingredients and it was evident that the quality is really high. We had amazake and sweet matcha after our food and both were delicious. We bought some of the owner lady's handmade things (made out of paper or recycled kimonos) to take home as lovely souvenirs. Going to this restaurant was a fantastic experience all around, we'd recommend it to anyone!

Pros: very friendly owners, delicious, fresh & local food at a decent price, great opportunity to buy one of a kind gifts

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Wonderful bento, delicious vegan lunch - Edit

Definitely the place to eat in Arashiyama! We had a tasty and generous vegan bento, and a fun time with our hosts, chatting in Japanese & English (there is an English menu) . While the lunch prep was underway, the proprietor showed us the temple entrance nearby. Handmade items of recycled kimono fabric , are sold too: wallets, bags, key holders . To my surprise , the gracious & friendly chef made them too. Dishes included cold tofu , pickles , veg tempura, okara burger, spinach, Koya tofu, rice, natto & more. Interesting desserts, macha tea and other drinks and main dishes are on the menu --maybe for dinner?

Location: on same street as Horin-Ji temple. From tram or train station, walk across the Togetsu-Kyo bridge , past a sweet shop at the foot of the bridge & the Arashi Guest House. The restaurant is on the ground floor of a brick building , with "Vegetable cooking" sign in the window.
Lunch was 2000 yen--worth it for the home-cooked, pure vegan goodness. It's a short walk from the main tourist area, and much quieter .

Updated from previous review on 2016-10-21

Pros: Great vegan meal, Tranquil setting, away from tourist crowds, Friendly hosts

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very nice food and amazing host - Edit

I had a vegan bento. was very nice. while we were waiting for the food the host took us to a close by temple with a nice view. amazing experience!!

Cons: None

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a wonderful experience! - Edit

a small lovely place nearby arashiyama bridge. the owner treated us like we're his friends and not just guests. while his wife was preparing the most amazing bento boxes for us he took us on a walk to the nearby temple, even though he speaks hardly any English he was a great guide and we had so much fun! the food is all local and tofu prepared by his wife was probably the best we ever had. this place is definitely a must go if you're in the area!

Pros: exceptionally friendly staff, excellent food for a reasonable price

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Delicious, simple veg near Arashiyama - Edit

Stumbled across this small restaurant on an afternoon trip to Arashiyama. Actually I'd just pulled out my phone to search happycow, looked up, and happened to see this place! Glad I did - the food here was delicious, light and felt authentically Japanese. The real draw for me though was the couple who ran the restaurant. They didn't speak English but they were all smiles and even taught me some japanese :) The husband was watching me like the whole time to make sure I was enjoying the food, but he was so nice it was charming instead of awkward haha

Perfect lunch for a day of sightseeing. Try the bento box!

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