VeganMoFo 2019: Itaden, Kawaguchiko

One of my favourite things about our trip to Japan was that we’d planned so much variety. This was perfectly encapsulated in one particular day, when we woke up in a traditional ryokan in a small mountain town, spent the afternoon at a wild theme park with views of Mount Fuji (allegedly – it was so cloudy we couldn’t see a thing!), and then spent the night by a beautiful lake.

We were undecided about how to approach Mount Fuji. We didn’t want to climb it, because that would involve packing a lot of extra gear. So we thought it would be fun to go to the Fuji-Q Highland theme park and view the mountain from afar – from the top of the ferris wheel, essentially. But of course when we got there the weather was abysmal and we couldn’t see a thing beyond the theme park itself. So rest assured, Fuji is out there in the background somewhere. We didn’t see it, but at least we had a fun afternoon at a theme park!

Dr HH loved the rollercoasters and general wildness. I’m just a bit less adventurous (or as I would put it, extremely safety conscious), so I was delighted to see these helpful signs telling us which rides were suitable for dogs. While I’m not sure how good an idea it is to take dogs on any rides, these provided excellent guidance on whether or not a ride was too wild for me.

So here I am looking happy and calm on the teacups, knowing that if a dog can handle it, so can I!

After a wild afternoon of rides, we made the short trip to Kawaguchiko, a little town sitting on one of the lakes surrounding Mount Fuji. Again, we’d expected quite a view, but the clouds scuppered us once more. We were not scuppered on the food front, at least! I was surprised to see that there were quite a few vegan options in town. We only had eyes for Itaden though, as it was a tempura restaurant! What could be better than a whole restaurant dedicated to tempura?!

The first page of the menu confidently states that vegan options are marked in the menu and egg-less batter can be requested either verbally or by pointing at this page in the menu – I was a big fan of that! It turned out that there was only one option that was marked as vegan, but it was a vegetable (yasai) assorted tempura set, so we had no complaints. You could pay a little extra to upgrade for unlimited rice and miso soup, so we went for that.

The batter was lovely and light, and the veg was tender (though Dr HH found the aubergine slice a bit disappointing). The cherry tomatoes and green beans were a bit unexciting, but the yam and pumpkin were beautiful, and the two mushrooms were sublime. This was an excellent meal!

While the food was great and we loved this little town, I was a little dismayed by the service. Not because it was bad, but because it was disconcertingly polite. The staff began every sentence with the word “Sorry”, which made me extremely anxious – especially when it turned out there was nothing to apologise for! It’s safe to say that I returned to Prague with a newfound appreciation for brusque Czech service!

Would you go on any rides that were deemed too scary for dogs? Have you ever been to a tempura restaurant?

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9 Responses to VeganMoFo 2019: Itaden, Kawaguchiko

  1. I would love a guide to which rides were appropriate for me and find it hilarious that I might find it with reference to which ones to bring dogs on! And a whole restaurant dedicated to tempura? Definitely sign me up!

  2. juliemokrzycki says:

    I’m pretty sure the only rides I like to go on would be the ones deemed safe for dogs, haha! The tempura looks great, and I would definitely go for the unlimited rice and miso soup, too!

    • Jenny says:

      I did actually go on the ferris wheel, which was not safe for dogs, and spent the whole time terrified! I was a fool to ignore the dog guidelines!

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  4. onesonicbite says:

    “Would you go on any rides that were deemed too scary for dogs?”
    XD yes. I find the dog-o-meter the cutest way to gauge the wildness of a ride. I love rollar coasters and rides that flip around, but I haven’t been to a theme park in a long time so… but I do have grand plans of taking Wolfie to parks when he get old enough and going on the rollar coaster over and over and over.

    I am loving these posts because it gives me hope that I can visit Japan. The cuisine is so sneaky about adding fish to everything that it is nice to hear how vegan friendly it can be (even if you can only get one thing from the menu)

    • Jenny says:

      It would be fun to take a kid to a theme park – make sure to let him know the rides are fun rather than scary, I wish I weren’t so terrified of everything!

      There were a few places where we struggled to find vegan options, which will come later this month, but generally it was better than I’d expected for food. It would have been tricky if travelling with non-vegans though, we mostly went to all-vegan eateries.

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