Lonely Planet Writer

Vegans now have an easy way to dine while travelling through Japan

With veganism on the rise, it’s becoming simpler for travellers with plant-based diets to travel and enjoy the local cuisine to the fullest. However, there are still plenty of destinations that vegetarians and vegans may find restrictive. Now a new sharing service that promises to make it easier than ever to find vegan food in Japan while sampling the best food in the world; home cooking.

Pickled vegetables in Japan/ Photo by norikko/Shutterstock

AirKitchen is a sharing service that allows travellers to browse hosts and meals in different cities. When they’ve found the perfect match, they can book and pay online. When it’s time to eat, you’ll travel to the host’s home, help them prepare the food and get a chance to sit down with them to enjoy your meal.

If you prefer to do your own thing, some hosts even offer a pick-up service. There are also different experiences, like full cooking classes or market tours on offer too. Hosts will often pick you up from the nearest transport station and, like other similar services, there will be a chance to offer and receive feedback for other users.

You’ll even get some hands-on experience in the kitchen. Photo by JGalione

AirKitchen started in April last year and so far reports over 2000 users from more than 50 countries around the world. Now they’ve launched AirKitchen Plus which specifically helps vegetarians and vegans find listings catering for their tastes. Many hosts use seasonal and organic vegetables and can include everything from vegetarian sushi, tempura, gyouza and ramen.

Ideally, the platform says you should try and plan ahead as much as possible, suggesting that two weeks is the optimum time for hosts to prepare, although up to three days is also a possibility. For the more disorganised, some hosts to offer same-day bookings. Currently, AirKitchen has rolled out throughout Japan with listings in more than 30 cities. You can browse the listing and book online now.