Interview: We Talk Vegan Japanese Food with Blogger Tokyopony

Love Japan Magazine have long been fans of @Tokyopony's beautifully shot Instagram images - predominantly with a vegan Japanese food theme.  

We're over the moon that Justine has now launched a food blog and website to share lots of her delicious vegan recipes.   So if Yuzu Battered Tofu & Sticky Orange Sauce and Matcha biscotti sound like recipes you might want to try, we highly recommend that you check it out.  With a mix of healthy sweet and savoury recipes, and a choice to filter by season, there's something for everyone - not just if you're a vegan or a veggie!

To celebrate Justine's new blog, we caught up with the lady herself for a chat:

My love of Japan started when a shop opened selling Japanese items in my home town.  I would often go in, but at the time I was only 16 and couldn't afford to buy much so would just get the odd post card.  It was there I bought my first pair of chop sticks they are now very worn out. 

I've visited Japan four times now but miss it every day.  Making Japanese inspired food helps me feel closer to Japan somehow. I love Japanese food, as it's not just food but a connection to the seasons and your own wellbeing.  Preparing Japanese food helps your mind focus  - its almost zen-like. 

I don't have a favourite Japanese restaurant in the U.K. Being vegan it isn't that easy to find good options.  I'll be visiting vegan Japanese restaurant Tadakizen in London for the first time shortly.  I'm really looking forward to it, and will be writing about it on my website.  I also like Katsute - a new little Japanese teashop that has opened near Angel station in London.

Vegan and vegetarian restaurants seam to be popping up all over the place now in Japan and even in smaller cities you can find at least one or two places. Obviously the larger cities like Tokyo and Kyoto have a wealth of places to choose from and my favourite places are listed in the restaurant reviews on my website for Tokyo and Kyoto.  Even convenience stores have some degree of food you can buy.  If you're looking for supermarkets I would definitely suggest checking out Lima and Natural House in Tokyo. 

I think my favourite places have to be Brown Rice Canteen and Ain Soph in Tokyo.  Brown Rice does beautifully simple set meals and Ain Soph do the post amazing vegan pancakes! In Kyoto I loved Morpho and Mumokuteki.  All the restaurants I've visited are up on my website, along with an extensive travel section of places I've visited so far.  It's not all food! 

How do I come up with recipe ideas?  I see a Japanese recipe that's probably not vegan, and I set out to try and make a vegan version!  In July there's a day in Japan where you eat eel, so I think I'm going to make a vegan mock eel dish for that.

During my next trip to Japan I hope to split it into two halves -  visiting Hiroshima, Miyajima and Nagoya then over to Nagano and Matsumoto, hopefully visiting friends I have made on Instagram along the way.

Head over to Justine's website here or catch up with her on Instagram @tokyopony