Ever since “washoku,” or traditional Japanese food, was designated an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2013, popular dishes and liquors like sushi, tempura, sukiyaki, sake, shochu and awamori — have been garnering a lot of international attention.
It’s no secret that following a plant-based diet in Japan isn’t easy. Compared to the West Coast, with a vegan or trendy health food restaurant seemingly at every turn, Tokyo’s vegan options are few and far between.
On a rainy day in late May, I visited Agarihama Ichiba, a local farmer’s market in Yonabaru Town. In search for some seasonal produce for a summer recipe to try, I had tomatoes, goya (bitter melon), or gumbos in mind.