Dynamic and diverse, Tokyo's rich culinary scene is quick to evolve with the times. A growing number of restaurants have now adapted to accommodate a broad range of dietary needs. Visitors on a halal or vegan diet need not feel left out - savor some of Tokyo's finest gourmet delights at these restaurants.
Feast on a sumptuous, halal-certified kaiseki-ryori course at Kochuan, an elegant ryotei (high-end traditional restaurant) tucked away in the refined and historical Happo-en banquet hall. A favorite among Japan's elite, Kochuan has had the honor of hosting functions for celebrities, politicians, executives, and foreign dignitaries. Perfect for intimate occasions and banquets alike, its Muslim-friendly course is prepared in accordance with halal practices: not using pork and alcohol, using dedicated utensils and tableware, and so on. Guests can savor the season's bounties, as well as homegrown chicken and wagyu beef - all halal, right down to seasonings such as soy sauce and ponzu vinaigrette. All 12 of the restaurant's private rooms overlook Happo-en's 400-year-old garden, with its perfectly manicured bonsai trees, lush greenery, seasonal blooms, koi ponds, and waterfall. A post-meal stroll around the grounds is highly recommended.
Made purely with plant-based ingredients such as fruits, nuts, tofu, and soy milk, vegan afternoon tea at Tokyo Marriott Hotel's Lounge & Dining G is no less delightful than the regular version. An artfully arranged array of sweet and savory treats comprise this set that's just as lovely to behold as it is delectable. Themes change on a regular basis, which means that you can indulge in something new each season. Recharge from sightseeing at this cozy atrium lounge in Shinagawa, where glass walls and high ceilings let in plenty of natural light and afford views of the hotel's Gotenyama Garden. For those who want to enjoy their afternoon tea al fresco, open-air dining is also available at the lounge's Gotenyama Terrace.
Exquisite shojin-ryori (Buddhist vegetarian cuisine) courses await at Itosho, a restaurant tucked away in Tokyo's upscale but low-key Azabu-Juban district, close to Roppongi, an area frequented by expats and wealthy Tokyoites. Since its opening in 1960, Itosho has retained a reputation for serving top-notch vegetarian fare, earning it a Michelin star in the 2010s. With its tranquil ambiance and understated refinement, the restaurant embodies the principle of beauty in simplicity, yet its dishes are elegantly presented and packed with flavor. Courses reflect the changing of the seasons, and are made with no less than the finest ingredients sourced from owner-chef Hiroharu Ito's hometown: Hida Takayama, a mountainous area with a bountiful river running through it. Chef Ito takes immense pleasure in explaining each dish in detail, leaving guests with an enhanced appreciation for their meal.