A new Japanese kitchen sharing service gives travelers access to home kitchens in the nation’s major cities. Called airKitchen Plus, the service was created to give tourists better access to vegan and vegetarian food in a nation where going out for a plant-based meal can pose difficulties.
“I just walked around very hungry for a long time, until I can get some food, or decide to eat just anything non-vegetarian so I will not faint.” said Daniel, a traveler from Italy.
Traveling, eating and exploring as a vegan in Japan can be very challenge if you don’t read Japanese. Although there are vegan restaurants in major cities like Tokyo, they are few and far between. And while many traditional dishes offered in restaurants are vegetable-based, such as nimono (simmered) vegetables, gohan (rice dishes), vegetable shabu-shabu, and miso soup, bonito fish flakes are an ingredient used in most stocks.
Convenience stores throughout Japan offer some vegan convenience foods like umeboshi onigiri (rice balls with pickled plum) and fish sauce-free natto (fermented soybeans), but they don’t often provide the experience that many travelers seek.
This is where airKitchen Plus comes to save the day. The service makes finding and eating vegan food in Japan easier. No more opening a map to find a hidden vegan restaurant (that unexpectedly closed only on the day you decided to go), no more dealing with a waiter for possible vegan options, and no more umeboshi onigiri to survive a day(s).
airKitchen Plus allows foreign travellers to book and enjoy a vegan home cooked meal with a local host. Through this service, you can easily find your favorite vegan/vegetarian dish anywhere during your stay in Japan.
The procedure is simple. Just go to airKitchen Plus website, select your favorite menu from a city you are staying/ plan to go and then book your meal. After that, go visit a Japanese local’s home and simply enjoy your meal with the host.
This is also a great chance for you to have a conversation with a local Japanese and learn more about Japanese culture and lifestyle as well.
Yuta Murase, co-founder of airKitchen Plus, said: “We think it is big problem that vegans/vegetarians travelers can't enjoy Japanese food (especially outside of main cities) because there are not enough vegan friendly restaurants in Japan. That's why we start the service to help them and enjoy Japanese food!”
The airKitchen Plus sharing service extends to many areas including Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Hokkaido, and Okinawa. For more information, visit the website.© Japan Today