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Travel log: Obuse and Kyoto

Sorry I’ve been slacking on the updates while traveling in Japan! I’ve been having too much fun 🙂

Saturday September 18th

After the last farm stay, where if you watched my video I seemed pretty sad and lonely, I went back to Tokyo for a few days to go to the Vegan Tokyo Meetup for the second time before heading to my next farm stay in Nagano. I had such a blast in Tokyo, the huge vegan buffet at the Pink Cow was amazing, and then we went for proper Japanese karaoke that evening. I made some new friends and didn’t feel lonely at all.

I took my first bus to my next farm stay which was outside of Nagano, which is a town in the mountains Northwest of Tokyo. It was gorgeous, the air was crisp and clean, and the weather was amazing. My host family is American, so that makes communication easier. The family includes Sarah and Joe, their 1 year old William, and their aupair from Germany Angelica. They wanted me to cook rather than slave away on the farm, so I was super happy about this! I exposed them to delicious plant-based foods and taught Angelica a few things she could do after I left. They didn’t want me to leave and loved all the food I made. Blueberry lemon muffins, banana pancakes, tofu mexican tacos, kabocha soup, chestnut and sweet potato soup, and peach apple crisp are just a few things I made. The experience was completely different than the last. Here’s a short video I did with more details.

The evening I arrive, Sarah told me that there would be a fox festival the next day and wanted to know if I’d like to participate. I said “Sure!”, I’m always up for an adventure and new experiences. But I really had no idea what I was getting myself into 🙂

Thursday September 23rd

While I was staying here I got wind that it was safe to go to Taiji to show support. That is the place where the film, The Cove, was filmed and is the home to dolphin slaughter. If you haven’t seen the documentary, I highly recommend it. I got in touch with the people on the ground and decided to head there before my next farm stay in Osaka. I stopped for a night in Kyoto because I really wanted to see the beautiful city of Temples. Finding a place to stay on a holiday was proving difficult, 20 places called all booked. Thankfully I found a guesthouse and it was really cheap too, big plus. Kyoto is amazing. It’s a city like Tokyo but smaller and does not have the heavy energy I felt in Tokyo. Maybe it’s all the temples? People were super nice and a lot of Japanese tourists were vacationing. I jam packed as much as possible into the 1.5 days I had there.

Some highlights were of course all the beautiful temples, my favorite being Fushimi Inari Shrine with all the orange gates  and I had the best meal of my life at Tenryuji Temple (天龍寺, Tenryū-ji). If you are ever in Japan you must experience Shojin Ryori, traditional Buddhist temple food. It’s vegan, hand-crafted, and exquisite. I also thoroughly enjoyed Proverbs 15:17 cafe, which had healthy delicious vegan food and desserts. I loved it so much I went twice, the first time for lunch and dessert, then brought my new friends there after another amazing meal at Mikoan for dessert again. Mikoan is a hole in the wall vegan cafe ran by this woman who is a political activist and kind of kooky. Cat photos are covering the walls, The Beatles playing in the background, and the most delicious dinner set for 1000yen. The miso soup was filled with daikon, cabbage, onion, tofu and was hands down the best miso soup I’ve ever had in my life!


Video from Proverbs 15:17 cafe coming next along with more updates from Taiji and photos from Japan!

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