Jitensha12 wrote:I understand what you are saying here, Gizmotech, and thanks for your voice. Where I have an issue is that this thread has been bombarded with critical advice like, "it's going to be so tough you'll never stay veg," "you need to learn the language fast or you won't get by," "vegans are completely doomed in Japan," "you can never eat out" etc etc... which is why I was compelled to post in the first place. To me, this topic is not about pointing out these obvious hurdles and focusing on these negative viewpoints (that we really have heard again and again), but about sharing useful resources and personal experience for those of us wanting to STAY vegan/vegetarian in Japan and overcome those hurdles.
WHAT? This was the OP:
trudi wrote:Any vegetarians going to Japan?
I've heard it's really hard as they use fish stock in a lot of things.
You might want that, but the question wasn't "what are great resources for Vegi's/Vegans" It was "Any advice?". The advice that has been provided has been quite on point and not thread-bombed at all. Obviously there has been a range of opinions provided, but this conversation has been rather civil. Pointing out the hurdles is very important, because though you might know all the hurdles, other Vegi's/Vegans might not be aware of the rather drastic requirements to maintain the diet they will have to go through. Noone is advocating you give up being a Vegi/Vegan, just be prepared to make some sacrifices. 90% and safe is better than 100% and suffering.
I am completely realistic about my expectations moving to Japan as a vegan (which is a point I think we should all be at, of course), but I also think this should be a safe space for veg-people to discuss this issue and keep an overall positive tone... If someone has constructive advice or personal anecdotes about their experiences being veg in Japan, I'm sure we would all love to hear that! Please also post helpful websites and blogs of others having success staying veg in Japan and links to recipes or great cookbooks. Anyone posting on here that isn't veg and hasn't ever tried to be veg in Japan, probably doesn't have much to add to the conversation that is new and enlightening.
You're assuming quite a bit here, not everyone WILL be at the same point you are at. Many likely haven't given much thought to the technical difficulties which will come from living in Japan as opposed to their home countries. Basic assumptions like "contents of a grocery store" which you just dismiss in your head as a prepared vegetarian, might now be coming to light after some of these discussions in others.
If you're looking for "safe-spaces" I'm afraid you're out of luck and you'd better get used to the fact you won't have one while in Japan, besides maybe your bathroom. Your privacy will be invaded, your personal space will be attacked, your history and life will be for all the world to see. Better to tough up now and be ready to go, rather than hope for a safe-place to hide in. We've been rather tame, the Japanese will not be.
Finally, I take quite a bit of personal offense to your final statements. I am not a vegetarian. I do not try to be one here. I do however cook a lot of food for myself, and deal with dietary restrictions which mean that I actually know QUITE A BIT. I also am a huge fan of vegetable based meals (where the veggies are the main dish,with meat/protein on the side) and if you asked a question rather than waiting for info to be posted, I might be able to tell you about some things