I know this is late, but commenting in case other vegans are searching for the same topic! I live in Tokyo, and I definitely know the struggle of being vegan here… I (barely) survived on konbini riceballs and edamame during my first few weeks here, but while in Japan I obviously want to enjoy its incredible food culture without having to worry about the inclusion of dashi or fish powder or other animal products, which can be a challenge… It’s totally possible though with the right research and preparations.
I think it’s also worth checking out airKitchen if you’re vegan and planning a trip to Japan. It’s basically Airbnb but for cooking classes in Japan for foreigners/travelers. You learn how to cook Japanese dishes from Japanese hosts in their homes, and there are a ton of veg-friendly cooking classes in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto… so not only do you learn how to make vegan sushi, ramen, bento, or whatever else you’re interested in, but you get this rare opportunity to visit a local’s home and share this intimate cultural exchange experience with your host! Being vegan shouldn’t mean missing out on Japan’s incredible food culture. They also have classes in Thailand.
I tried out this Shojin ryori for vegans and vegetarians with Tempura class recently and it was amazing. Highly recommend for veg folks traveling in Japan!