eat and drink

Vegan Discoveries Lesson 006–TOWZEN

(Class bell rings) Welcome class! It feels different teaching you guys online rather than in class. The current circumstances we are living in are truly interesting times. It is very easy to see how troubling the times are, but in these times there is also much to be thankful for. I am thankful for the establishment I went to for today’s lesson. Even though everyone is going through difficult times, this great vegan restaurant left their doors open for hungry customers like myself, which allows me to deliver this discovery to you guys. As always this adventure has been another special experience that I will not forget! With getting the gratitude out the way, let’s get this class started!

Before you guys get hypnotized by this beautiful pathway, let me ask you, do you know what TOWZEN means? Once we understand the Japanese meaning behind the word, we will get a better picture of what this restaurant is about. TOW represents tofu, and ZEN represents Zen, which is a Japanese term that cannot be simply described, but for class’s sake, it is state of being at peace. If you are not familiar with Japanese culture, Zen is a school of Buddhism and is infused heavily in all parts of Japanese life. One of the many reasons why I came to Japan in the first place!

Take a look at this captivating pathway! This set up is hugely inspired by the aesthetic of Japanese Zen temples.

Here is where you take off your shoes!

Watch your feet!

The kind owner of this establishment goes by the name of Yonekawa. This restaurant also contains Yonekawa’s living space on top. Yonekawa has been running this shop for over 16 years! At first he only sold ramen with fish stock, but no land animal products. But, as he was running his business, many vegans would come and ask if it was vegan ramen. Yonekawa turning a bunch of them away, he found out he was missing out on a lot of customers. So 6 years after tons of customers looking for vegan ramen coming up short, he decided to switch his niche. He actually is the first and only vegan ramen specialty shop in Kyoto! Specializing in vegan ramen, many people from all over Japan and other countries have come to him for apprenticeship. His goal for making vegan ramen is to get more people eating vegan ramen rather than the standard animal product based ramen. If you are unfamiliar to this fact, ramen is a very commonly eaten dish in Japan, heck all over the world I can say! Instead of an animal product based ramen, he would like the vegan ramen to go global! Before the global situation we are in, TOWZEN was always packed with hungry customers for Yonekawa’s uniquely tasting ramen. What you will see in a bit, are the different ingredients he uses for the ramen.

Yonekawa uses chlorella and hemp charcoal as different flavors to enhance the nutritional benefits of the ramen. Usually, ramen is the other way around, very oily, and fattening. But, Yonekawa switched it all around to give people what they want, but in a better way.

A very homey space with a lot of art and books to keep you entertained as you patiently wait for your ramen.

Great seating for large groups and amazing scenery to enjoy.

If you have never been to a traditional Japanese house, you are in for a treat! There is also seating at the counter, but taking pictures in that area was prohibited. (Sorry!)



Let’s check out what chlorella ramen looks like!

Hold on hold on! Let’s look at the menu! The menu has English as well as numbers listing the order to order your food. I ordered the most popular dish,which is Musashi, but if you are into spicy foods, the other option Tantan would be the best for you!

So from number 1 you choose what dish you want, then number two you choose the amount of noodles you want. I ordered medium, but if you are really hungry, I recommend the large size. For number three you can choose the type of noodles you want to eat. I chose the gluten free noodles, super delicious and healthy! Lastly to top it off, you choose the flavors I explained before which are chlorella or hemp charcoal.



Hey I’m sorry but this is cool, look at this! This is the first time I’ve seen this before. Omotenashi is a very interesting concept in the Japanese language, which translates to hospitality, but it really is much more than that. To really learn about this, you have to spend sometime in Japan to find out! Plus on the back, they give you instructions on how to use chopsticks, how cool is that?




BAM! You asked for it, here it is! Musahsi ramen, gluten free noodles with chlorella flavoring. Isn’t she a beauty! (Australian accent)

Let’s get a closer look at her!

You won’t be able to eat this through the computer monitor, contain yourself guys. When you are able to, just head over to TOWZEN and get a bowl for yourself. For now you will just have to enjoy looking at mine! But as soon as you look at her,


She’s gone in a blink of an eye!

I was never a huge fan of ramen, but the soy milk based Yonekawa

specialized vegan ramen has made me into a believer. The flavor was rich with abundant helping of vegetables; it was truly a special treat.

Having such a great meal, I was curious what I could possible eat for dessert.

I went for it, a chlorella piece of cake and some vanilla ice cream!

Trust me guys when I say this, this cake was the boooooooooooooooomb! Check out the moist factor!

Don’t forget the vanilla ice cream with the strawberry drizzle bringing this cake down to total destruction in my stomach. FLAWLESS VICTORY!

After eating this great meal, I was able to talk more with Yonekawa. What a very interesting guy. A lot of his values come from the Japanese Zen principles, which you can clearly tell if you are familiar with Zen. His goals are set to create peace and to spread love, which is through feeding people decadent healthy vegan ramen. This experience has truly been a special one as Yonekawa taught me that serving people is the most rewarding thing in the world!

Thank you classes for watching today, stay safe at home during these uncertain times. This is your chance to make your own vegan ramen at home! Until next time, class DISMISSED!





About the locations in this article

13-4 Shimogamohigashi Takagicho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-0865 Kyoto Prefecture
Booking / Inquiries


Vegan Discoveries in Kyoto
Zane Fletcher Johnson

Looking for delicious foods that are made up of no animal products?
You have come to the right place! I am here to help you on your journey while you are here in Japan. I am here to tell you being plant-based in this beautiful country is possible! I, Zane Johnson will be your “sensei”, (Which means teacher in Japanese) who will guide you to the most delicious plant-based spots Kyoto has to offer.
Just to give you some background information on what I can bring to the table, I have been plant based for over a year now, but I have been on and off the plant-based diet for over 7 years! I look forward to seeing you guys in class!
Without further due, class is in SESSION!

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