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To think like a vegan, what would a vegan do if they were here right now? Pure and new mouthfeel
That's what a vegan would do, mouthfeel
Good morning guys, welcome back to Journey Across Japan, never-ending adventure of discovery
This morning, I'm standing alone outside the front of JR Okayama Station in the city of Okayama (岡山市)
and I'm alone for the first time and I think it's been a week or 2, since I've been alone
Unfortunately, we don't have much time in Okayama today, we pretty much arrived yesterday
And we've got to go straight away, so I'll give you two cold hard facts about the region
Number 1: Over 50% of Japan's school uniforms are actually made here in Okayama
And number 2: Over 50% of Japan's peaches come from Okayama as well
So, there you go, here's your 2 key facts. Here's your challenge of the day
Sent in by you guys and the challenge is
Oh, for god sake, of course it is
I love the way there's a smiley face there
I don't know who drew that, but they knew this was going to be a tough day for me
Bastards
I'm a little disappointed, guys
Given that there is a McDonald's just there, right next to me and I was going to go in and get a Mega Muffin
So there goes that out, there goes that plan out the window, still this is the land of peaches, so
I might as well exploit that to our advantage and get some peaches for the road
and there is a big market over there with a giant peach above the door
It's probably the place to go, in it? Let's go and get some breakfast
Japanese malls, love to play uplifting music
On today's journey, we'll be traveling from Okayama to the port town of Onomichi (尾道市)
In preparation for the journey across the Islands of Japan's Inland Sea
and along the way, we're stopping off at Kurashiki (倉敷市) an old town known for being Japan's answer to Venice
But I'm not going anywhere, until I've had my breakfast and whilst my search for peaches has failed miserably
I've stumbled across a shop selling persimmons, mochi and enthusiasm
Okay
So, we found a little fruit shop, apparently peaches aren't in season at the moment
But, this lovely lady have giving us some grapes and some mochi as a gift, it's very kind
Very nice of her, this is where the action is, persimmon, Japanese people love persimmons
Before I know it I find myself in some sort of persimmon taste testing session, you know, just like any good vegan would do
Very juicy
Do you want one, cameraman? - Sure
I'm not gonna feed it to you, I'll take the camera, here you go
[...] of my day, having breakfast and discussing the, where bananas come from, standard morning
We turned up asking for some peaches, there were no peaches, probably not in season
So they gave us free persimmons and rice cake and they're very nice people
Very lovely ladies
Some people have been critical recently at me, that
I don't talk the locals enough, it is quite difficult
Not just talking to people in Japan, but getting them to agree to be on camera, they agreed to be on camera
and give us free food, so, I feel like I've vindicated myself, I can talk to the locals, yeah
Well, it's been an excellent start to my new life as a vegan and having discussed topics, ranging from the cultivation of bananas to excursions to Uzbekistan
I hit the road to Kurashiki, with a sack of persimmons to see me through the rest of the morning
I must say, I've got nothing against being vegan, but I did once travel with a good friend of mine
Regan, the vegan, his name rhimes, it's very clever. We traveled around Japan together and
All he ever ate was just bananas and nuts and tofu, those three things bananas, nuts and tofu
If you watch these videos, you'll know that I basically live off an exclusive diet of fried chicken and wagyu beef, so
Today is gonna be a tough one, I'm not gonna lie, it's gonna be a tough one
Kurashiki got that rare quality of a historic town
Whereby it feels very much lived in, as opposed to some kind of theme park attraction
This is an authentic bustling town, the people going about their daily lives in the setting
Who looks like one big time bubble straight out of the 17th century
The town was once a prominent merchant port and the wealth it brought still remains today in the form of decadent architecture
Hell, there was even an ancient Greek temple thrown in for good measure, built by a wealthy local businessman in the 1930s
and turned into Japan's first Museum of Western art
But here, the old streets are very much dominated by the presence as a turquoise blue canal
Filled with eager passengers being ferried around town
On a scale of 1 to picturesque town, Kurashiki really is stunning
I've been to a lot of old towns in Japan, but this is actually
Like this is the best and the reason it's the best is because there's a canal
It's like being in Venice, It's kinda got a Venice vibe
I heard somebody refer to this as the "Venice of Japan" and I can see why, I've been to Venice and this is
Not like Venice at all, but there's a canal and canals is what Venice has, so it's the same
It's definitely the same and it looks like there's no foreign tourists here, so, apparently foreign tourists haven't yet discovered this town
It's pretty big, I've been lost, getting lost down the little alleyways and side streets
The only thing I need now, is some vegan refreshment there, vegan refreshments some sort of drink first and then some lunch
To think like a vegan, what would a vegan do if they were here right now, pure and new mouthfeel
That's what a vegan would do, mouthfeel
She took a grapefruit, stuck a machine into it, they kind of scooped the insides out and crushed and mushed it up
And now it's just pure grapefruit juice and it tastes
Mmm
That's bloody good
I can really experience the mouthfeel
Not vegan, not vegan, not vegan, not vegan
Not vegan, so I've had my delicious tasty mouthfeel grapefruit juice
I'm actually having trouble finding some food that's vegan though, I've been looking around I found
Yeah, it's all been meat. There's lots of croquet
Potatoes with beef in and there's lots of sushi and seafood, but
There's nothing vegan, I'm having a little bit of trouble finding that. What's this here? Cheese. Is that vegan?
Cheese comes from cows, no, it's cows
Shit
Having failed to find a great deal of vegan friendly food
I've decided to cut my losses and get a move on to my final destination of Onomichi
Where a stop off at a convenience store she hopefully bear fruit
Quite literally as fruit is one of the few things I can bloody well eat today
Nothing takes the fun out of cycling more than traffic lights
Stop, start, stop, start, stop, start, Yes, go
Okay, I stand corrected, nothing takes the fun out of cycling more than a bridge
Goddamnit
Hahaha, nailed it
When it comes to veganism in Japan, it's still remarkably rare
Typically a lifestyle only adopted by Buddhist monks, living off a diet of Shojin Ryouri, is estimated just 4.7% of the population a vegetarian and
2.7% of vegan, but outside of monks, I personally never met a single Japanese person, who's adopted it as a way of life?
But whilst dining out here as a vegan might be a nightmarish inconvenience, if you have access to a supermarket
You'll be able to get by easily and if you're into eating tofu
It can be a better place to be, with dozens of varieties tofu cheese and even soy meat stocked on the shelves
however, given that I'm on the move today, I've only got time to stop at a convenience store
And here my options are certainly more limited with nearly every single item
With nearly every single item I'd normally get, out the window
Which to be fair is basically just fried chicken or pizza bread. I spy with my little eye
A Lawson's convenience store, get in
All the bread is out the picture, because it contains either butter or milk or eggs, bread section complete right off
The ramen sections also right off, most of the broth contain pork
So yeah, no ramen there, you might be thinking; Yeah, rice crackers, there's lots of rice crackers, they're vegan
Well actually, no, because they contain, they're flavored here in Japan with dashi, fish extract
And also this one which is just Wasabi flavor, is flavored with pig extract as well, so
Unfortunately, a lot of the rice crackers with flavors, are out the window as well, so that's kind of shit
Well, guys, we've arrived at our last destination of the day, Onomichi the port town in Hiroshima prefecture
We've just come through into Hiroshima prefecture and I've got my dinner, I think
I wouldn't want to be a vegan in Japan permanently, because if you're living a spontaneous life on the move
It really isn't practical just walking into a convenience store, your options are limited
Most vegans I know who live in Japan, do go to the supermarket, where they can buy and cook their own food?
I didn't have that luxury today, so what I've got is this
One of my favorite snacks while I've been cycling, are these Soyjoy bars, they're sort of soy powdered biscuit bar things
But on closer inspection, they do contain eggs and milk, so they were out of the picture, I did find
These kind of oatmeal biscuits, with wheat and oatmeal so they're right there quite nice, so I've got those
Next I went to reach for some Calpis the yogurt flavored drink, but that was out of the picture, because it's got yogurt in
So I've got a fruit smoothie and there were loads of good fruit drinks and smoothies and things, in all the convenience stores
That wasn't a problem and I also got good old-fashioned banana, individually wrapped
No less, Japan pride itself on being a country that doesn't waste things
But then, you see individually wrapped banana and you can't help to think, that's a lie
Now there's a really big section in the store dedicated to rice cracker
Snacks and things, but my favorite flavor which is wasabi, and it had essence of pork in it so
That was out of the picture unfortunately, so instead, I went for some potato chips, some
Salted flavoured potato chips, I'm not gonna complain there
Now the last thing I got is a hot food
The most bitter pill to swallow was nearly every single hot food, all the fried stuff was not vegan
Remotely at all, fried chicken of course, no chance, but one thing I did find was some fried potatoes
There you go, some fried potatoes with some ketchup, so that's what I'm looking forward to the most
Even though, they're completely cold by now, because I've been walking and talking and filming and now they're frozen solid, so
Still we did make it to Onomichi and I've had a lovely cycle today, a most wonderful cycle and to end it here on the dock of the bay with the sunset
It's a nice way to wrap things up
It also reminds me of the Otis Redding song '(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay'
Well I'm standing on the dock of the bay and I'm eating cold fried potatoes
It's not quite as romantic and as glamorous as the song, is it?
But for now guys, thanks for joining me on my trip today, my vegan day of experimentation
I really want to play '(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay' by Otis Redding
But for copyright reasons, I can't put the song in the video
So I have to sing it, can't remember the lyric to pass the first line, ♫ I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay ♫
♫ Watchin' the ti~~~de, roll away ♫
Yeah!
♫ Sittin' on the dock of the bay ♫
♫ It is really cold and fucking horrible potatoes ♫ Don't know why I bought 'em, what an idiot
In the last six years of living in Japan, I've been incredibly lucky to travel the whole country
But this place is hands-down the most beautiful place in all of Japan