Macrobiotic Cuisine – A Brief Introduction

“Macrobiotic living is the process of changing ourselves so that we can eat anything we like without fear of becoming ill; it enables us to live a joyful life during which we can achieve anything we choose.” – George Ohsawa.

When looking for unique cuisine in Tokyo, you can quickly become overwhelmed. With an abundance of choices, deciding as to where your next meal will come from can deprive a newbie looking to venture away from the touristy fare. With so many options at our disposal, it seems rather paradoxical to select a restaurant out of comfortable habit rather than adventurous spontaneity. However, you can find that happy medium of both the comforts of fresh, wholesome deliciousness that doesn’t leave you feeling guilty after your last forkful of sustenance. You can find such delicacies within the realm of the macrobiotic diet.

Originated from George Ohsawa from the early 20th century, this particular individual sought to maximize the effectiveness of vitamins and minerals without leaving much caloric excess. The approach is rather simple; eat what contains macronutrients within a “balanced” framework. However, it isn’t the most natural way of practicing dietary practices, as finding the equilibrium between combining foods is as diverse as the people adhering to this culinary philosophy. Have no fear, as there is a selection of macrobiotic shops and restaurants in Tokyo that seek to do all the heavy lifting for you! Here are a few recommendations for your reading pleasure.

For Shopping – Ohsawa Japan Market

Hosting an assortment of natural products, The Ohsawa Market offers you a glimpse into the macrobiotic lifestyle. With a similar design to that of a regular supermarket, the ambiance is one that promotes natural proclivities, as goods here come with “certified organic” labels, as well as distinctions for vegans and vegetarians. For those who consume meat products, you can find grass-fed, responsibly-farmed beef, pork, and poultry should you choose to partake in buying such products. Although most of the wares are in Japanese, the nutritional facts are often in English, and other languages since much of the products here are imported from other countries. Although the restaurant adjacent to the supermarket called Lima Café closed down last year, you can still find macrobiotic fare within the market itself or in some nearby restaurants. Overall, thanks to many people supporting the works of George Ohsawa and his dietary philosophy, you can find eateries that keep the macrobiotic tradition alive.

For Eating – Chaya Macrobiotics

If you’re looking to end your shopping spree with a nice macrobiotic meal, then look no further than Chaya Macrobiotics. Located in the Isetan Department Store in Shinjuku, Chaya Macrobiotics gives patrons the chance to dive into the world of macrobiotic cuisine with an array of menu options. Depending on what time you attend, the restaurant offers both a separate lunch and dinner eating experience. For this article, we would like to showcase one of the signature dinner entrees, which is the Roasted Vegetable and Hamburger Steak, comprising of soy-meat glazed in mabo tofu sauce. For the entrée, you can also choose either domestically grown organic brown rice, or gluten-free bread on the side, depending on what you fancy. A soup-of-the-day is also available to go with most meals. If you still have room after engorging yourself on macrobiotic goodness, feel free to try some of the many dessert options. Satiate that sweet tooth with a slice of vegan cheesecake made with all-natural dairy-free cream cheese, topped with crushed pistachios and drizzled with raspberry glaze. If you ordered a drink before, feel free to add a coffee or tea to complement the tasty heaven of the dessert. For those who are vegan and vegetarian inclined, have no fear! All products found at Chaya Macrobiotics do not use meat, egg, dairy, or refined sugar based on the tenets presented by the originators of the dietary philosophy. If language is a barrier, the staff will be able to accommodate you without much issue. With several locations around Tokyo with different culinary themes, you can find a bevy of opportunities to experience macrobiotic cooking first hand. Feel free to check out their website.

If you’re exploring unforeseen areas of Tokyo and want to try something new, then look no further than Chaya Macrobiotics and its many locations. In an environment riddled with culinary choices, you can feel solace in the fact that you can enjoy tasty, wholesome cuisine that seeks to balance nutritional needs, one meal at a time.

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