Vegan Food in Tokyo Station

This page is a subsection of my post on Vegan Restaurants in Tokyo, but I've made it a separate post for people to be able to more easily find it.

T’s Tantan ($, Japanese Noodles, T's たんたん 東京駅京葉ストリート店, 🌱)

Keiyo Food Street, inside the Japan Rail ticket gates, but not inside the shinkansen gates. If you arrive at Tokyo Station but subway, bus or on foot then please leave the subway system and enter the JR (Japan Railway) area by any ticket gate. This is free with a Japan Rail Pass (just show it to the ticket gate staff.) If you arrive by shinkansen (the high-speed train) then leave the shinkansen gates but not the final JR gates.
Follow signs to the Keio Line, and then to the Keio Food “Street”. (The 'street' is underground.) Walk down Keio Street almost to the end. Starbucks will be on your left, and then T’s Tantan will be on your right, shortly after Starbucks. Look for the green sign, and the queue at the door, which is usually quite long but moves through very large because the seating area is large and most people don't stay long.  
FacebookHappycowWebsite (some English)
Directions (probably won’t work inside Tokyo Station without GPS)
Great Japanese food, inexpensive, with fast and efficient service. 
Tokyo’s most famous vegan restaurant, popular even among non-vegetarians.
Inexpensive take-outs available, although the bentos (lunchboxes – see below) are more practical. 
This is fast food, so it’s important to eat and move on reasonably quickly.

T's Tantan's namesake noodles are mostly served like this, but there are many flavours and other variations. 

T’s Tantan is undoubtedly Japan’s most popular and most famous vegan business, and is the only eatery at which virtually all vegan (and vegetarian) visitors to Japan dine at least once and usually several times. After the owner’s oldest child left home, she decided to open a restaurant (T’s Jiyugaoka, which I recommend visiting on the way to Yokohama) to serve the kind of healthy food that she liked to eat herself and cook for her family. It was so successful (despite being in an underground basement well off the tourist trail) that when a special health-focussed food “alley” (the underground Keio Street) opened inside Tokyo Station she was invited to open a store. She came up with the idea of a fast, healthy, inexpensive but still very Japanese menu, and it was such a success that what started out as a retirement project has now become the career she never planned, having spent most of her adult life raising a family.

The Ueno Station branch offers a slightly different menu, including this casserole with vegan cheese. 

She has since opened branches in Ueno Station (recommended in that itinerary) and also one at Narita Airport, Tokyo’s main international airport. She also sells packaged ramen (available in the stores) and bento boxes at Haneda International Airport.

Personally I prefer my food not to look like dead animals, but there is no doubt that, first in Asia and then the West with the likes of Beyond Meat and the Impossible range, fake meats help omnivores transition to vegan food. T's Tantan uses gluten and other simple proteins to produce vegan versions of traditional Japanese and other Asian dishes.  

While the focus is its namesake tantan (a type of thin noodle, commonly confused by foreigners with ramen) the menu has expanded to include a (seasonal) Thai Masaman curry, and more recently sandwiches. There is a limited breakfast menu until 11:00. If you are passing through the station and don’t know where you’ll eat in your itinerary (which hopefully won’t happen with this guide) then eat well here and take out a sandwich or two. It’s especially important for this itinerary, because it involves a lot of walking, and there is nowhere good to eat around the Imperial Gardens.

While they can be eaten in the store, these sandwiches are great for taking out, especially if you need to carry them in a backpack or for a long time, in which case they may keep better than bentos (see below).   

Ekibenya Matsuri ($, Lunchboxes, 駅弁屋 祭)

 As of March 2022, Ekiben Matsuri is not selling these bentos. Hopefully they will return once Japan re-opens to tourists. 
Like T's Tantan, Ekiben Matsuri is inside the JR Ticket gate of Tokyo Station, but not inside the shinkansen ticket gate. The main branch is in the Central Passage between tracks 6 and 7. This passageway is between the Yaesu Central Exit and the Marunouchi Central Exit. The Keio Line (for T’s Tantan – see above) comes off the South passageway.

If in doubt I suggest asking at one of the information counters for directions to the Ekiben Matsuri (駅弁屋 ) store and showing the photo (below).
Great option for take-out meals.  
See below for directions.

Bentos (便當) are single-portion Japanese lunchboxes. They traditionally include rice (or noodles), fish (and/or meat) and pickled vegetables. Bentos are a way of life in Japan, and many people (especially office workers) eat them several times per week, especially at work.

Ekiben (駅弁) (Eki=station, ben for bentos) are special bentos made for train journeys, often using local ingredients or cuisine styles which the store or the region is famous for. The packaging can then become a souvenir. 

Needless to say, in Japan they are virtually never vegan, but this store sells a vegan version. 

Directions to Ekiben Matsuri
Follow directions to the Yaesu Central Exit or the Marunouchi Central Exit and walk down the main passage between them. Stairs lead up to the tracks in both directions. Ekiben Matsuri is between tracks 6 and 7.

Ekiben Matsuri main store, the most likely to serve vegan bentos (lunchboxes). 

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