This month, Japan’s popular domestic chain Mos Burger added the vegan Green Burger to select locations in Tokyo and Kanagawa, with plans to expand to more outlets in May should the new option prove successful. The burger features a soy-based patty blended with cabbage and konjac, which is served on a green-hued bun colored with spinach purée. While Mos Burger options typically feature a meat-based sauce, the Green Burger is slathered with a vegan tomato sauce made with carrots and burdock root.
Japan is now home to 1,000 vegan restaurants—up from only 400 two years ago. Prior to the now-postponed 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, a movement began in the country last year that involves local regions and political figures educating its restaurants on animal-free cuisine. Last November, the Japanese government began promoting services for vegetarians and vegans in preparation for foreign visitors ahead of the Olympics, including creating food guidelines to help restaurants increase their meatless menu options and certification marks to identify which items are vegetarian and vegan.