Towzen - Kyoto Ramen and Japanese Soul Food For All
Hungry for a different type of ramen? Have a meal at Towzen, a specialty shop in a Kyoto residential area serving unique, satisfying plant-based ramen. Made with high-quality soymilk and other special Kyoto ingredients, this is one-of-a-kind ramen diners will have to try at least once.
Continue reading to learn more about Towzen, what to order, and what makes this restaurant a must-visit.
Enjoy Old and New Kyoto Style Vegan Cuisine: Ramen, Rice Bowls, and Sweets
Towzen combines traditional Japanese cooking with creative, modern methods to make flavorful plant-based Japanese meals. The shop opened in 2004 as the owner wanted to make ramen using the traditional Kyoto cuisine techniques. He continues to be passionate about making delicious, nutritious ramen, as well as side dishes, like vegan sushi, local dishes, and sweets.
Every visit is an exceptional dining experience filled with satisfying vegetarian and vegan-friendly Kyoto cuisine.
Towzen is open for lunch and dinner, has an English menu, as well as English-speaking staff. The cozy, peaceful space ideal for solo travelers or those in small groups.
If you sit at the counter, do not take pictures of the kitchen or the chefs at work, as each bowl of ramen is made carefully and requires concentration.
Ramen, Rice Bowls, and Ramen
Diners can choose between two options for ramen (priced at 1,200 yen): Musashi, soymilk-based with mushrooms and nori seaweed, and Tantan men (Japanese-style dan dan noodles). Both are customizable, from the spice level to the noodle type and size (certain changes and additions are a separate fee). Gluten-free rice noodles are also available.
Additions like a scoop or two of chlorella, a type of algae highly regarded for its vitamins and minerals, or a mix of hemp and charcoal, known for its detoxifying effects, can be added into the soup.
Pictured above is the Musashi ramen with chlorella, resulting in a unique green soup. The bowl to the side is a yuba rice bowl: yuba (tofu skin) is a Kyoto delicacy and recommended for those wanting to try local food.
The ramen comes topped with yuba, greens, and mushrooms. The soup contains refreshing sansho pepper, which adds a contrast to the creamy richness of the soymilk broth. Slightly chewy and cooked just right, the noodles pick up the flavor of the soup and other ingredients. This ramen tastes more delicious with every bite.
The yuba rice bowl is completely vegetable-based and an ideal option to pair with ramen for those with a large appetite. A layer of yuba, topped with a savory, thick sauce, covers the rice. There are traditional Japanese pickles on the side to enjoy as well.
For dessert, diners can try a variety of vegan, gluten-free cakes and restaurant-made ice cream in unique flavors. Pictured above is a mini size of black sesame and charcoal ice cream (250 yen). Made with a soymilk base, it is silky, creamy, and full of flavor. It is not overly sweet.
A cake and ice cream set is available for diners who want to try both. As the ramen and side dishes are filling, the dessert set could be an ideal option to split with a friend or family member.
How to Get to Towzen
Towzen is tucked away in a quiet, residential area of Kyoto. From Kyoto Station, take the Kyoto Municipal Subway to Matsugasaki Station on the Karasuma Line (bound for Kokusaikaikan). The ride is 17 minutes one-way and costs 290 yen.
Get out of Matsugasaki Station at exit 2, and head directly down the street. After a pleasant stroll down the residential street, you will get to the intersection above. Cross and enter the smaller street the arrow points to.
Make the first right after entering the street (first picture) and look for a red ramen lantern (second picture) Towzen has outside of the store. The entrance to Towzen is surrounded in greenery. Enter through the gated entry and walk down a charming path lined with plants to get to the restaurant.
Towzen - A Relaxing, One-of-a-Kind Ramen Experience
Located in a quiet, less-crowded part of Kyoto, Towzen is the ideal place for a lunch or dinner fitting of Japan's ancient capital. The unique ramen here is vegetarian and vegan and full of healthy ingredients while being full of flavor, making it a satisfying choice for all. Be sure to eat at Towzen in Kyoto for a dining experience unlike anything else.
In cooperation with Towzen