Convenience Stores

There are a lot of vegan and possibly vegan snacks in convenience stores, but it’s harder to find main dishes and savory foods. You probably shouldn’t waste your time staring at the bento, oden, and bread/pastry sections.

There is an offshoot of the Lawson chain of convenience stores called Natural Lawson. Although a few products from Natural Lawson can be found in regular Lawson stores, it’s worth it to go to Natural Lawson if there are any near you. Natural Lawson stores are currently located in the following areas: Chiba Prefecture, Saitama Prefecture, Kanagawa Prefecture, and Tokyo. They carry a wider selection of products for vegans than any other convenience store. Click here to see some of the  products you can find at Natural Lawson stores.

Below are some of the vegan foods we have found which you can use as a general guide. The products available at a particular store will vary according to location and season. If we are aware that a product at a certain store is not vegan, we have noted this.

Some foods contain flavoring and emulsifiers which may be animal-derived or sugar that may be bone-char processed. We have marked below wherever we have information on how these ingredients were made.

Each major chain of convenience stores also has a website where you can find information in Japanese about its products, including allergen information about the unpackaged food it sells (e.g. fried food). Some of the pictures below are from the convenience store websites.

Unfortunately, due to labeling laws in Japan, it’s possible for foods to contain small amounts of fish powder and other ingredients for flavoring without being written on the label if the amount is small enough. This can sometimes be marked as その他, “sono ta,” meaning “other.” Also, the convenience stores can change the ingredients of their own items like rice balls and steamed buns at any time without notice, and the new ingredients won’t necessarily be noted on the label if the amounts are small.

Let’s start with some certified vegan bento.

• Vegetable penne/ベジタブルペンネ vegan pasta bento (certifed vegan by VegeProject Japan) is available as of October, 2019 at nine 7-11 stores in Tokyo. Find out more about the product at fooddiversity.today. It’s in the frozen section of the store. The store staff can heat it up for you in the microwave.

Ingredients: Pickled tomato puree, mix vegetable (zucchini, red pepper, yellow pepper, eggplant), macaroni, onion, vegetable oil, tomato paste, salt, garlic, spice, sugar/thickener (modified starch, xanthan), pH modified (including wheat containing materials).

7-11 penne    penne 7-11 ingredients

Get it at:

Asakusa Kaminarimon-mae store

Minami Otsuka 3-chome store 

Akihabara eki-kita store

Edogawa nishi kasai 4-chome store

Edogawa nishi kasai 7-chome store

Edogawa seishin plaza store

Edogawa naka kasai 3-chome store

Edogawa naka kasai 3-chome nishi store

Nishi kasai 3-chome store

• Soy Patty Burger Bowl/べジマーグ丼 vegan bento (certified vegan by Japan Vegetarian Society) was on sale at 2400 Family Mart stores in Tokyo as of March 17th, 2020, however, as of mid-May 2020, it seems to be only occasionally found in stores. See the press release here (Japanese).

family mart vegan bento

• Soymeat Keema Curry vegan bento (certified vegan by Japan Vegetarian Society) will be on sale from Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at some Family Mart stores in Tokyo and Kanagawa- a total of 820 stores. The press release (Japanese) states it was developed because the previous soy patty burger bowl sold well, and customers requested products with soymeat.

Family Mart Soybean Meat Curry

 

RICE BALLS (ONIGIRI)

Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to determine which rice balls are vegan by reading the ingredient list. Fish powder or seafood is often used to flavor the rice balls, and if it is used in a small amount and is not one of the allergens legally required to be marked by law, it is often not written on the package anywhere, including the ingredient list. Only contacting customer service will get you information about which rice balls have off-label animal ingredients.

 

It seems that salt onigiri and ume (pickled plum) onigiri are the most likely to be vegan, whereas kombu (seaweed) is likely to contain fish powder to flavor the kombu. However, some ume onigiri do have katsuo (skipjack tuna fish stock) used to flavor the ume and it’s been reported that some salt onigiri also contain fish stock.

Some information about onigiri courtesy of Vegana No Japão (Portuguese).

Current list of rice balls confirmed NOT to have animal ingredients:

7/11:
• Salt onigiri (銀しゃりむすび塩むすび)
20190503_094246 (2)    20190503_094252 (3).jpg

There is also another version of this product in some 7-11 stores that says on the front of the package it uses kombu dashi/昆布だし. 7-11 stated in an email that it uses kombu dashi and does not use animal ingredients and that this product in their stores does not contain animal ingredients. However the mail included the sentence なお、原材料について全てを遡っての確認は出来ておりません。さらに、使用原材料は断りなく変わります。From autotranslate: In addition, it is not possible to check retrospectively everything about raw materials. Furthermore, the raw materials used will change without notice.

20190502_131745 (2)    20190502_125001 (2).jpg

Family Mart:
• Ume/pickled plum (手巻 紀州南高梅)
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Lawson:
• Niigata Salted Koshihikari Rice Ball (新潟コシヒカリおにぎり 塩にぎり)
20190120_221519    20190120_221527

• Ume/pickled plum (紀州南高梅)

20190213_220559.jpg

Current list of onigiri confirmed TO have animal ingredients:

7/11:
Their rice balls vary in ingredients by region. For the Aichi region:
• Pickled plum/ume (手巻 おにぎり熟成仕立て紀州南高梅たたき梅): contains katsuo dashi (skipjack tuna powdered stock). 

20190131_112240
• Kombu seaweed (手巻おにぎり二段階仕込み日高昆布): contains katsuo dashi (skipjack tuna powdered stock)

20190131_112246

Family Mart:
• Kombu seaweed (手巻 北海道産昆布): contains animal products

20181116_225444 - Copy

Lawson:
• Kombu (日高昆布): Contains katsuo dashi (skipjack tuna powdered stock) and scallops.

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Unconfirmed:

Daily Yamazaki:
Their past item, pickled plum/ ume (九州産たたき梅), was confirmed NOT to have animal ingredients. It appears to have been replaced with another, similar item called the pickled plum/ume (紀州南高梅) (photo below). We have not checked with the manufacturer if this one has off-label animal ingredients or not.

20190207_174939    20190207_174944

Daily Yamazaki:
Their previous item, seaweed/ kombu (日高昆布), was confirmed TO have contained animal ingredients, so it was not vegan.  The label says “新発売/shinhatsubai,” meaning “now on sale,” but the item name is the same as before. It’s likely that this new version still has animal ingredients, but we have not contacted the manufacturer to confirm.

20181122_130310

Mini Stop:

Their previous item, Ume/pickled plum (おにぎり (紀州梅)), was confirmed NOT to have contained animal ingredients. It appears to have been replaced with another item, the Kishu Nanko Plum onigiri (紀州南高梅) (photo below). We have not checked with the manufacturer if this one has off-label animal ingredients or not.

20190404_160703 (2)

Mini Stop:

Their previous item, kombu with shiso (おにぎり北海道産昆布 (しそ)), was confirmed NOT to have contained animal ingredients. It appears to have been replaced with another item, the Hidaka Kombu Kelp onigiri (日高昆布) (photo below). We have not checked with the manufacturer if this one has off-label animal ingredients or not.

20190404_160703 (3)

SUSHI

INARI ZUSHI

Inari zushi (rice in a tofu pocket) is often available in convenience stores. Unfortunately, people who contacted them to inquire found that all the major convenience stores use katsuo dashi (powdered skipjack fish dashi) to flavor the tofu wrap of their inari zushi. It’s not listed in the ingredients or is listed as an ingredient like その他 (“sono ta,” meaning “other”).

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FERMENTED SOY BEAN (NATTO) ROLL

Natto bacteria, which is used to ferment natto beans, is grown on plant matter, fish, or gelatin in Japan. So, animal parts can be used in the production, even though this won’t be written on the label.

natto-roll-contains-bonito-711

NOODLES

A Korean company called Nongshim sells a product called Shin Ramen.

Per the company as of February 2020, the bag version of Nongshim Shin Ramen made and sold in Japan does not contain animal ingredients. The bag version is sold in 7-11 convenience stores and you can also find a three-pack for sale online. A five-pack is also available in Don Quixote. However, there is an imported bag version (from Korea) that contains eggshell calcium/卵殻カルシウム, beef seasoning/ビーフシーズニング and pork bone seasoning/豚骨シーズニング. All are listed on the ingredient list in Japanese. This nonvegan version has been spotted on Rakuten and at Carnival import store, but not in any convenience stores. Check the ingredient list of the bag version before you buy.

Nongshim Shin Ramen/Nongshim シンラーメン. Fried noodles: Flour, starch, vegetable oil, salt, vegetable seasoning. Soup: Flavor seasoning, salt, chili seasoning powder, sugars, soy sauce, yeast seasoning powder, pepper, garlic powder, miso, shiitake powder, onion flavor powder, ginger extract. Toppings: (Bok choy, shiitake, seasoned soy protein, carrot, green onion, chili flake)/processed starch, seasoning (amino acids, etc.), lye water, thickener (gum arabic), emulsifier, spice extract, antioxidants (vitamin E, green tea extract), acidulant, niacin, vitamin B1, iron, vitamin B2, folic acid.

Product includes wheat and soybeans.

Products containing pork, beef, sesame, soba, egg, dairy, peanuts, shrimp, crab, chicken, squid, and mackerel are processed in the same factory.

20200201_203538 (2)    20200201_203543 (3)

Here are photos of the made-in-Korea version that contains eggshell calcium/卵殻カルシウム, beef seasoning/ビーフシーズニング and pork bone seasoning/豚骨シーズニング.

shin ramen made in korea front of package    shin ramen made in korea ingredient list

There are also a cup version and a mini cup version out on the market. It’s unclear if they’re sold in convenience stores or not, but per the company, the large cup version has sardines/イワシ off-label. The mini cup version has multiple animal ingredients listed in the ingredient list.

Convenience stores like Family Mart sometimes have pre-packaged noodle-shaped tofu with sesame sauce. The amino acids in the product are confirmed vegan, however, the manufacturer could not confirm if the sugar used in the product was bone char processed or not.

Be careful to get the product in the red-orange package with sesame tsuyu included, and not one in the blue package with fish included or the green package with egg and fish included. 

Kibun Tofu Somen Style with Sesame Tsuyu Sauce/紀文 豆腐そうめん風 胡麻つゆ付き. Ingredients: 【Noodle-shaped tofu】 Soybean (USA, Canada), starch components, salt/paste materials (processed starch, sodium alginate, polysaccharide thickener), coagulant (calcium chloride, magnesium chloride) (Contains soybeans as part of ingredients.)【Attached Sauce Packet】  Sugar, soy sauce, salt, sesame seed paste, sesame oil, yeast extract / seasoning (amino acid etc), thickener (processed starch), coloring (caramel), flavoring. (Includes wheat, sesame and soybeans as part of ingredients.) Manufactured on equipment that also processes eggs.

Roasted sesame was used to create the sauce. The products are meant to be eaten cold, without cooking. Open the noodle container and throw out the water, then add the sauce to the noodles and eat. 

Kibun Tofu Somen Style front of package    Kibun Tofu Somen Style back of package

Kibun Tofu Somen Style with Mentsuyu Sauce/紀文 豆腐そうめん風 麺つゆ付きcontains fish in the sauce, as is typical for mentsuyu not made in a vegan restaurant.

The package has been changed recently. The old packaging is shown on the left, and the new packaging is shown on the right. Photo on the right from website.

20181121_233327 - copy    katsuo tofu noodles new package

Kibun Tofu Somen Style with Egg/紀文 玉子とうふそうめん風 is not vegan as it contains fish and egg.

Photo from website.

egg tofu noodles new package

 

T’s vegan instant ramen is available in two flavors at some branches of NewDays  convenience stores in or next to select JR East train stations. They are sometimes accompanied by an English sign saying “No MSG, no animal product, no alcohol.”  They can also be purchased online, at the chain of T’s vegan restaurants and at the occasional supermarket.

 

• T’s Noodle Hot and Sour Noodle Soup. Ingredients: Noodles (wheat flour, salt, soy dietary fiber), soup (soy sauce, sugars, brewed vinegar, salt, vegetable oil, miso, spice, yeast extract, garlic paste, flavor oil, shiitake extract, kelp powder) toppings (tofu, corn, bok choi, chili)/thickener (guar gum), lye water, caramel pigment, antioxidant (vitamin E), spice extract, red pepper pigment. (Product contains wheat, sesame and soy.)

• T’s Noodle Vegan Tantan Noodle Soup. Ingredients: Noodles (wheat flour, salt, soybean dietary fiber), soup (sesame seeds, salt, sugars, vegetable oil, yeast extract, broad bean chili sauce, onion powder, spices, flavor oil, sweet soybean paste, protein hydrolyzate, shiitake extract), toppings (bok choi, sesame, granular soybean protein, edamame, spices)/lye water, thickening polysaccharides, caramel pigment, antioxidant (vitamin E), acidulant, red pepper pigment, spice extract. (Product contains wheat, sesame and soy)

t's tantan new version    t's tantan new version 2

You can buy ready to eat soba (buckwheat noodles – on the left hand side below) and udon (wheat noodles – on the right hand side below) in Japanese convenience stores. These noodles are usually vegan; just check for egg white (卵白).

The dipping sauce that comes with the noodles is made with fish sauce as standard. You can replace the sauce with soy sauce. Soy sauce may be available at the convenience store counter, but it can be useful to carry your own with you. You can buy very small bottles of soy sauce at supermarkets and some convenience stores.

buckwheat-noodles-family-mart  udon-711

Here are a few photos of some soy sauce in small 100ml bottles that can be found in convenience stores:

• Kikkoman Special Reduced Salt Soy Sauce/キッコーマン 特選丸大豆減塩しょうゆ. Ingredients: Soybeans (not genetically modified), wheat, salt/alcohol, acidulant, vitamin B1.

Product contains wheat and soybeans.

Under pressure from PETA, Kikkoman agreed to stop animal testing as of 2015, except when accountable to public safety or to comply with the demands of government authorities.

Their animal testing policy is here (English).

20190414_183704 (3)    20190414_183716 (3)

• Kikkoman Special Soy Sauce/キッコーマン 特選丸大豆しょうゆ. Ingredients: Soybeans (US) (not genetically modified), wheat, salt.

Product contains wheat and soybeans.

Under pressure from PETA, Kikkoman agreed to stop animal testing as of 2015, except when accountable to public safety or to comply with the demands of government authorities.

Their animal testing policy is here (English).

20190414_183704 (4).jpg    20190414_183716 (4)

 

SALAD

Vegan salads are available at most convenience stores, however you should check the salad carefully before you buy it because there are often things like small fish, meat or egg included in the salad. You also need to be careful with the dressing. It’s difficult to find vegan dressing in convenience store salads/sachets and restaurants in Japan, but supermarkets do have a good selection of possibly vegan choices. It can be a good idea to carry your own salad dressing with you. Choose something that does not need refrigeration, such as balsamic vinegar.

salad-family-mart  salad-2-family-mart

Many convenience stores also sell bags of salad and whole tomatoes, if you would like to make the salad yourself.

Lawson:

This salad does not come with dressing (Dressing sold separately/ドレッシング別売り).

• Corn Salad/シャキッと コーンサラダ. Ingredients: Cabbage (domestically grown), corn (America), carrots (domestically grown), leaf lettuce (domestically grown), red cabbage (domestically grown).

20190302_165016.jpg

Family Mart:

• Prewashed Salad Mix/洗わずそのまま食べられる緑黄色野菜ミックス. Ingredients: Carrots (domestic), daikon radish (domestic), lettuce (domestic), spinach (domestic), romaine lettuce (domestic), green leaf (domestic), sunny lettuce (domestic), radicchio (American/Mexican), Japanese mustard greens (domestic), red cabbage (domestic), red bell pepper (Korean), yellow bell pepper (Korean).

20190713_172244 (2)    20190713_172307 (2)

Family Mart’s Japanese-Style Dressing/和風ドレッシング and Japanese-Style Low-Salt Dressing/減塩和風ドレッシング appear to possibly be vegan. They are available in single-size serving packets near the salads. The other single-serving dressing packets at Family Mart are not vegan.

• Family Mart Japanese-Style Dressing/ファミリーマート 和風ドレッシング. Ingredients: Sugar, vegetable fats and oils, soy sauce, brewed vinegar, onion, amino acids etc., salt, roasted onion paste, dried red pepper/seasoning (amino acids etc.), polysaccharide thickener, spice extract, flavoring. (Product contains wheat and soy.)

20190128_205545      20190128_205605

• Family Mart Japanese-Style Low-Salt Dressing/ファミリーマート 減塩和風ドレッシング. Ingredients: Vegetable fats and oils (contains soy), sugars (sugar, high-fructose corn syrup), brewed vinegar, soy sauce (contains wheat), processed soy sauce product (pure brew soy sauce), dried onion chips, rice fermented seasoning, processed olive product, salt, roasted onion, red bell pepper/seasoning, inorganic salt etc., thickener (xanthan), polyglutamic acid, iron gluconate. Product contains wheat and soy.

20190128_205538    20190128_205602

Lawson:

Although this single-serving size dressing is meant for chicken salad, and there is a picture of chicken on the package, it may be vegan according to the ingredient list.

• Sauce for Salad Chicken/サラダチキン(よだれ鶏用ソース). Ingredients: Vegetable oils and fats (domestically processed), soy sauce, brewed vinegar, high-fructose corn syrup, sesame, rice fermented seasoning, sugar, ginger, peanuts, salt, garlic paste, spices, yeast extract powder/seasoning (amino acids, etc.), thickener (xanthan gum), spice extract. (Product contains wheat, peanuts, sesame, and soybeans.)

20190213_220510 (2)  20190213_220524 (2)

None of the individual dressing packets near the salads at 7-11 or Natural Lawson are currently vegan.

Some stores also have a cup with things like carrot, cucumber and dip. The dip is not vegan at any of the convenience stores.

vegie-cup-family-martjpg

Convenience stores will sometimes have french fries and/or hash browns in the hot food section near the registers. In general, all the hot food will be cooked in common fryers (including items that contain animal ingredients). Exercise caution if you have food allergies or intolerances. It is common for these foods to contain palm oil.

HASHED POTATO

7/11:

Hashed potato/ハッシュポテトIngredients: Potato (not genetically modified), vegetable oil, salt, dried potato, wheat flour, glucose / spice extract (Product contains wheat and soy)

As of July 2019, 7-11’s customer service stated that animal ingredients are not used for the hashed potato. 

The vegetable oil used in the hashed potato consists of rapeseed oil, palm oil, soybean oil and sunflower oil.

In addition, the frying oil used at Seven-Eleven stores is rapeseed oil and sunflower oil, but it also contains an ingredient derived from palm oil.

They also stated to please keep in mind that the product standards and ingredients used could be changed without notice.

Photo from website.

7-11 hashed potato

Family Mart:

Hashed Potato/ハッシュドポテト. Ingredients: Potato, vegetable oil, salt, dried potato, onion powder, glucose, flavor, sodium pyrophosphate.

As of July 2019, customer service stated that animal ingredients (including meat, fish, dairy products and eggs) are not used.

Until late July 2019, the Family Mart website stated that their fried items were fried in palm oil, however, that information seems to have now been removed from the website. However, their customer service confirmed that the oil used to fry the items still contains palm oil.

Photo from website.

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FRENCH FRIES

Fried potatoes in the hot foods section of the convenience store, by the register, are a ‘maybe’. According to the allergy information on the 7-11 website theirs look ok, but as always the oil and seasoning used may be an issue.

The Family Mart fried potatoes come with your choice of four seasonings, 明太マヨソース/Alaska pollack mayonnaise sauce, トマトケチャップ/tomato ketchup, サラダエレガンスシーズニング/salad elegance seasoning, or リアルソルトシーズニング/real salt seasoning. Per this allergen chart, the Alaska pollack mayonnaise sauce is not vegan as it contains egg, milk and fish.

The salad elegance seasoning, tomato ketchup and real salt seasoning do not show any animal ingredients on the allergen chart.

Until late July 2019, the Family Mart website stated that their fried items were fried in palm oil, however, that information seems to have now been removed from the website. However, their customer service confirmed that the oil used to fry the items still contains palm oil.

Photo from website.

Family Mart fried potatoes

There are also frozen french fries that are meant to be microwaved as-is in the package. Some examples are shown below.

Family Mart:

• Mom’s Dining Room French Fries/お母さんの食堂フライドポテト. Ingredients: Potatoes, vegetable oil, salt, glucose/sodium pyrophosphate. (Product contains soy.)

20190227_232024.jpg     20190227_232029

Lawson:

• Lawson Select French Fries/ローソンセレクトフライドポテトIngredients: Potatoes, vegetable oil, dextrin, salt, rice flour, starch, glucose/modified starch, leavening agent, thickener (xanthan gum), carotenoid pigment. 

20190404_145819 (2).jpg    20190404_145815 (2).jpg

•7-11 Microwave French Fries/レンジでフライドポテト. Ingredients: Potatoes, vegetable oil, glucose/sodium phyrophosphate.

Product contains wheat.

20191102_163700 (2)    20191102_163708 (2)

• 7-11 Shoestring French Fries/ 細切りフライドポテト. Ingredients: Potatoes, vegetable oil, glucose/sodium pyrophosphate. (Product contains wheat.)

20190404_150534 (2)    20190404_150528 (2)

As of February 2020, 7-11’s daigaku imo (a sweetened potato dessert) have honey, so are not suitable for vegans.

daigakuimo

EDAMAME

These salted young soy beans in the pod are available in most convenience stores, but the best bets are 7-11 and Family Mart.

20181219_082814    20181219_082821

FOOD TO MAKE A MEAL

If you are able to cook for yourself while you are in Japan it is handy to know that you can buy the ingredients to make a basic vegan meal – vegetables, tofu and cooked rice – at a convenience store! There are often bags of cut vegetables as well as whole vegetables like potatoes, carrots and eggplants. You can also find packaged cooked vegetables like sweet potato and pumpkin. Note the packaged pumpkin at 7-11 contains dashi and egg, so is not vegan.

Family Mart:

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20181121_233314

NewDays:

20181122_134804-1    20181122_134809

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FRUIT

Many convenience stores sell a good range of fruit, including bananas, frozen blueberries, frozen mango, kiwifruit and pineapple. Some is cut and packaged, some is dried, while some is whole.

Family Mart:

Frozen pineapple, frozen apple mango, frozen mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries and raspberries), frozen whole mandarin, frozen blueberries.

20181121_233508    20190119_003937

The same frozen mandarins in the photo above are also available in boxes in various convenience stores, especially in summer.

• Hatchando Peeled Mandarin/八ちゃん堂 むかんみかん. Ingredients: Mandarins (domestically grown).

20190207_175114

7/11:

Frozen mixed fruits, pineapple stick, oranges, grapes, apple mango, strawberries, blueberries, grapefruit, and golden pineapple.

The mixed fruit on the top left contain banana, mango, pineapple/antioxidant (Vitamin C). The strawberries, 果実そのままいちご, contain just strawberries.

20190106_174349

Frozen Mango Sticks may also be available at 7-11.

• Mango Stick/マンゴースティック. Ingredient: Mango.

20191102_163624    20191102_163630

• Just Melon/果実そのままメロン. Ingredient: Melon.

melon    melon back

Lawson:

Kracie Frozen Mandarins/Kracie クラシエ 冷凍みかんむいちゃいました. Ingredients: Mandarin flesh, sugar, acidity regulator, stabilizing agent (polysaccharide thickener), flavoring.

Only available in convenience stores. This low-calorie frozen confection using whole fruits has 30-36 calories per bag.

20190130_232725.jpg    20190130_232730

Some convenience stores also carry sliced apples. One widely available product is called:

• Apple Sweets/アップルスイーツ. Ingredients: Apples (grown in Japan), trehalose, antioxidant (Vitamin C), calcium carbonate.

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Mini Stop:

Topvalu Delicious As-Is Sliced Apples/トップバリュ おいしさそのままカっとりんご. Ingredients: Apples/trehalose, antioxidant (vitamin C), calcium carbonate.

20190404_160822 (2).jpg    20190404_160827 (2)

Family Mart:

• Tsugaru Apples/津軽りんご. Ingredients: Apples (Aomori-grown), salt/antioxidant (vitamin C), pH stabilizer.

Uses Tsugaru Apples from Aomori Prefecture.

20190413_072435 (2)    20190413_072442 (2)

7/11:

• 7-11 Peeled apple/皮むきりんご Ingredients: Apple, maltose, salt/antioxidant (vitamin C)

40337712_10155750857590418_6642665848139939840_o.jpg    40330151_10155750857840418_2379533889119977472_o

7-11 also carry a line of cut fruits, including kiwi, pineapple, white peach and mikan. The white peach and mikan include flavoring.

40293603_10155750858035418_5820596982992863232_o

7 Premium Peeled Apple/セブンプレミアム 皮むきりんご. Ingredients: Apple, maltose, salt, antioxidant (vitamin C). Product contains apples. 

20190420_140459 (2)    20190420_140509 (2)

•  7 Premium Pineapple/セブンプレミアム パイナップル. Ingredient: Pineapple.

20190420_140456 (2)    20190420_140504 (2)

7 Premium White Peach/セブンプレミアム 白桃. Ingredients: White peach (China), saccharides (high-fructose corn syrup, galactooligosaccharides), concentrated peach juice/citric acid, antioxidant (vitamin C), sweeteners (acesulfame K, sucralose, Neotame), flavoring.

7-11 fruits (2)    20190227_104536 (2)

Newdays:

These tasty dried apples with sweetener are a light snack.

• Apple Chips from Aomori/青森のりんごちっぷす. Ingredients: Apples (grown in Aomori), vegetable oil, maltotriose syrup.

20180323_203806    20180323_203815

There are sweetened fruits in a cup available in many convenience stores like Mini Stop and Family Mart:

• Vita Aloe & Nata de Coco/Vita アロエ&ナタデココ. Ingredients: Aloe vera, concentrated pineapple syrup, nata de coco/citric acid, antioxidant (vitamin C), flavoring.

Product from Thailand. Long shelf life.

20190404_160758 (3).jpg    20190404_160807 (2).jpg

• Vita Red Grapefruit/Vita レッドグレープフルーツ. Ingredients: Grapefruit, sugar, antioxidant (vitamin C), preservatives (potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate).

Product of Mexico. Uses red grapefruit grown in an area commonly called the Citrus Belt, spanning the north and south of Mexico.

20190404_160758 (2).jpg    20190404_160807 (3)

Most convenience stores in Japan should have fresh bananas.

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NUTS

Most convenience stores have a good selection of nuts, for example peanuts, cashews, almonds, pistachios, walnuts and chestnuts. Check the package to make sure you are just buying nuts, as sometimes nuts are sold mixed with small dried fish and other non-vegan ingredients.

In Japan, “butter peanuts” can sometimes mean that butter made from cow’s milk was added as an ingredient (“butter oil/バターオイル”), and sometimes just seems to be referring to a type of peanut, with vegetable oil used in place of dairy. Check the label carefully before buying.

Peanuts will generally be the cheapest type of nut available.

Here are a few examples of nuts that you can find in convenience stores.

7-11:

• Ton’s Brand Almonds & Cashew Nuts/アーモンド&カシューナッツ. Ingredients: Almonds (from U.S.A.), cashew nuts (from India), vegetable fats and oils, salt.

Manufactured in the same facility as items containing wheat, shrimp, peanuts, and other ingredients.

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• 7/11 Butter Peanuts/7-11こだわりのバタピー are not vegan as they have butter oil/バターオイル.

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• 7/11 Unglazed Mixed Nuts/素焼きミックスナッツ. Ingredients: Almonds (U.S.A.), cashew nuts (India), walnuts (U.S.A.), macadamia nuts (Australia).

Manufactured in the same facility as items containing dairy, wheat and peanuts.

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Lawson:

These Raw Sugar Taste Mixed Nuts have Natural Lawson branding on the package.

• Raw Sugar Taste Mixed Nuts/黒糖ナッツ&ナッツ アーモンド・くるみ. Ingredients: Brown sugar almonds (almonds from Australia, processed brown sugar, Japanese brown sugar syrup, salt), brown sugar walnuts  (walnuts from America, processed brown sugar, Japanese brown sugar syrup, salt). Product contains walnuts.

Uses kuromitsu and kokuto. Contains 8.9 grams of carbohydrates and  2.9 g of dietary fiber in one bag.

Processed in the same facilities as products containing peanuts, wheat, dairy, and shrimp.

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Lawson also sells soy-sauce flavored crackers mixed with peanuts.

• Cubic Rice Crackers and Peanut mix/粒もちピーナッツ uses amino acids from plants, according to Lawson. It is confirmed to use sugar that has not been whitened using the bone char method.

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CHIPS

Daily Yamazaki:

• Ryomi 100 Sen Potato Chips, Lightly Salted/良味100選 ポテトチップスうすしお味. Ingredients: Potatoes (not genetically modified), vegetable oil, salt, protein hydrolyzate (contains soybeans)/seasoning (amino acids, etc.)

Processed on shared equipment with items containing egg, dairy, and wheat.

These are potentially vegan. Since protein hydrolyzate can be made from animal or plant sources, it’s unclear whether only soy/vegetable protein hydrolyzate was used to make these chips.

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Family Mart:

• Lightly Salted Potato Chips with Two Kinds of Salt/ ファミリーマート ポテトチップス2種のうすしお味. Ingredients: Potatoes (non-genetically modified), vegetable oil, salt (60% rock salt from France, 40% Setouchi sea salt), dextrin, sugar, corn starch, seasoning (amino acids, etc.).

100% domestically grown potatoes used.

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• Family Mart Potato Sticks, Lightly Salted/ファミリーマート じゃかスティックあっさりうま塩味.Ingredients: Potato powder (not genetically modified), starch, vegetable oil, wheat flour, salt, kombu seaweed extract powder, dextrin, sugar/processed starch, seasoning (amino acids, etc.), calcium carbonate.

Manufactured on common equipment with products containing egg, dairy, crab, and shrimp.

Made in collaboration with Calbee.

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• Family Mart Strong Laver & Salt Potato Chips/ファミリーマート ポテトチップス濃いめのり塩. Ingredients: Potatoes (not genetically modified), vegetable oil, salt, nori, sea lettuce, red pepper, seasoning (amino acids, etc.).

Both kinds of seaweed and the salt are domestically produced.

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•  Family Mart Wave-Shaped Thick-Cut Potato Chips with Sea Salt from Australia/波型厚切りポテトチップ 天日塩100%. Ingredients: Potatoes (not genetically modified), vegetable oil, salt (100% sea salt from Australia), yeast extract powder, dextrin/seasoning (amino acids, etc.), flavoring.

Made on the same equipment as products containing shrimp, crab, wheat, egg, and dairy.

Made in collaboration with Calbee.

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Lawson:

The following product may be vegan, depending on what the hydrolyzed protein is made out of.

• Calbee Sapporo Light Texture Vegetable Sticks/カルビー サッポロポテトつぶつぶベジタブル. Ingredients: Wheat, vegetable oil, Irish Cobbler potatoes (not genetically modified), potato starch, dehydrated potatoes, corn starch, sugar, spinach, salt, top-grade rice flour made from non-glutinous rice, carrot, bell pepper, kabocha squash powder, tomato paste, onion powder, red bell pepper paste, red beet powder, hydrolyzed protein/ seasoning (amino acid etc.), trehalose, pH adjusting agent, sweetener (licorice). (Product contains wheat.)

Manufactured in the same factory as items containing egg, dairy, shrimp, and crab.

Stick-shaped snacks. Includes 7 kinds of vegetables.

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Fukagawa Oil &Fat Company, Ltd. Hokkaido Potato Chips, Salt Taste/深川油脂工業 北海道ポテトチップス うす塩味. Ingredients: Domestically produced non-gmo potatoes, vegetable fats & oils, salt.

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• Lawson Potato Chips Lightly Salted Flavor/ローソン 厚切りザクッとポテトうすしお味. Ingredients: Potatoes (not genetically modified), vegetable oil, salt, yeast extract powder, dextrin/seasoning (amino acids, etc.), flavoring.

Made in the same factory as items containing eggs, dairy, wheat, shrimp, and crab.

Made in collaboration with Calbee. Made with four kinds of salt: Australian sun-dried salt, American rock salt, Sicilian rock salt, and sea salt from Oshima island in Japan.

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Mini Stop:

The following product may be vegan, depending on what the hydrolyzed protein is made out of.

• Mini Stop Calbee Sapporo Potato Speckled Vegetables/Mini Stop カルビー サッポロポテトつぶつぶベジタブル. Ingredients: Wheat, vegetable oil, Irish Cobbler potatoes (not genetically modified), potato starch, dehydrated potatoes, corn starch, sugar, spinach, salt, top-grade rice flour made from non-glutinous rice, carrot, bell pepper, kabocha squash powder, tomato paste, onion powder, red bell pepper paste, red beet powder, hydrolyzed protein/ seasoning (amino acid etc.), trehalose, pH adjusting agent, sweetener (licorice). (Product contains wheat.)

Manufactured in the same production process as items containing egg, dairy, shrimp, and crab.

Stick-shaped snacks. Includes 7 kinds of vegetables.

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• Mini Stop Lightly Salted Potato Chips/Mini Stop ポテトチップスうすしお味. Ingredients: Potatoes (not genetically modified), vegetable oil, salt, dextrin, sugar, seasoning (amino acids, etc.)

This product is made in a plant that also processes items including egg, dairy, wheat, shrimp, and crab (of the top 7 allergens).

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Mini Stop Salt Only Tortilla Chips/Mini Stop 塩のみで味付けしたトルティアチップス. Ingredients: Corn (not genetically modified), vegetable oil, salt.

This product is made in a plant that also processes items including egg, milk, wheat, shrimp, and crab (of the top 7 allergens).

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• Mini Stop Strong Laver & Salt Potato Chips/Mini Stop 濃いめのり塩. Ingredients: Potatoes (not genetically modified), vegetable oil, salt, nori, sea lettuce, red pepper, seasoning (amino acids, etc.).

Out of the top 7 allergens, this product was made in the same factory as items containing five of them: egg, milk, wheat, shrimp, and crab.

There is also a sentence saying the nori and sea lettuce are harvested using a fishing method where shrimp and crab are mixed together with the nori and sea lettuce.

Both kinds of seaweeds and the salt are domestically produced. Product appears to be made in collaboration with Koikeya.

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Mini Stop convenience store also sells this product with its own branding on it.

• Mini Stop Tohato Poteco, Lightly Salted/東ハト ポテコ・うすしお味. Ingredients: Dehydrated potato (not genetically modified), vegetable oil, salt/processed starch, seasoning (amino acids, etc.), antioxidant (vitamin E).

Manufactured on common equipment with items containing: egg, dairy, wheat, peanuts, shrimp, and crab.

Ring-shaped potato snacks. 15 percent of the salt used is from Okinawa Prefecture.

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Natural Lawson (and Lawson):

The following chips with Natural Lawson branding on the package are available in both Natural Lawson and Lawson convenience stores. They don’t use sugar or salt and let you taste the natural sweetness of the vegetables.

Natural Lawson Calbee Vegips Fried Yam, Lotus Root and Sweet Potato/ベジップス3種の根菜 長いも・れんこん・さつまいもIngredients: lotus root, yam, sweet potato, vegetable oil.

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• Natural Lawson Calbee Vegips Onion, Squash and Potato/ベジップス たまねぎ かぼちゃ じゃがいも. Ingredients: Potato (not genetically modified), pumpkin, onion, vegetable oil/antioxidant (vitamin C).

These chips don’t use sugar or salt and let you taste the natural sweetness of the vegetables.

Made in a factory that also handles items containing wheat, egg, dairy, shrimp, and crab.

Limited-edition flavor.

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Natural Lawson Calbee Vegips Sweet Potato Carrot Pumpkin/ベジップスさつまいもにんじんかぼちゃ. Ingredients: Sweet potatoes, carrot, pumpkin, vegetable oil.

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• Natural Lawson Potato Chips fried in Olive Oil/オリーブオイルで揚げたポテトチップス. Ingredients: Potato (not genetically modified), olive oil, salt (100% Italian sun-dried salt used).

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Natural Lawson Sweet Potato Chips/種子島産安納芋チップス. Ingredients: Sweet potato (100% annou imo from Tanegashima), vegetable oil.

These sweet potato chips use “annou imo,” a special type of potato with a high sugar content and orange-hued flesh,  which is grown on Tanegashima, an island located to the south of Kyushu.

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7-11:

• 7-11 Salt potato chips (with salt from Ishigaki island)/7-11石垣の塩で味付け厚切りポテト  Ingredients: potatoes (not genetically modified), vegetable oil, salt (100% salt from Ishigaki island used), corn starch, yeast extract powder, kombu powder.

7-11’s customer service has stated that they don’t know if their fresh products like anman and rice balls have small amounts of animal products since they are made in different locations across the country (with the exception of the salt onigiri, which is animal-ingredient free). It isn’t clear if their packaged items like chips are the same.

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• 7-11 Lightly Salted Potato Chips/7-11 うま味広がるうましお味ポテトチップス. Ingredients: Potatoes (not genetically modified), vegetable oil, salt, kombu seaweed extract powder, yeast extract powder/seasoning (amino acids, etc.)

Manufactured in the same factory as items containing egg, dairy, wheat, shrimp, and crab.

Salt is 100% sea salt from Naruto, Shikoku.

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 YBC Chip Star Lightly Salted/YBC チップスターうすしお味. Ingredients: Potato flakes, vegetable fats and oils, salt/emulsifier, seasoning (amino acids etc).

Manufactured on common equipment with items containing egg, milk, wheat, shrimp, and crab.

As of 2017, a blog reader reported that the company confirmed this product contains no animal ingredients, meaning the emulsifier and amino acids are not animal-based.

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• YBC Chip Star Salted Laver/YBC チップスターのりしお味. Ingredients: Potato flakes, vegetable fats and oils, nori, salt/emulsifier, seasoning (amino acids, etc.)

Manufactured on common equipment with products containing egg, milk, wheat, shrimp, and crab.

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POPCORN

Family Mart:

• Crispy Fluffy Popcorn with Two Kinds of Salt/ふんわりポープコーン2種のあっさりしお味. Ingredients: Corn (non-genetically modified), vegetable oil, salt.

Two kinds of salt are used, Shimamasu from Okinawa and Setouchi sea salt.

Not available in some parts of the Tokai region.

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Mini Stop:

• Mini Stop Everyday Treats Salted Popcorn/Mini Stop ポップコーンしお味. Ingredients: Corn (not genetically modified), vegetable oil, salt.

Products containing shrimp, crab, wheat, egg, and milk are also processed in the same factory.

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SWEET POTATO 

Lawson:

Bite-size Roasted Sweet Potato/ひとくち焼きいも. Ingredients: Sweet potatoes, sugar.

Preservatives and colorings are not used.

Uses red Azuma sweet potatoes from Ibaraki Prefecture, an older variety of sweet potato that’s cultivated for its sweetness and aroma, which is said to be chestnut-like.

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Calbee Osatsubee/カルビー おさつビー. Ingredients: Sweet potatoes, vegetable oil, antioxidant (vitamin C).

Manufactured on the same equipment as items containing egg, dairy, wheat, shrimp, and crab.

Sweet and crispy sweet potato sticks.

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Also at Lawson, these sweet potato sticks with Natural Lawson branding on the package are very filling.

• Organically cultivated dried potato stick/有機栽培の干し芋スティック. Ingredients: Organically cultivated sweet potato (satsumaimo).

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PICKLED PLUM SNACKS

Lawson:

• Sheet Shaped Pickled Plum/梅干しシート. Ingredients: Plum, sugars (sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, glucose), salt/seasonings (amino acids, etc.), sweeteners (aspartame/L-phenylalanine compound, stevia), coloring (anthocyanin), acidity regulator.

Manufactured in a factory along with products containing wheat, milk, soybeans, squid, sesame, apple, and peach.

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COOKIES AND CAKES

Morinaga, the largest confectionary company in Japan with over a 100-year history, has a line of macrobiotic biscuits and cakes called Macrobiha. The biscuits are currently available in three flavors, Cocoa & Nuts, Fruit & Granola, and Nuts & Salt, and the cakes are available in two flavors, Banana and Cocoa. The first two flavors of the biscuits are carried in many of the major convenience store chains as well as some drugstores and grocery stores. The cakes are occasionally spotted in some 7-11s.

The biscuit packages are marked “Margarine and white sugar not used.” The cake packages are marked “White sugar not used. Sugar from sugar beets used. No margarine or shortening. No animal ingredients used/動物性素材不使用.”

Per an article in LiveKindly in November 2018, Morinaga has agreed to cease all animal testing not required by law.

The portion of the website showing the Macrobiha biscuits is here.

• Morinaga Macrobiha Almond and Cranberry/マクロビ派アーモンドとクランベリー.Ingredients: Oat flakes, edible rapeseed oil, sugar (sugar beet sugar), flour, whole wheat flour, dried cranberry with juice (cranberry, concentrated apple juice, edible sunflower oil), almonds, brown rice flakes, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, salt.

Macrobiha almond and cranberry    macrobiha almond and cranberry back of package  almond and cranberry macrobiha biscuit large package

• Morinaga Macrobiha Three Kinds of Nuts and Cacao/マクロビ派3種のナッツと香りばさしカカオ. Ingredients: Sugar (sugar beet sugar), oat flakes, edible rapeseed oil, flour, whole wheat flour, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, cocoa powder, salt.

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The previous biscuit flavors are shown below and as of March 2020, are still available for purchase online.

• Morinaga Macrobiha Cocoa and Nuts/マクロビ派カカオナッツ. Ingredients: Sugar (made from sugar beets), flour, oat flakes, edible rapeseed oil, almonds, brown rice flakes, cocoa powder, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, salt/vanilla flavor.

Product contains wheat.

Processed on the same equipment as items containing egg and milk.

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• Morinaga Macrobiha Fruit & Granola/マクロビ派 フルーツグラノーラ. Ingredients: Oat flakes, edible rapeseed oil, sugar (made from sugar beets), wheat flour, whole grain wheat flour, dried cranberry with juice added (cranberry, concentrated apple juice, edible sunflower oil), brown rice flakes, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, salt/vanilla flavor.

Product contains wheat and apples.

Processed on the same equipment as items containing egg and milk.

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• Morinaga Macrobiha Cake Banana/マクロビ派 バナナ. Ingredients: Sugar (sugar beet sugar), wheat, edible rapeseed oil, barley flour, concentrated banana juice, banana puree, almonds, starch syrup/vanilla flavoring. (Product contains wheat and banana.)

Processed on the same equipment as items containing egg and milk.

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• Morinaga Macrobiha Cake Cocoa/マクロビ派 ココア. Ingredients: Sugar (sugar beet sugar), edible rapeseed oil, wheat, starch syrup, cocoa powder, almonds, barley flour, hazelnut paste/vanilla flavoring. (Product includes wheat.)

Processed on the same equipment as items containing egg and milk.

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Lawson has some vegan cookies available, with branding on them from their more vegan-friendly line of convenience stores, Natural Lawson.

• Natural Lawson Pumpkin Macrobiotic Cookies/かぼちゃのマクロビオティッククッキー. Ingredients: wheat, beet sugar syrup, rapeseed oil, pumpkin powder, beet sugar, salt. All ingredients except the rapeseed oil are domestically produced.

Manufactured in the same facility as products containing egg, milk, peanuts, walnuts, sesame, soybeans, banana, peach, and apple.

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Lawson:

Oreo Crispy Mint Ice Cream/オレオ クリスピー ミントアイス. Ingredients: Wheat flour, sugar, vegetable oil, corn starch, cocoa powder, salt/leavening agent, emulsifier, flavoring, antioxidant (vitamin E, vitamin C), coloring (gardenia, carotene, turmeric). Product contains wheat and soy.

Products containing dairy and eggs are processed in the same factory.

These may be vegan, but the ingredient list doesn’t state the source of the vitamin E, flavoring, or emulsifier. Since it contains soy, the emulsifier could be soy emulsifer.

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BARS

SOYJOY crispy, according to the manufacturer’s website, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, are “nutritional foods made with whole soybean flour, fruits and nuts, containing no wheat. They offer a smart and delicious way to enjoy the nutritional goodness of soy, including vegetable protein, soy isoflavones, and dietary fiber.”

SOYJOY crispy contain sugar that is confirmed to have been whitened using the bone char processing method.

As Otsuka Pharmaceuticals is a pharmaceutical company, they surely do animal testing, but we don’t have information on if this specific product was developed using animal testing.

SOYJOY crispy comes in five regular flavors, banana, mixed berry, peach, plain, and white macadamia (contains non-dairy white chocolate made of soy). There is also a seasonal, limited edition sakura/cherry blossom flavor.

Regular SOYJOY (not SOYJOY crispy) contain egg and butter. Be sure to check that the package says “crispy” in English, as otherwise the packaging is virtually identical.

SOYJOY crispy is manufactured on the same equipment as items containing egg, milk and peanuts.

More information can be found on the English-language Otsuka Pharmaceuticals website

• Otsuka Pharmaceuticals SOYJOY Crispy, Banana/大塚製薬 ソイジョイ クリスピー バナナ. Ingredients: Soy flour (non genetically modified), margarine, puffed soy (soy protein, tapioca starch), processed banana, banana puree, processed pineapple, non-digestible dextrin, sugar, agave syrup, salt/sorbitol, flavoring.

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• Otsuka Pharmaceuticals SOYJOY Crispy, Mixed Berry/大塚製薬 ソイジョイ クリスピー ミックスベリー. Soy flour (Japan-processed, non genetically modified), margarine, puffed soy (soy protein, tapioca starch), sugar, processed cranberry, processed raspberry, non-digestible dextrin, processed strawberry, salt/flavoring.

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• Otsuka Pharmaceuticals SOYJOY Crispy, Peach/大塚製薬 ソイジョイ クリスピー ピーチ. Ingredients: Soy flour (non genetically modified), margarine, puffed soy (soy protein, tapioca starch), processed peach, sugar, non-digestible dextrin, processed papaya, processed orange peel/flavoring, sorbitol.

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• Otsuka Pharmaceuticals SOYJOY Crispy, Plain/大塚製薬 ソイジョイ クリスピー プレーン. Soy flour (Japan-processed, non genetically modified), margarine, puffed soy (soy protein, tapioca starch), sugar, processed papaya, processed pineapple, non-digestible dextrin, salt/flavoring.

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• Otsuka Pharmaceuticals SOYJOY Crispy, White Macadamia/大塚製薬 ソイジョイ クリスピー ホワイトマカデミア. Ingredients: Soy flour (Japan-processed, non genetically modified), margarine, puffed soy (soy protein, tapioca starch), soymilk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, soy powder, other), sugar, non-digestible dextrin, macadamia nut, soy protein, salt/flavoring.

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• Otsuka Pharmaceuticals SOYJOY Sakura/大塚製薬 ソイジョイ クリスピー サクラ. Ingredients: Soy flour (Japan-processed, non genetically modified), margarine, sweet white bean paste, puffed soy (soy protein, tapioca starch), sugar, processed cranberry, non-digestible dextrin, salt/sorbitol, flavoring.

More information about this product can be found here on the English-language Otsuka Pharmaceuticals website.

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STEAMED BUN FILLED WITH SWEET BEAN PASTE (あんまん – ANMAN)

Near the convenience store counter you can find a warming oven containing anman and nikuman (steamed buns filled with meat).

Lawson:

This product uses pork based shortening and lard in the batter, dehydrated eggs and also dairy in rice fermentation.

7/11:

As of January 2020, the ingredient list (pictured below) does not show any animal ingredients. However, 7/11 customer service cannot confirm for sure if their products contain animal ingredients, as if it’s a small quantity it doesn’t appear on the ingredients or allergen list. It is possible 7-11 anman has some pork or other animal-derived ingredients.

Chinese Manjū/中華まんじゅう. Ingredients: Wheat, adzuki bean paste, sugars (sugar, starch syrup), vegetable oil (contains peanuts) black sesame paste, black sesame, yeast, wheat protein, salt, starch, agar, soybean flour/pH stabilizer.

 

anpan 7-11

Family Mart’:

As of February, 2020, their website states here (Japanese) that both the buns (simple and with sesame) contain dairy products.

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CHOCOLATES

Asahi’s Ippon Manzoku Bar Cereal Black 80% Less Sugar/一本満足バー シリアルブラック 糖質80%オフ. Ingredients: Maltitol, cocoa mass, corn flakes, vegetable oil, macadamia nuts, dextrin, wheat puffs (wheat, starch, other ingredients) raisins, cocoa powder, cocoa butter,  glucomannan/cellulose, emulsifier, flavoring, vitamin E, sweetener (sucralose), vitamin B6, vitamin B2, vitamin B1, vitamin B12. (Contains wheat, dairy and soybeans.) 

This is a chocolate bar that has been fortified with some vitamins, including 1.1 mcg of B12. 

The company has stated that it contains no animal ingredients. However, it may have cross-contamination from milk being processed in the same factory or on the same line, so in this case, the warning on the package that makes it look as if dairy is an ingredient only means that particles may be present from cross-contamination. Be sure to get the one in the black packaging as the others have animal ingredients such as milk. It can be found in many convenience stores (as well as some drugstores).

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The following Meiji chocolates do not contain any dairy as an ingredient. However, they may have cross-contamination from milk being processed in the same factory or on the same line, so in this case, the warning on the package that makes it look as if dairy is an ingredient only means that particles may be present from cross-contamination.

The company has also stated that they do use bone-char processed sugar in the making of these chocolates and they are not a product that is guaranteed to not use any animal products in the manufacturing process. It is not clear how the flavoring in the “Chocolate Effects” series is made.

Some of the following choices are available in convenience stores, and the rest in supermarkets or online.

Other chocolates in the same “The Chocolate” and “Chocolate Effects” series do contain dairy as an ingredient, not just as traces from manufacturing, including The Chocolate Framboise (Raspberry).

Meiji The Chocolate Comfort Bitter/Meiji ザ・チョコレート   力強い深みコンフォートビタ. Ingredients: Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter/emulsifier. Marked “contains dairy and soy.” The dairy warning, in this case, refers to small particles that may be present due to this product being processed alongside products containing dairy.

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Meiji The Chocolate Elegant Bitter/Meiji ザ・チョコレート   華やかな果実味エレガントビタ. Ingredients: Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter/emulsifier. Marked “contains dairy and soy.” The dairy warning, in this case, refers to small particles that may be present due to this product being processed alongside products containing dairy.

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Meiji The Chocolate Blossom Bitter/ Meiji ザ・チョコレート 凛と香り立つブロッサムビタ. Ingredients: Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter/emulsifier. Marked “contains dairy and soy.” The dairy warning, in this case, refers to small particles that may be present due to this product being processed alongside products containing dairy.

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Meiji The Chocolate Fragrant Yuzu/Meiji  ザ・チョコレート 弾ける香りゆず. Ingredients: Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, yuzu powder, yuzu peel, vegetable oil/emulsifier. Marked “contains dairy and soy.” The dairy warning, in this case, refers to small particles that may be present due to this product being processed alongside products containing dairy.

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There is also a two-pack available in some stores that contains small portions of Comfort Bitter and Elegant Bitter.

• Meiji The Chocolate Assorted Bitter Comfort & Elegant/Meiji  ザ・チョコレート アソートパウチ Bitter Comfort & Elegant.

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• Meiji Chocolate Effects 72% Cacao Blocks/Meiji チョコレート効果カカオ72%.  Comes in two sizes, one large blocks and the other small. The ingredients for both sizes are the same. Ingredients: Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa powder, cocoa butter/emulsifier, flavoring. Marked “contains dairy and soy.” The dairy warning, in this case, refers to small particles that may be present due to this product being processed alongside products containing dairy.

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• Meiji Chocolate Effects 86% Cacao Blocks/Meiji チョコレート効果カカオ86%. Comes in two sizes, one large blocks (not pictured here) and the other small. The ingredients for both sizes are the same. Ingredients: Cocoa mass, cocoa powder, sugar, cocoa butter/emulsifier, flavoring. Marked “contains dairy and soy.” The dairy warning, in this case, refers to small particles that may be present due to this product being processed alongside products containing dairy.

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Meiji Chocolate Effects 95% Cacao Blocks/Meiji チョコレート効果カカオ95%Ingredients: Cocoa mass, cacao powder, sugar, cocoa butter/emulsifier, flavoring. Marked “contains dairy and soy.” The dairy warning, in this case, refers to small particles that may be present due to this product being processed alongside products containing dairy.

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•  Meiji Chocolate Effects 72% Cacao Blocks with Roasted Crushed Almonds/ Meiji チョコレート効果72%素焼きクラッシュアーモンド

• Meiji Chocolate Effects 72% Cacao Blocks with Coarsely Ground Cacao/チョコレート効果72%素チョコレート効果72% 粗くだきカカオ豆This product is not viewable on the website, although it may still be sold in some places. It may be in the process of being replaced with the following product:

Meiji Chocolate Effects 72% Cacao Blocks with Cacao Nibs/Meiji チョコレート効果 カカオ72% カカオニブ. Ingredients: Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa powder, fried cacao nibs, vegetable oil, cocoa butter/emulsifier, flavoring. Marked “contains dairy and soy.” The dairy warning, in this case, refers to small particles that may be present due to this product being processed alongside products containing dairy.

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The ball type in the Chocolate Effects series contains shellac, produced from insects, so they are not vegan. It’s listed as 光沢剤 kōtaku-zai, (food) polisher/brightener.

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FRUIT JELLY

Most jelly in Japan is made with agar (seaweed) rather than gelatine, although you should still check the list of ingredients. Look for:

gelatine ゼラチン zerachin
agar agar 天草 / 寒天 てんぐさ / かんてん tengusa / kanten
gelling/setting agent ゲル化剤 gerukazai (can be either an animal-based or plant-based ingredient)

img_3586.jpg

Sometimes jelly drinks are available.

•  Dydo Puru Shari Unshuu Mikan Jelly/ダイドー ぷるシャリ温州みかんゼリー. Ingredients: High-fructose corn syrup, unshuu mikan juice, starch syrup, salt/acidulant, potassium phosphate, gelling agent (polysaccharide thickener), flavoring, potassium chloride, carotenoid pigment, vitamin C, sweeteners (Acesulfame K, sucralose).

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JAPANESE-STYLE SWEETS

You can usually find traditional style Japanese sweets in convenience stores. For example, daifuku, anmitsu (on left side below – check for honey) and zenzai (on right side below):

anmitsu-maybe-honey-711  zenzai-711

 

Tengudou Walnut Mochi/天狗堂くるみ餅. Ingredients: Sugar (Hokkaido beet sugar, starch syrup, wheat flour, walnut, glutinous rice flour, red bean paste (Hokkaido-grown adzuki beans), soy sauce, starch (Hokkaido potato starch)/calcium carbonate.

Product contains soybeans.

Products that include milk, sesame, and apple are handled at the same facility.

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TEA

There are quite a lot of plain teas in convenience stores, but check for honey in sweetened teas. You might also find this soymilk tea. Per the press release (Japanese), it has “a design that’s easy for even women to hold and put into their bags/女性でも持ちやすくカバンに入れやすい形状.”

The emulsifier was reported by Vegana no Japão to be of vegetable origin.

Asahi Plant Time Soymilk Tea/『PLANT TIME』ソイミルクティー」. Ingredients: Sugar (domestically produced), dextrin, powdered adjusted soymilk (contains soybeans), black tea, soymilk cream, vegetable oil, salt/glycerin, emulsifier, cellulose, flavoring, vitamin C, silicone.

Asahi Plant Time Soy Milk Tea    Asahi Plant Time Soy Milk Tea ingredient list

CALPIS

Regular Calpis is not vegan because it has milk ingredients. Per the company, for their Green Calpis product, they don’t know if bone char was used to whiten the sugar. Lactic acid bacteria from milk is used to make the drink. It does not have milk allergens so those who are allergic to milk can safely drink it. They cannot call it a vegan beverage. The beverage department is not currently conducting animal testing.

Therefore, the “does not contain dairy/乳成分不使用” statement on the Green Calpis product does not appear to extend to the lactic acid bacteria (from milk) that was used.

Green Calpis (2)

COCONUT MILK DRINKS

Coconut milk drinks produced in Japan generally have dairy added.

This Family Mart Tapioca Coconut Milk drink, manufactured by Elbee, is not vegan as it has collagen peptides/コラーゲンペプチド/corāgen pepuchido, defatted powdered milk/脱脂粉乳/dasshifun’nyū, sodium caseinate/カゼインナトリウム/kazein’natoriumu, squid ink/イカ墨/ikasumi (as a colorant), and shellfish calcium/貝カルシウム/kai karushiumu.

Family Mart Tapioca Coconut Milk    Family Mart Tapioca Coconut Milk back of package

ENERGY DRINKS

All kinds of Monster Energy drinks- all ingredients in finished product (including amino acid) chemical/synthetic material and not animal-based, per an email to manufacturer 1/24/2019. Information courtesy of the Halal Japan Facebook group.

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SOYMILK

Here are some of the products you might see in convenience stores. As with the other products in this list, some products may contain ingredients that are not confirmed vegan such as flavorings and emulsifiers. Check our Dairy Alternatives page for more detailed information.

Marusan Co-Trip Black Sesame and Sweet Potato Soymilk Beverage/Marusan ことりっぷ 豆乳飲料 黒ごまさつまIngredients: Soybean (Canada) (not genetically modified), saccharides (sugar, millet jelly, fructose), vegetable oil, salt, sesame paste, Anno roasted potato paste/flavoring, emulsifier, stabilizer (gellan). Contains soy and sesame.

This collaboration product with travel book co-Trip uses black sesame and “annou imo,” a special type of potato with a high sugar content and orange-hued flesh.

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• Marusan Co-Trip Brown Sugar Syrup Soymilk Beverage/Marusan ことりっぷ 豆乳飲料 黒蜜きなこIngredients: Soybean (Canadian) (not genetically modified), saccharides (high-fructose corn syrup, fructose, sugar, brown sugar syrup), soy powder, salt, mirin, yeast extract powder/flavoring, stabilizer (thickening polysaccharide). Product contains soy.

This collaboration product with travel book co-Trip is made with Japanese brown sugar syrup called kuromitsu and kinako soy powder and is meant to taste like a traditional dessert.

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• Marusan Co-Trip Chestnut and Wasanbon Soymilk Beverage/Marusan ことりっぷ 豆乳飲料 栗と和三盆. Ingredients: Soybean (Canadian) (not genetically modified), saccharides [high-fructose corn syrup, fructose, sugar (wasanbon sugar, brown sugar, brown sugar), fructose], salt, mirin, chestnut powder/flavoring, stabilizer (gellan).

This collaboration product with travel book co-Trip uses chestnuts and traditional wasanbon sugar from Tokushima Prefecture.

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• Pokka Sapporo Euglena Brown Sugar Soymilk Beverage/黒糖豆乳飲料ユーグレナ. Ingredients: Soybean (non-genetically modified), brown sugar, vegetable oils and fats, salt, Euglena gracilis, lactic acid bacteria (sterilized), calcium lactate, pH adjuster, flavoring, emulsifier, stabilizers (thickening polysaccharides)

This brown sugar soymilk beverage contains vegetable lactic acid (from barley) and euglena. Note that euglena is considered to be neither a plant nor an animal, but a single-celled protist.

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ALMOND MILK 

The first two varieties of Glico Almond Effects shown below (Original Almond Milk and Caffe Almond Latte) are older product versions, and the second two varieties of Glico Almond Effects (Caffe Almond Latte in the lighter-colored package and Almond & Walnut) are newer product versions.

• Glico Almond Effects TASTY Original Almond Milk/グリコ アーモンド効果テイスティ Original Almond Milk. Ingredients: Almond paste, sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, dietary fiber (inulin), table salt, processed almond oil, thickener (processed starch), cellulose, calcium citrate, flavoring, pH adjusting agent, emulsifier, antioxidant (vitamin C), vitamin E.

Free of all 27 allergenic ingredients. Available at all Family Mart convenience stores nationwide.

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• Glico Almond Effects TASTY Caffe Almond Latte/グリコ アーモンド効果テイスティ Caffe Almond Latte. Ingredients: Sugar, almond paste, coffee extract, dietary fiber (inulin), high-fructose corn syrup, table salt, processed almond oil, thickener (processed starch), cellulose, calcium citrate,  pH adjusting agent, flavoring, emulsifier, antioxidant (vitamin C), vitamin E.

Espresso coffee with almond milk. Free of all 27 allergenic ingredients. Available at all Family Mart convenience stores nationwide.

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This product has also been reissued as of March 2019 with very slightly different packaging and the same ingredients in a different order.

Glico Almond Effects TASTY Caffe Almond Latte/グリコ アーモンド効果テイスティ Caffe Almond Latte. Ingredients: Sugar, almond paste, coffee extract, dietary fiber (inulin), high-fructose corn syrup, salt, processed almond oil/thickener (processed starch), cellulose, pH adjusting agent, calcium citrate, flavoring, emulsifier, antioxidant (vitamin C), vitamin E). Contains none of the top 27 allergens.

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• Glico Almond Effects TASTY Almond & Walnut/グリコ アーモンド効果テイスティAlmond & Walnut is not vegan as it has honey, ハチミツ/hachimitsu.

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SMOOTHIES 

Kagome smoothies are widely carried. The available flavors vary by season. The company does animal testing.

Kagome Aojil Soy Latte. Ingredients: Vegetables (sweet potatoes, young barley leaves, spinach, brussels sprouts (Petit Vert), kale, komatsuna), apples (imported), soybeans, dietary fiber, soymilk, matcha, vegetable lactic acid bacteria (sterilized)/pH adjusting agent, calcium lactate, emulsifier, flavoring, vitamin C, stabilizer (gellan gum), cellulose.

Product contains soybeans and apples.

Photo from website.

Kagome Aojil Soy Latte

The previous version of the product lacked komatsuna and included safflower yellow and gardenia blue colors. As of April 2020, this older version is still available for purchase online.

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Kagome One Day Almond Soy Protein. Ingredients: Vegetables (sweet potato (American), carrot, kale, spinach, asparagus, watercress, parsley, pumpkin, lettuce, cabbage, beet, daikon radish, Chinese cabbage, onion, celery), defatted soybeans, lemon juice, soybean, edible vegetable oil, almond paste/pH adjusting agent, flavoring, emulsifier, cellulose, stabilizer (gellan gum).

Product contains soybeans.

Photo from website.

Kagome Oneday Almond Soy Protein

The previous version of the product had the same ingredients in a different order. As of April 2020, this older version is still available for purchase online.

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The source of the B vitamins in the following product is unknown.

Kagome One Day Energy Banana. Ingredients: Vegetables (tomato (imported), carrot, kale, spinach, asparagus, watercress, parsley, pumpkin, lettuce, cabbage, beet, daikon radish, Chinese cabbage, onion, celery), fruit (grape, apple, banana, lemon, mango)/flavoring, vitamin C, citric acid, vitamin B2, vitamin B12.

Product contains banana and apple.

Photo from website.

Kagome Oneday Energy Banana

The previous version of the product also had peach, but lacked the added B vitamins. The rest of the ingredients are the same, but in a different order. As of April 2020, this older version is still available for purchase online.

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• Kagome Vegetable Life 100 Smoothie Green Smoothie Mix/Kagome 野菜生活100 Smoothie グリーンスムージーMix. Ingredients: Vegetables (carrot, peppers, Japanese mustard spinach, kale, spinach, asparagus, watercress, parsley, pumpkin, lettuce, cabbage, beet, daikon radish, Napa cabbage, onion, celery), fruits (apples, grapes, kiwi fruits, banana, lemon), dietary fiber/flavor, citric acid, safflower yellow pigment, gardenia blue pigment.

Product includes orange, kiwi fruit, banana, and apple.

Uses no sugar, sweeteners, or thickeners.

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Kagome Vegetable Life 100 Smoothie Ripe Mango Peach Mix/野菜生活100 Smoothie 完熟マンゴーピーチ Mix. Ingredients: Vegetables (carrot (America or New Zealand), pumpkin, kale, spinach, asparagus, watercress, parsley, lettuce, cabbage, beets, daikon radish, Chinese cabbage, onion, celery), fruit (apple, mango, banana, peach, lemon), edible dietary fiber/flavoring, citric acid, vitamin C, vitamin E.

Product contains banana, peach, and apple.

Limited-edition seasonal flavor.

“No sugar added” is marked in English on the package.

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Kagome Vegetable Life 100 Smoothie Roasted Soybean Flour & Nut Milk Mix/野菜生活100 Smoothie きなこ&ナッツミルクMix. Ingredients: Vegetables (carrot, Japanese sweet potato, kale, spinach, asparagus, watercress, parsley, pumpkin, lettuce, cabbage, beets, daikon radish, Chinese cabbage, onion, celery), fruit (apple, banana, lemon), soybeans, edible dietary fiber, roasted soybean flour, agar, almond paste, hazelnut paste, cashew paste/pH adjuster, flavoring, emulsifier, vitamin C.

Product contains cashew nuts, soybeans, banana, and apple.

Kagome Kinako & Nut Milk    kagome kinako & nut milk smoothie ingredients

• Kagome Vegetable Life 100 Smoothie Soymilk and Banana Mix/Kagome 野菜生活100 スムージー豆乳バナナMix. Ingredients: Vegetables (carrot (America or New Zealand), sweet potato, kale, spinach, asparagus, watercress, parsley, pumpkin, lettuce, cabbage, beets, daikon radish, Chinese cabbage, onion, celery), fruits (apple, banana, lemon), soybeans, dietary fiber, agar-agar, adjusted soymilk/pH adjusting agent, flavor, emulsifier, vitamin C.

“No sugar added” is marked in English on the package.

kagome tonyuu banana (2)    kagome tonyuu banana yasai seikatsu smoothie mix back of package

The version in previous packaging is also available in some stores as of March, 2020. The ingredient list is extremely similar.

• Kagome Vegetable Life 100 Smoothie Soymilk and Banana Mix/Kagome 野菜生活100 スムージー豆乳バナナMix. Ingredients: Vegetables (carrot (imported), sweet potato, kale, spinach, asparagus, watercress, parsley, pumpkin, lettuce, cabbage, beets, daikon radish, Chinese cabbage, onion, celery), fruits (apple, banana, lemon), soybeans, dietary fiber, agar-agar, adjusted soymilk/pH adjusting agent, flavor, emulsifier, calcium phosphate, vitamin C.

Kagome vegetable life smoothie tonyuu banana old packaging front of package 2    kagome vegetable life smoothie tonyuu banana old package ingredient list

 

Kagome Vegetable Life 100 Smoothie Strawberry & Raspberry/野菜生活100Smoothie芳醇いちごラズベリーMix. Ingredients: Vegetables (carrots, tomatoes, kale, spinach, asparagus, watercress, parsley, pumpkin, lettuce, cabbage, beets, daikon radish, Chinese cabbage, onions, celery), fruits (apples, lemons, mango, bananas, strawberries, raspberries), dietary fiber/flavor, citric acid.

Product includes oranges, bananas and apples.

Limited winter edition.

Kagome Vegetable Life 100 Strawberry and Raspberry Smoothie front of package    Kagome Vegetable Life 100 Strawberry and Raspberry Smoothie ingredient list

Not all flavors of the Kagome smoothies are free of animal ingredients. The Orange, Pomegranate & Yogurt/オレンジざくろ&ヨーグルト flavor has fermented dairy/発っ酵乳. It’s marked “contains dairy/乳使用” in Japanese on the bottom front left of the package.

kagome orange, pomegranate and yogurt smoothie    kagome orange, pomegranate and yogurt smoothie side of package

The W Berry & Yogurt/Wベリー&ヨーグルト flavor also has fermented dairy/発っ酵乳. It’s also marked “contains dairy/乳使用” in Japanese on the bottom front left of the package.

kagome w berry and yogurt smoothie front of package    kagome w berry and yogurt smoothie ingredients (2)

• Sujahta Meiraku Kiwi Chia Seed/スジャータ めいらく キウイチアシード. Ingredients: Apple juice concentrate, kiwifruit, grape juice concentrate, chia seed, lemon juice concentrate, pineapple juice concentrate/flavor, vitamin C, stabilizer (polysaccharide thickener), gardenia pigment.

It contains 1.2 g of n-3 fatty acid (omega 3 fatty acid) and 100 mg of vitamin C. (Product is not intended to cure diseases or improve health by high intake. Please follow the recommended daily intake.)

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FRAPPES

Family Mart:

The Strawberry Frappe is meant to have hot cow’s milk added in the store after you pay for it at the register. It appears from the ingredient list to potentially be vegan if you purchase it as-is and add non-dairy milk yourself instead of the cow’s milk.

• Strawberry Frappe/ストロベリーフラッペ. Ingredients: Strawberry juice・strawberry flesh, sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, starch syrup, vegetable oil, strawberry syrup, glucose, dextrin, fructose, liquor/acidulant, emulsifier (contains soy), stabilizer (thickening polysaccharide), coloring agent (Monascus purpureus red mold, anthocyanin), calcium lactate, flavoring.

Product contains soy.

They did not respond to our inquiry about if this product has any off-label animal ingredients such as carmine or lac to make the pink coloring. Uses “Camerosa” variety of strawberries. Limited edition item from 4/21/2019.

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Like the Strawberry Frappe, the Peach Frappe may be vegan if the cow’s milk is not added at the register.

Peach Frappe/ピーチーフラッペ. Ingredients: Peach juice・peach flesh, sugar, fructose, glucose, vegetable oil, liquor/acidulant, stabilizer (thickening polysaccharide, derived from wheat), acidulant, flavoring, emulsifier, vegetable pigment, calcium lactate.

Product contains wheat.

Contains 21% peach flesh and juice. Uses Spanish peach puree.

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Other flavors of this product all have milk already in the frozen part of the product, so even if you add soymilk or other non-dairy milk yourself, they are not vegan.

COFFEE

There will generally be a coffee machine by the register where black coffee will be available.

The lattes will all be made with dairy, so will not be vegan.

7 11 coffee machine

 

Black coffee is available in bottles/cans. Some of the black coffee in bottles/cans have flavorings and emulsifiers, while others do not. Here are a few examples of some of the black coffees that are available.

• Boss The Espresso Black/ボス ザ・エスプレッソ ブラック. Ingredients: Coffee, flavoring.

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• UCC BLACK COLD BREW PET 500ml. Ingredient: Coffee.

No sugar, no flavorings.

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•  UCC Black No Sugar Wholly Brewed Roasted Coffee, Cold/UCC BLACK無糖 缶香料無添加 ROASTED COFFEE 100%.

No added flavoring, unsweetened.

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•  UCC Black No Sugar Coffee, Hot.

No added sugar, no flavorings.

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This Kikkoman Soy Latte was spotted in a branch of Family Mart in May, 2020. Kikkoman products tend to have a wide distribution range so it may be available in other stores as well.

Under pressure from PETA, Kikkoman agreed to stop animal testing as of 2015, except when accountable to public safety or to comply with the demands of government authorities.

Their animal testing policy is here (English).

• Kikkoman Soy Latte/キッコーマンソイラテ.  Ingredients: Soybeans (from Canada or America) (non-genetically modified), sugar, coffee, rice oil, sun-dried salt, flavoring, calcium lactate, emulsifier, thickener (carrageenan).

Product contains soy.

Kikkoman Soy Latte (2)    Kikkoman Soy Latte back of package (2)

Lawson/Natural Lawson has an item called the Soy Protein Latte that looks like it might be vegan from the ingredient list, but customer service stated that that the emulsifier in the Soy Protein Latte contains glycerin fatty esters from pig fat, 乳化剤に含まれる動物由来の原料は「グリセリン脂肪酸エステル」で豚脂を使って作られております. They stated that due to the manufacturing process, it isn’t required to label it as an allergen, as the allergenic substances are removed in the process. In addition, the sugar in the process is whitened with animal bone char (although it does not remain in the finished product). There are no other animal products in this product.

• Soy Protein Latte/ソイプロテインラテ. Ingredients: Soymilk, defatted soybeans, coffee, sugar, vegetable oil, salt/flavoring, cellulose, emulsifier, stabilizer (thickening polysaccharide), sweetener (stevia, monk fruit). Product contains soybeans.

This soy protein latte coffee beverage with Natural Lawson branding is advertised as high in protein and low in fat. The front of the package states it contains 10 grams of soy protein. It also contains 8.2 grams of sugar.

Quantities are limited.

Picture4.jpg    lawson soy protein latte back of package

Mini Stop:

Soy Latte/ソイラテ. Ingredients: Soymilk (contains soy), sugar, coffee, vegetable oil, dextrin, salt/emulsifier, stabilizer (carrageenan), flavoring.

100% non-adjusted soymilk (無調整豆乳- mu chōsei tōnyū) used.

The previous version of this product had the same ingredient list, except the salt and emulsifier were listed without a backslash between them, but different packaging. Vegana No Japao contacted customer service about the previous version of this product (Japanese and Portuguese) and confirmed that at that time, the emulsifier was made of plants. It is not clear if the same emulsifier is still being used.

Contains 13mg of isoflavones.

Mini Stop Soy Latte front of package    Mini Stop Soy Latte back of package

Natural Lawson and NewDays:

Almond Breeze Cafe Style/アーモンド・ブリーズ カフェスタイル. Ingredients: Sugar, coffee, almond paste, dextrin, vegetable oil, salt /potassium citrate, stabilizer (polysaccharide thickener), pH adjuster, emulsifier, vitamin E, flavor.

An almond milk and coffee blended drink. Their website states it’s sold countrywide except for Hokkaido and Okinawa.

almond breeze cafe style front of package (2)  almond breeze cafe style back of package

FROZEN CONFECTIONERY

Different flavors of ice candy will be available at different times of the year. The easiest to find seem to be the Akari Gari Gari Kun soda bar and the Imuraya Adzuki bar. More non-dairy choices are available in summer than winter.

This is an example of a typical convenience store, Family Mart’s, frozen confectionery section (single servings). Everything has dairy and sometimes additional non-vegan ingredients listed in the ingredient list, except for what is outlined in red- the Akagi Gari Gari Kun Soda Popsicle and the Morinaga Rich Muscat Grape Ice Box. Photo taken in May, 2020.

Family Mart Frozen Confectionery section

Here are some examples of products you may find in convenience stores, some of them only seasonally available.

• Akagi Gari Gari Kun Kyushu Mandarin Popsicle/赤城乳業 ガリガリ君九州みかん (棒). Ingredients: High-fructose corn syrup, mandarin juice, sugar, apple juice, salt/flavoring, stabilizing agent (pectin), acidulant, paprika pigment, sweetener (stevia).

Uses 7% mandarin juice.

Manufactured on common equipment with products containing milk and egg.

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• Akagi Gari Gari Kun Soda Popsicle/赤城乳業 ガリガリ君 ソーダ(棒) and Akagi Gari Gari Kun Soda Popsicle Multipack/赤城乳業  ガリガリ君 ソーダ(マルチ). Ingredients: High-fructose corn syrup, sugar, apple juice, glucose, lime juice, starch syrup, liqueur, salt/flavoring, stabilising agent (pectin), acidity regulator, colouring (spirulina blue, gardenia pigment, safflower yellow pigment).

Manufactured on common equipment with products containing milk and egg.

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Akagi also makes other varieties of dairy-free popsicles. This Cassis & Blood orange version is sold at some Family Mart convenience stores as of May, 2020.

•  Akagi Cocktail & Fruit Cassis & Blood Orange/赤城 カクフル カシス&ブラッドオレンジ. Ingredients: Blood orange juice (manufactured in Italy), sugar, cassis juice, powdered syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, fructose, vegetable oil, liqueur/stabilizer (polysaccharide thickener), flavoring, coloring (carotenoid, anthocyanin), acidulant, emulsifier.

Out of the 28 specified allergens, product contains orange.

Photo from website.

Akagi Cocktail & Fruit Cassis & Blood Orange

Family Mart Fruit Bars with Fruit Juice/ 果汁入りフルーツバーContains three flavors, orange, grape, and apple.

(Orange bars): Orange juice, sugar, starch syrup, acidulant, stabilising agent (polysaccharide thickener), flavoring, paprika pigment, carotene pigment.

(Grape bars): Grape juice, sugar, starch syrup, stabilising agent (polysaccharide thickener), acidulant, flavoring, grape pigment.

(Apple bars): apple juice, sugar, starch syrup, acidulant, stabilising agent (polysaccharide thickener), flavoring, gardenia pigment.

Does not contain any of the seven most common allergens. The three flavors are manufactured on the same equipment.

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The Glico Papico Grape/グレープ version appears to possibly be vegan, but from Glico’s website, it looks as if it’s currently being sold only in a box with other, non-vegan flavors and not on its own.

Glico Papico Grape

Red bean ‘ice cream’ can easily be found in convenience stores, and many types do not contain dairy.

Imuraya Adzuki Bar/井村屋 あずきバー. Ingredients: Sugar, adzuki beans, starch syrup, cornstarch (non-genetically modified), salt.

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This pineapple-shaped treat from the same company was found in a branch of the convenience store Lawson in May, 2020.

Imuraya Ring-Shaped Pineapple Ice Candy/井村屋 輪切りパインアイス. Ingredients: Pineapple pulp, sugar, pineapple juice, stabilizer (thickening polysaccharide), acidulant, flavoring, gardenia pigment.

Photo from website.

Imuraya Ring-Shaped Pineapple Ice Candy

Lawson Fruits Ice Bar/4種の甘熟フルーツバーContains four flavors, green kiwi, Concord grape, Aomori Prefecture apple, and white peach.

(Green kiwi bars): Kiwi fruit juice (100% Hayward variety), sugar, starch syrup, powdered starch syrup, vegetable fats and oils, table salt/stabilizing agent (cellulose, polysaccharide thickener), colorants (gardenia, safflower color), emulsifier, flavoring.

(Concord grape bars): Grape juice, sugar, starch syrup, powdered starch syrup, lemon juice, fermented grape juice/stabilizing agent (cellulose, polysaccharide thickener), flavoring.

(Aomori Prefecture apple bars): Apples (100% grown in Aomori Prefecture), sugar, starch syrup, powdered starch syrup, table salt/stabilizing agent (polysaccharide thickener, cellulose), acidity regulator, flavoring, carotene pigment.

(White peach bars): White peach juice (100% white peaches, grown in Japan), sugar, starch syrup, fructose/stabilizing agent (polysaccharide thickener, cellulose), acidity regulator, flavoring.

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Per an article in LiveKindly in November 2018, the Japanese company Morinaga has agreed to cease all animal testing not required by law.

• Morinaga Ice Box, Grapefruit/森永アイスボックス、グレープフルーツIngredients: Grapefruit juice, high-fructose corn syrup, salt/flavoring, acidulant, sweeteners (aspartame/L-phenylalanine compound, sucralose), vitamin C, sodium polyphosphate, carotenoid pigment.

Contains none of the 27 allergenic substances.

Items containing egg and dairy are manufactured in the same process.

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• Morinaga Rich Muscat Grape Ice Box/森永アイスボックス濃い果実氷<マスカット>. Ingredients: Muscat juice/flavoring, acidulant, sweetener (aspartame/L-phenylalanine compound, sucralose), sodium polyphosphate.

Contains none of the 27 specified allergens.

Manufactured on common equipment with items containing dairy and egg.

Morinaga Ice Box, Muscat Grape

Lawson convenience stores carry a house brand called Uchi Cafe (meaning At-Home Cafe). The product page for the Uchi Cafe ice bars is here (Japanese).

• Uchi Cafe Nanko Plum/Uchi Cafe 南高梅. Ingredients: Plum juice, sugar, starch syrup, fructose, vegetable oil/stabilizer (thickening polysaccharide), emulsifier, flavor, carotene pigment.

Contains none of the 27 allergens.

Uses plums grown in Wakayama Prefecture. Contains 30% plum juice.

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• Uchi Cafe Pineapple/Uchi Cafe パイン. Ingredients: Pineapple juice, sugar, powdered syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, fructose, vegetable oil, grapefruit juice, liquor, corn starch/stabilizer (thickening polysaccharide), acidulant, flavor, safflower yellow, emulsifier.

Made using pineapple from Okinawa. Contains 34% pineapple juice.

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• Uchi Cafe Shekwasha/Uchi Cafe シークワーサー. Ingredients: Shikuwasa juice, sugar, starch syrup, fructose, salt/stabilizer (thickening polysaccharide, agar), acidulant, emulsifier, safflower pigment, flavor (derived from orange).

Product contains orange.

Uses shikuwasa juice from Okinawa. Contains 30% shikuwasa juice.

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• Uchi Cafe White Peach and Golden Peach/Uchi Cafe 白桃&黄金桃. Ingredients: Peach juice, sugar, peach syrup, powdered syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, fructose, vegetable oil, glucose, corn starch/stabilizer (thickening polysaccharide), flavoring, acidulant, emulsifier, calcium lactate, coloring (carotenoid, safflower yellow).

Product contains peach.

From autotranslate from the Lawson website: “Uchicafe Japanese fruit domestic white peach & Nagano prefecture golden peach. Contains 35% Japanese white peach juice and pulp and 5% golden peach juice from Nagano Prefecture. Made with a smooth texture of ice cream.”

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32 thoughts on “Convenience Stores

  1. buzzinjapan

    Thank you for this comprehensive list! A lot of stuff I wouldn’t haven even thought to check.

    I have not been able to find any packaged onigiri or sushi in supermarkets, convenience stores, or department stores that doesn’t list amino/アミノas an ingredient, though, which may or may not be vegan. I’ve found packaged daifuku to often suffer from the same problem, though I finally found some ichigo daifuku in Daimaru that was 100% vegan without a doubt.

    Reply
  2. Leïla

    This list is very useful, thanks !
    It may be useful to add the japanese writing of anman あんまん (according to wikipedia) to have a 2nd verification at the combini.

    Reply
  3. Korellia

    The new Soy Joy Crispy bars would be worth adding. The original ones contain egg, but the crispy kind is vegan!

    Reply
  4. Chan Huat Low

    Thank you so much for the list and updated information. It really helps for vegetarians. May you be well and happy always!

    Reply
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  7. A.S

    Hi this is a great list! Thank you so much 🙂 How old is this information? It might be a nice idea to add a ‘last updated’ date 🙂 (I am sorry if I missed it)

    Reply
      1. isitveganjapan Post author

        No problem! We don’t have a specific restaurants section because there are already websites that cover that info very well, like Happy Cow and Vegewel. There are a few restaurants in the Airports and Fast Food sections though, both under the “Food to Go” sections

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  11. Alex

    Thank you so much! So informative! Makes it super easy to find vegan food in Japanese convinience stores. Only thing I would love to see would be sekihan onigiri and wakame onigiri added to the list. (Which i’m pretty sure is vegan and can be found at 7/11. They are the ones without the nori wrap on the outside)

    Reply
    1. isitveganjapan Post author

      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to confirm if any onigiri from 7/11 is animal-ingredient free. The reason is that 7-11 has reported its onigiri differ in ingredients depending on what part of the country they are made at, as they are made at different manufacturing facilities. Therefore even if we inquire about sekihan or wakame onigiri, the answer would only be applicable to our area and not the whole country. They could only confirm their salt onigiri (銀しゃりむすび塩むすび) to be animal-ingredient free. We don’t have information about wakame onigiri, but 4 out of 5 convenience stores asked said their kombu seaweed onigiri does contain animal ingredients. It’s possible wakame onigiri contains animal ingredients to flavour the seaweed off-label in small amounts.

      Reply
      1. Joaha

        Thanks a lot for all the effort. Do you have new informations regarding the kombu onigiri at Mini stop?

      2. isitveganjapan Post author

        You’re very welcome! Unfortunately we don’t have new information about Mini Stop onigiri-whenever we do we’ll add it as quickly as possible. Due to time constraints it’s been very difficult to keep the onigiri list updated as companies change their onigiri names and ingredient lists so quickly, but we’ll keep it in mind that it’s a category a lot of people depend on when eating out (me included).

  12. Viet

    I’ve been wanting to work through this list, but after I checked the fifth Family Mart (I live in Sendai, which I believe has less variety compared to bigger cities) and finally found the tofu somen style noodles (https://www.kibun.co.jp/products/all_152330a?fbclid=IwAR1RbRU41MGsDw8KxyA0ULUJopruda8nqgWe1C3B1sszW-CVYBddP3rrZvk <- ingredient list is not up to date!!!!!!!!!!!), I saw that in both packages, which are pictured on this page, KATSUO (skipjack bonito fish) is in their sauces! Unfortunately Japanese food companies change their recipes all the time, which is such a drag. 😦

    Reply
    1. isitveganjapan Post author

      Thanks so much for your comment! The ingredient list on the kibun.co.jp website still shows the 胡麻つゆ sesame sauce one as not containing fish. Do you have a picture of the ingredient list on the package? If so can you send it to: isitveganjapan@hotmail.com? The one with mentsuyu sauce has fish and is only on our page as an example of what not to buy. If we can confirm the sesame sauce one has fish too we’ll change the listing.

      Edit: The kibun.co.jp website has been updated to show the new packaging. The sesame sauce version in orange packaging still is listed as not containing fish or other animal ingredients and the listed ingredients have not changed, but the packaging looks slightly different. The mentsuyu version has fish still but is now in blue packaging instead of purple. And there is now a third a version containing egg and fish in green packaging. We have added updated photos and information. Thanks for letting us know these items had changed.

      Reply
  13. Yasmin

    Hi there, was wondering whether unsweetened soy milk or any other plant based milk is readily available there and the average price of them. Also, are there any packaged cakes/breads that are vegan? Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    1. isitveganjapan Post author

      Hi Yasmin. There are a great many packaged unsweetened soymilks in Japan, starting at a few hundred yen a container. Please check our section on non-dairy milks in the “non-adjusted soymilk” section. https://isitveganjapan.com/food-products-n-z/soy-milk/ My personal favorites are Otsuka Amazing Soy and another Otsuka product in the same line called “Yukipirika” because they undergo a process in the factory to remove the strong beany taste. Please check our bread section for a few choices. https://isitveganjapan.com/food-products/bread-and-bakery-products/ In general you need to go to specific stores to obtain breads that don’t have animal ingredients but unsweetened soymilk is not at all difficult to find.

      Reply
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