Our Story

Japan, with its amazing cuisine and curiosity for western cultures, is still an island when it comes to food-based lifestyles. Only recently did the country start to acknowledge diversity on the table, and that is due to the increase of inbound tourists and exposure to global lifestyles through social media. But Japan can’t be blamed. The people are notorious for their mono-ethnicity especially when it comes to lifestyles, religions and philosophy. And while we at veggino believe that some of the most beautiful traits of this country come from this one-ness, there is also what we refer to as the ‘darker’ side to living in a society that values conformity in many aspects of living.

Our Definition Of "Plant-Based"

To us at veggino, a plant-based lifestyle is a lifestyle choice to consume solely plant-based products and exclude any animal byproducts from our diets and other areas of consumption. Such a lifestyle is most in line with our three pillars of value: health, environment, and ethics. But although we believe that a 100% plant-based lifestyle best embodies our core values, we also think that the journey to achieve it should be fun, easy, tasty, and never forced or rushed. We want to support those who share our beliefs by providing guidance on how to introduce more plant-based products into their lives in a healthy, delicious, and sustainable manner. We believe that you should choose how plant-based you want to be!

Whether you already lead a 100% plant-based lifestyle or are just beginning to explore this fascinating lifestyle choice, we're here to make your life as a thoughtful consumer in Japan easier.

Why Japan?

Each one of our team members had the opportunity to spend time abroad and experiment with a plant based diet, only to return to Japan and face many difficulties in maintaining this lifestyle. Lifestyle preferences are generally respected overseas. Whether you were Vegetarian, Pescatarian, Vegan, Muslim (Halal), Jewish (Kosher), Buddist (oriental vegan), or simply opting for a Whole Foods diet, it is always received with the same level of interest as when you state your favourite colour. However, in Japan, stating a lifestyle preference can be either met with some level of (misunderstood) criticism or an intense burst of curiosity: “If you are plant-based, you will lack nutrients!”, or “What is vegan? What is plant-based? Is it a religion?”. As we have faced both sides of the spectrum, we realized that there was just not enough information about the plant-based lifestyle for people living in Japan.

Our Target Audience

Whether you are already living a plant-based lifestyle, or just interested to know more, we hope this website will serve as the practical guidebook for embracing a new way of life that starts on your plate and may seep into other aspects of your life in Japan. In both English and Japanese, veggino will provide you with practical information, from getting to know about a plant-based lifestyle, all the way to grocery shopping, cooking, eating out and keeping healthy. Bon appetit!

veggino team, 14 April 2018

The Team

Noriko Shindo

Noriko Shindo

Co-Founder & CEO

What started as a curious experiment to opt for a completely plant-based diet consequently turned into a new and exciting lifestyle! Since my transition, I have been primarily interested in 2 things: to increase awareness on the plant-based lifestyle, and to help as many plant-based people in Japan sustain their plant-based lifestyle by providing useful information. I believe that a plant-based life is for everyone: you can do a meat-free Monday and still call yourself plant-based. Even if you still occasionally put some parmesan on your pasta, go ahead – declare you live a plant-based lifestyle. The point I’m trying to make is, plant-based, it is just another way of life.

  • Plant Based 90% 90%
  • Cooking Skills 85% 85%
Jad Saleh

Jad Saleh

Co-Founder & CTO

I have been traveling to Japan for more than 5 years and moved to Tokyo in August 2017 to launch my startup Pedaru. I became plant-based to explore its health benefits and myths. Previously, I used to eat at least one of the following food items on a daily basis: chicken, pork, beef, lamb and fish. I thought it would be impossible to let go of all of that, but after understanding how badly animals are treated today, what companies are putting in our food and how important nutrition is, my perspective and mindset changed. If I can do it, so can you! My favourite documentary and book on plant-based topics are Food Inc. and How Not To Die. Check them out 😉

  • Plant Based 75% 75%
  • Cooking Skills 85% 85%
Ofer Reish

Ofer Reish

Co-Founder & Chief Editor

I believe that animals are here to share the Earth with us, not to satisfy our desires. This led me to drop meat from my menu at an early age. In 2011, after learning about the process involved in the production of eggs and dairy, I started researching about veganism and decided to become plant-based. As I continue to learn and experiment, I still marvel at the many benefits that a plant-based lifestyle offers. I’ve lectured in schools about animal welfare and I hope that through veggino, we can help people in Japan explore this life-changing journey. The number of plant-based people worldwide has been skyrocketing in recent years, and it’s Japan’s turn now!

  • Plant Based 100% 100%
  • Cooking Skills 80% 80%
Edo Russell

Edo Russell

Co-Founder & COO

  • Plant Based 50% 50%
  • Cooking Skills 90% 90%
Haruka Osasa

Haruka Osasa


I stayed in Australia for a year when I was 16 and realized I had lived with a Japanese sense of values until that point. Since returning to Japan, I have been motivated to contribute to things which will increase foreigners to like and prefer Japan. I recently turned 21 and still keep the same motivation. After coming back home, I have joined free studying support and tried charity for foreign kids who live in Japan. I am not actually fully plant-based, but I value the need to learn and respect various lifestyles and food diets. I wish that more and more people in Japan and around the world could get closer to the concept of a plant-based life through veggino!

  • Plant Based 30% 30%
  • Cooking Skills 70% 70%

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