This post is also available in: 日本語

A Vegan Specialty Food Stall Finally Opened in Japanese Baseball Stadium!

On March 16, 2021, a vegan specialty food stall “BACKYARD BUTCHERS” opened at MetLife Dome (a shop inside the dome), the home of Saitama Seibu Lions. This is the first time in Japan that a vegan menu will be offered at the Japanese Baseball Stadium (according to Food Diversity).

The owner is Tomohito Yoneno , who has been active in Tokyo Yakult Swallows – Saitama Seibu Lions – Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighter for 17 years, and he since he was active as a professional baseball player, he deepened his interest in food through his own conditioning and finally opened this store.

“BACKYARD BUTCHERS” offers a menu that using soybean meat and potato which are 100% vegetables and this shop recommendation menu is “Fried Soy Chicken Bowl”.

Not only the ingredients that carefully selected, the preparation and cooking process also devised in various ways, and the finishing has a perfect taste, texture, and chewy are like real meat unless someone tells that it made from plant-based.

For those who love spicy food, “Salasa” is also recommended.
※All rice uses millet rice

Fried Soy Chicken Bowl

The menu

MetLife Dome’s first base side, the pink signboard is a trademark.

Let’s Talk With The Owner, Mr. Yoneno

Photo = provided by the baseball team

Q.Please tell us how you opened your restaurant?

A. From the time I was active as a baseball player, I referred to Djokovic’s book and change my diet to gluten-free and vegetable-based. After that my sleep quality becomes better every night, also I was recovering my physical strength, and improving my performance.  Thanks to all of you, I was able to live an active life for 17 years. I realized that my daily physical changes with food, and from there I become to actively learn about “food”.  Furthermore, when I have visited California in the United States, I found that sustainable products that are friendly to the global environment are locally popular, and I started learning vegan from the perspective of “food and environment” and continue to this day.

Q. What’s the meaning of “BACKYARD BUTCHERS”?

A.There are 2 meanings. First, it means that we want customers who come to the stadium and enjoy the atmosphere of the stadium not only on the ground but also on the back of the net, and the other meaning that it’s not a normal shop that uses animal meat, but a second butcher shop that uses vegetable raw materials.

Q. Please tell us about “Food and Environment” that becomes the theme of this food stall.

A. Now, global environmental issues are a major theme worldwide. The carbon dioxide emitted by animals and the resource load for raising animals is attracting a lot of attention. In Europe and the United States, the number of people who practice vegan from this consciousness and conscious about the environmental issue is increasing, so I would like to send these messages through this food stall. However, even if we overdo it, it will be difficult to continue such efforts, so I would like to send a message, “as far as I can, step by step, even only once a week”. Also, as long as it’s food, the important thing is the food is delicious, so I will develop menus without compromising the taste.

Q. Do you have a message you would like to share through this food stall?

A.Many athletes around the world are adopting various diets such as gluten-free and vegan, but I don’t hear much in Japan. Also in Japan, it has been said for a long time that athletes “eat meat to gain power”. Of course, it’s not a bad thing but I think it will be good to have a new choice; “vegetable”, instead of “meat” for the protein needed to build muscle. Perhaps, there are more people who more suitable with “vegetable”, and I think that will lead to improved performance. It would be great if athletes have more opportunities to think about their diet by increasing choices.

Q. Please tell us about your future prospects.

A. In the future, we would like to expand our business by conducting import business and online-based business. In addition, I am considering opening a restaurant in a place that has a high affinity as the concept and would like to deliver various messages with food.

Q. Please give a message to our readers.

A. The MetLife Dome, which was renewed this year, has a very fun atmosphere. I also usually go to the food stall, so I would like you to come and visit us. Although it’s 100% vegetables which is good for body health, we are confident with the taste, texture, and chewy, so we would like you to enjoy the baseball stadium meal that different from usual. We look forward to your visit.

Reference (related sustainability as Saitama Seibu Lions)


▼SAVE LIONS ~Report of the donation in the project to save disappearing wild lions~

▼『Project! SAVE THE EARTH Lions GREEN UP!』 also carried out in season 2021!

photo=provided by baseball team