‘Halal’ is a very common word in today’s foodie world. Thanks to the wider acknowledgement of Muslims, the term can be heard daily now. But how many of us know what this term really means? Simply put, Halal means the food permissible to have according to Islamic law. In the past, Japan was a country which Muslims avoided even for sightseeing purposes. The reason was simple: you could not easily find any Halal food.
Today, finding Halal food is no longer a problem for Muslims who visit Japan as tourists and those who work and live here. As Japan has slowly evolved into a center-point for Muslims migrating from all around the world, today Halal food can be found almost everywhere. From the famous Turkish Kebab to the Indonesian Nasi Goreng, a wide variety is served in the restaurants throughout the country.
A common notion is although quite wide-spread, Halal food cane be very expensive in Japan, especially in the restaurants.
Unfortunately, it is quite true. Generally, Muslims in Japan prefer cooking by themselves as it turns out to be a cheaper option. The majority of the raw materials can be bought at the local supermarkets such as Gyomu Supa, a nation-wide chain supermarket which is known for having some halal food selection. Also, the online Halal food suppliers such as Baticrom.com offer almost any type of halal food and deliver them right to your doorstep! There are, of course, plenty of smaller local halal shops that cater to Muslim customers.
Halal food marketing is currently growing by leaps and bounds, thanks to the rise in muslim students and professionals in Japan. The Japanese also started realising the importance of halal foods for Muslims. The Major airports namely: Kansai, Narita, and Haneda International Airports have set up praying rooms to satisfy all of their Muslim customers. This is also a part of the effort to attract Muslim tourists from all over the world and make Japan more international. As Japan is hosting the 2020 Olympics, the timing could not be more appropriate.