When in Japan, Muslims have to be cautious when they are looking to buy foods and drinks. But there are many good food and drink products out there in Japan, and nowadays, there is a rise in halal food stalls in Japan like the Siddique Restaurants and Kebab stalls which are ubiquitous in Tokyo.
But, how about the food sold at the convenience stores in Japan, also known as ‘konbini’? Here are several items that Muslims can consume when they are travelling in Japan.
Calpis is a must try drink if you visit Japan. It is a very popular beverage with the locals, and it can be found in all konbini. Just like many households in the West always have a bottle of Coke close at hand, most Japanese households have Calpis stocked in their fridge next to the staple green tea and oolong tea.
The ‘Salt and Fruit’ bottle contains a sports drink and can be found in vending machine all over Japan. You may find it a bit weird and think “Isn’t it salty?” “Is it really going to be tasty?”. Trust me, you are going to be surprised. It is really good and refreshing. You may find yourself having seconds. (Spoiler: it is actually not salty at all)
The soba noodles that you can buy in a konbini are instant soba. If you want to be sure you have the Halal version, make sure the packaging are the same as in the picture above. There is vegetable tempura included. These noodles are very filling, so you won’t need to buy much more than this if you want to feel full. A piece of advice: when you want to buy something and you are unsure of its status (halal or not), try asking the seller if there is any nyuu kazai (emulsifier) or dobutsu (animal) included. Especially when buying onigiri (rice ball), you can better opt for the seafood and vegetable options like tuna or plum (ume) onigiri.
This roll cake is uh-maaa-zingg (amazing). It tastes even better when you put it in a fridge before eating it. It is not too sweet which is perfect if you don’t have a sweet tooth. The cake is very spongy, and when you eat it, it really melts in your mouth! This roll cake can be found in 7-Eleven konbini.
This Haagen-Dazs ice cream is the best Halal option besides matcha (green tea) ice cream for Muslims in Japan. The ice cream is actually available in other countries as well. But in Japan, Haagen-Dazs is not considered too pricey. Make sure it is the caramel flavor, as the other flavors contain non-halal ingredients.
For 140 yen you can get mochi (rice cake) and ice cream! In one pack you will find 2 mochi ice cream domes (sharing is optional!). This snack is especially recommended, as it also lets you have a taste of mochi, which is a typical Japanese snack.
As you can see, there is plenty of choice in Japan’s convenience stores for those of us that eat Halal, so don’t hesitate to come over on a trip, and discover all the country has to offer!