Tips: Muslim’s Guide to Dining in Japan

  • HOW TO
  • Japan’s boom in tourism has led people from all over the globe to come and enjoy the wonderful sights and entertainments Japan has to offer. The rise in tourism has encouraged people from all ethnic group and culture to visit the country. However, Japan has only just begun learning about Islam, making Halal restaurants still limited in numbers. So here are some guides for Muslims when dining in Japan.

    Halal food may be difficult to find in Japanese restaurants for some of Japanese local cuisines such as sushi for this Japanese cuisine contains rice wine. If you order Ramen, most Japanese Ramens are served with pork or if it does not contain pork, it might still be prepared along with the non-halal dishes. So how to be sure that you are having halal meals on your entire stay in Japan?

    1. Hotel Reservations

    Before making any hotel reservation, it is advisable to contact the hotel first if they provide halal meals to their clients. There are many hotels in the country especially in large cities such as Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo. Take for example the Sakura hotel in Tokyo, Hotel Granvia in Kyoto and Narita Airport Resthouse.

    2. Choosing Restaurants

    There are countless non-Japanese restaurants all over the country such as Bangladeshi, Indonesian, Iranian, Indian, Malaysian and Turkish cuisine for you to dine during your stay. Aside from these cuisines, you may also find halal meals in vegetarian restaurants.

    3. Choosing Japanese Food

    If your colleagues brought you to a Japanese restaurant, do not fear for not all Japanese dishes contain rice wine, pork or animal fat. Take for example the Japanese Eel or Unagi, Odon, Edemame beans and some vegetable dishes. There are even restaurants that offer halal food options.

    4. Supermarket Shopping

    With the language barrier, it may be difficult to shop for halal meat in the supermarket. If you are familiar with all the different meat’s characteristics, then, supermarket shopping may be easier but for those whose meat knowledge is limited just take note of the Japanese word for pork: 豚肉 or ぶたにく(Butaniku). So once you have seen those characters in the meat contents, then stay away from it because definitely it is pork. For instant hunger relief, bring instant halal noodles especially those in a cup in case you are so tired to look for a halal restaurant and you have not made any reservation for halal dish in your hotel restaurant. It may be difficult to find Halal restaurants in Japan. Difficult, yet absolutely not impossible. With the growing number of Muslim visitors in Japan, I doubt they found the limited halal food options a hindrance for enjoying the country’s tourists attractions.

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    1. The history of Islam in Japan is relatively brief in relation to the religion‘s longstanding presence in other countries. Islam is one of the smallest minority faiths in Japan, having more adherents in the country than theBahá’í faith, but fewer than Christianity. Japan’s Muslim population consists mainly of Indonesians and other small expatriate communities, which represent less than 0.08% of the total population, while the estimated Japanese Muslims consist of less than 0.008% of the total population.

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