Are you a Muslim who is going to Japan through Kansai, or having a transfer there, and looking for places to pray or find Halal food to eat at the airport? Good news! Kansai International Airport is Muslim friendly! In order to accommodate the needs of Muslim passengers at the airport, special rooms have been designated as Prayer Room for Muslims, and restaurants have been allocated as Halal-certified.
There are three prayer rooms at the airport. Two of them are located at the International Departure Gate area. Another one is located on the 3rd floor of Terminal 1. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, complete with prayer mats, Qiblat directions, chairs for persons in need, and an ablution (washing) area. There are separate prayer rooms for men and women, and they are open 24 hours.
The two prayer rooms that are located at the International Departure Gate are situated at both North and South Wings. The one located at the North Wing is located near Gate 16, while the one at the South Wing is located near Gate 26.
The one that I went to was the room at Terminal 1. If you reach there at almost midnight, all access to the 3rd floor by escalator is closed. You can go to the prayer room either by the elevator that is situated near the south exit on the first floor (other elevators do not stop at the 3rd floor at that time), or by using the staircase near counter C from the 4th floor, and turn left when you reach the 3rd floor.
There are three Halal restaurants at the airport. These three restaurants are Halal-Certified by the Malaysia Halal Consultation & Training Agency. The three restaurants are The U-don, Sojibo, and Oragasoba.
The U-don (also called Sanuki Udon) is located on the 2nd floor of Terminal 1. It is open from 7:00am to 10:00pm. It is the first restaurant that is Halal-Certified. They serve Sanuki Udon (thick udon from Kagawa prefecture), oden (dishes with various ingredients such as egg, radish, fish-paste cake, and potato stewed in a soy-flavoured soup made from fish), tempura, and rice dishes. They also serve alcohol to non-Muslim customers in disposable cups in order to prevent contamination with the Halal dishes. The menus are displayed in English, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese.
Sojibo is located at the 3rd floor of Terminal 1. It is open from 7:00am to 10:00pm. Oragasoba is located at the 3rd floor of the Aeroplaza. Its hours are from 11:00am to 10:00pm. Both restaurants serve noodles.
There are also restaurants that are pork and alcohol-free such as McDonalds, and Burger King. However, as they are not Halal-Certified, the menus are not strictly Halal.
There is a Muslim Guide for Muslim Visitors prepared by the authorities of Kansai International Airport. You can check the guide for more information regarding the prayer rooms, and the restaurants that are suitable for Muslims.
As the airport is Muslim-friendly, Muslims will have no problem in performing their prayers while they are at the airport, and will get to taste original Japanese delicacies in the Halal restaurants. This will definitely attract more Muslim tourists to visit Kansai International Airport!