As you may know, these days traveling is becoming more and more popular, and you can even see many things and travel virtually on the internet. People want to explore other countries, feel the difference in cultures, and taste their food. Yeah, Food! Food is both the most basic need for people but is also one of the keys to enjoying life.
There are many different countries all over the world and each country also has unique cultures and characters. Some people eat everything, while others restrict themselves to only vegetables, meats, or seafood. There are also those whose diets are restricted due to an allergy to certain ingredients or those who abstain from others due to their beliefs.
As you can see from the title, today we’re talking about halal food! So, what is halal food? Halal food is the dietary standard of permitted food of the Islamic Faith. Before sharing some useful tips on how to find it in Japan, I’ll explain some of the rules it implies.
Halal means clean, legal, or appropriate for the religion of Islam. Foods such as cow, sheep, camel, goat’s milk, honey, fish, non-intoxicating herbs, fresh or frozen fruits, wheat, peanuts, barley, rye, rice, pistachios, and walnuts are called halal food. Additionally, these edible meats must be prepared according to Islamic rules. On the other hand, alcohol, pork, blood, dead animals, or food prepared against Islamic rules are called haram. That is, non-halal. (it is not permissible to eat).
So, let’s talk about halal food in Japan. If you are Muslim and care about what will you eat during your trip, don’t worry, you have many options. First of all, the Japanese government know-how is increasing the halal food demand since many people from Muslim countries are coming to Japan. In order to appeal to these people, the government is working on this issue and helping to meet people’s needs. Muslims in Japan also work individually or as a group to inform the community and Muslim visitors about halal food.
Useful Words for Searching Halal Food
To save time when checking a prepared or packaged product, you can first quickly scan the label for the most common characters and words so you can find the products you’re looking for more quickly.
Once you know some basic words, you can negotiate with the seller more easily when you are going to shop in restaurants or shops.
Here I have listed the most popular words that you should avoid.
|豚 or 豚肉
buta / ton / butaniku
buta ekisu / pooku ekisu
shortening (derived from both animal and plant)
meat (unless any halal logo is pasted on the packages)
|牛 or 牛肉
gyuu / gyuuniku
beef (unless any halal logo is pasted on the packages)
|牛エキス or ビーフエキス
gyuu ekisu / beef ekisu
|鶏 or 鶏肉
tori / toriniku
chicken meat (unless there is a halal logo pasted on the packages)
|鶏エキス or チキンエキス
tori ekisu /chikin ekisu
gelatin (usually made of lard)
Japanese traditional liquor (refer to “alcohol beverage”)
sweet cooking rice wine
Please visit JMAhalal for more detailed information about halal food in Japan.
You can shop at markets selling halal products
If you want to buy halal certified products, you can find them in these markets, especially in big cities. There are many spots where you can buy halal products in markets, tourist places, at some stations, or online. Today I’ll share with you two markets, but there are plenty more.
A place I’d recommend in Shibuya that you can visit is the Tokyo Mosque, which has Turkish-style architecture. In addition to a large prayer hall, there is a resting place, a library, and you can participate in cultural activities. There’s also a halal market inside. You can do your halal market shopping in the shop or online at Tokyo Camii Halal Market.
Baticrom Foods is the first online retailer of quality Halal foods in Japan. They supply all across Japan to shops, restaurants, and individuals, and they even have a physical store in Tokyo!
Another tip is to choose the ones with the least amount of additives when buying packaged foods. That way, you will both be making a healthy choice and be able to check the content more easily. For example 100% milk,100% fruit juice, or fresh fruits/vegetables.
You can find more detailed information about packaged food on the internet. There are Muslim communities working to help with this issue. If you have a Facebook account, you can follow Halal in Japan.
Enjoy Halal or Muslim Friendly Restaurants in Japan
Are you tired and hungry while exploring the city or want to sit down somewhere and taste Japanese food with your friend, but you’re looking for a halal meal? Don’t worry! You have many options for places to eat that are easy to find.
For more places, the website Halal Gourmet Japan will help you to research halal food and restaurants in Japan. Here you can get detailed information and taste halal Japanese food from many different countries. Also, pick up a Muslim Friendly Map list to help find your next favorite spot.
But please be cautious when looking for halal food because some places sell purely halal products while others only feature a portion of halal products, while other products are not.
With a little more detailed research on your trip, you can experience the nature, food, and culture of this beautiful country in the most wonderful way, and stay halal while you’re doing it!
We wish you the most perfect feelings and flavors of your trip to Japan!
Featured photo Credit: Mehrad-Vosoughi on Unsplash