3 Basic Tips You Need To Know To Survive Your Japan Trip If You’re A Muslim

In a country with a small population of Muslims like Japan, finding Halal foods are not as easy as in our home country. Not to mention the language barriers that we will face, as most of the local do not speak English and the information are mostly written in Kanji. It can be really scary and panicky for the first timers *starts running in circles*
But worry not, to help you out, Mr. Musafir has shared us some useful tips on how to survive Japan as a Muslim. So make sure you know all of these 3 things before going to Japan and be prepared!

 Tips 1: Communicate with the locals

Halal food is usually the main concern of Muslim travellers in Japan, especially with language barriers it is hard to communicate with the locals. However, Japanese people are usually very helpful and ready to assist us as long as we know how to ask them in the right way. Here is what you need to ask while at the restaurant:
 👉 この料理はお肉かお酒などが入っていませんか?Kono ryouri wa oniku ka osake nado haitte imasen ka ? Does this food contain any meat or alcohol?
👉 この飲み物はお酒が入っていませんか?Kono nomimono wa osake ga haitte imasen ka ? Does this drink contain any alcohol? 👉 すみません、豚肉がだめです。Sumimasen, buta niku wa dame desu. I am sorry, i can not consume pork. 👉 お祓い食べ物 / 飲み物はありませんか?私はムスリムだからです。Oharai tabemono / nomimoni wa arimasen ka? Watashi wa musurimu dakara desu. Do you have Halal foods here? I am a Muslim. Bonus tips: If you are not confident enough to speak those Japanese phrases, you can use our Muslim dietary card (click the link to see more card) to order a Halal friendly menu in the restaurant. Just print it out and show it to the Japanese staffs Halal Navi Muslim Help Card

Tips 2: Find Halal restaurants without having doubts

halal Halal Sign from Japan Islamic Trust

Nonetheless, there are many Halal restaurants you can find all around Japan. Especially restaurants owned by Turkish, Indian, Pakistani, and Malaysian. Every restaurant that serves Halal foods will usually put a Halal sign in front of their door. Even some Japanese restaurants also pursue Halal certification from the Halal certification bodies in Japan. Although the number of Halal certified restaurants are not many, they are mostly situated in strategic locations such as the international airport or main train stations. However, those restaurants are usually a bit more expensive than normal restaurants. P.S: You can find more Halal restaurants in Japan that suit your preferences through Halal Navi app and web! Halal Navi have more than 800 restaurants with Halal information so you won't have to worry about finding one anymore 😉
 Some of Halal Restaurants in Japan 
東京 Tokyo  大阪 Osaka 京都 Kyoto 北海度 Hokkaido

3. Survive Japan with Konbini (Convenience store)

Convinience store (Konbini) in Japan
You can also buy food and drinks at the 24hours convenience store or like the locals called it, "Konbini" . Konbini offers a wide range of food and snacks and at times it might be a cheaper option than eating outside! The picture below shows a variety of foods and drinks you can choose especially those with seafood ingredients. Among the affordable foods you can buy in a Konbini is Onigiri [🍙、おにぎり], it's a rice ball made from white rice and wrapped in seaweed or nori [海苔]. The rice balls have many kind of fillings such as tuna mayonnaise, salmon, prawn, and many more.  However be careful as some onigiri uses meat as the fillings. Onigiri usually cost about ¥100~¥150 which are quite affordable. Check this article to learn how to read onigiri packaging so you won't buy the wrong variant!
Food racks at Konbini
Japan really takes "convenience stores" to a whole new level. Apart for it being available 24/7, 365 days yearly, not only they sells a lot of other stuff that ranges from clothes, electronic devices, bento, they also offer services such as post and photocopy service, buying flight or concert tickets to even paying utility bills and taxes! Since it offers almost everything you would possibly need, Konbini becomes an important part of daily life for people in Japan.
Konbini can be found easily at petrol stations, side of busy roads, train stations, well almost everywhere! Although Konbini sometimes charge a higher price compared to stores or supermarket, it's definitely a place that can satisfy anyone needs during emergency times or times when we are just in need of something for convenience!
Hopefully, those three tips will make your trip to Japan more pleasurable! However, if you are still worried about how to survive Japan alone, let Halal Navi app accompany you and be your assistant during your stay in Japan! You can search nearby Halal restaurants, prayer rooms, Halal stores, Muslim friendly accommodation and even talk to the Muslim community inside Halal Navi. All that are just one tap away!
 *This post was originally published at Musafir Papa Blog and was given permission to be translated and edited by Halal Navi.

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  • AJ May 9, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    most food are not halal in japan even its written halal on it, very few restaurant owned and operated by real muslim but mostly are funny because they served alcohol, without alcohol they cant survive.
    Halal restaurant must be operated by only muslim.
    How could you call halal ramen and the chef is japanese or chinese hiding in the kitchen and remember you can’t get the ramen taste without pork fat and sake or mirin ? from where they got Halal friendly name?I dont mind about Muslim friendly things!
    Muslim Organisation giving Halal certificate to shops and restaurants once they got paid, they usually charge $1000 ~ $2000 per certificate for one year.
    Even Muslim’s are Cheating Muslim’s in japan.
    Halal Food be come a very big business chance in japan, small money for muslim organisation or any individual muslim person to certified shops.

    My advice to all muslim to bring their own food with them.
    I’m Muslim and born muslim alhamdulillah, I live in this country for more than 30 years.

    • Yukari san May 10, 2017 at 10:22 am

      As Mr Aj above said, that’s really true. Some got halal certificate because they buy it. Most of them not Muslim, but do Halal Food. Without believe to Allah and Islam why you think they will serve you properly halal food to Muslim? As Mr Aj said, in Japan Muslim is MINORITY. Most Muslim who stay here just cook at home, so do the halal restaurant without serve alcohol is too difficult too survive here. That’s why now many halal restaurant have close because of this reason. As I know Shinjuku gyoen Ramen Ouka is only they serve 100% halal ramen without serve any alcohol and also the OWNER also Japanese Muslim that converted to Muslim last 3 years. Onigiri at konbini also not many we can eat. Most of them include mirin and sake. Bread also same. They use gelatin from pork base to make the bread soft.

      As a Muslim that stay at Japan and know Japanese Muslim here, many things that I learn from them. Not just Halal food, healthy food as Islam recommended. Just see the certificate, not mean the food is healthy, eat healthy is most important.

  • aida May 12, 2017 at 10:56 am

    I would have to disagree that Halal restaurants should only be operated by Muslims in Japan. I think Japan and Japanese are making a great effort to make our stay better. Yes, they have to sell alcohol because they are not much Muslims, but most of them separate the utensils and also all the plates that serves it, even the sponges used to clean! I can say that as I’ve been into a few restaurants kitchen that does that. I had friends in the Halal certification industry in Japan and after hearing their side of story, I know why they are charging that much for a certification. The amount of energy and hassle that they have to go through just to make sure us Muslims can consume something at ease in Japan, is just too much! I think it is not fair for you to give judgements without actually knowing the truth as this is also considered as fitnah.
    Salam 🙂

  • Rayan February 7, 2018 at 7:00 am

    Japan is a good place for honeymoon? What are the things to consider for first time traveller?


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