In 2013, the Japan Tourism Agency published the Japan Travel Guide for Muslim Visitors, the first guidebook created by the government for Muslim tourists. It introduces the splendors of Japan through the seasons in beautiful photographs.
The guide also introduces 52 restaurants in Japan, but the selection is disappointing. It mentions only one restaurant serving Japanese cuisine. The rest are Indian, Pakistani, or Turkish restaurants. (Their food is delicious, but . . . )
Food is always at the top of the list in rankings of the delights of travel. That makes the guidebook’s selections especially disappointing, even if we know that Halal cuisine is uncommon in Japan. Given that Japan is the country with the most Michelin three-star restaurants in the world, surely visitors will want to enjoy real Japanese cuisine in the land of its birth.
It may take time to make that wish a reality. A growing number of restaurants throughout the country are acquiring Halal certification, and a growing number of Japanese dishes are made with Halal ingredients. There is also a movement to provide information in English concerning what ingredients dishes include, even in restaurants that have not yet received Halal certification. We will be providing updates about this nationwide movement on this site.