Many tourists coming to Japan worry about souvenirs. There are many people who, as well as being overwhelmed with the abundance of specialty products from around the country, worry about whether products are Halal. Let’s introduce arare (small rice crackers) to these people. Arare does not refer to Arale-chan from Dr. Slump; arare is a typical Japanese souvenir that has acquired Halal certification. Moreover, they are produced by Osama-do, a long-established store founded in 1924.
Osama-do produces two flavors of arare simply known as “Tokyo arare”. Sticky rice produced in Japan is rolled into a bite-size, lightly fried in vegetable oil, covered with sweet soy sauce, and sprinkled with seaweed and pepper. The price is somewhat high at 630 yen, but conveniently, the arare can be purchased directly from the store.
Incidentally, this store also has a variety of non-Halal “senbei” flat crackers. Norimaki Senbei, senbei rolled in seaweed, shares the name of Arale-chan‘s creator. So, we can understand that this store is the origin of Dr. Slump – you should mention this when you are giving somebody a souvenir!
So, let me tell you how to get to the store. The address is 2-6-8 Senzoku, Taito-Ku, Tokyo. The store is located approx. 500m east of Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line “Iriya Station”, so a taxi is recommended. You can access the Hibiya line from Ginza and Roppongi. If you are coming from Shinjuku or Tokyo, it’s best to take the Marunouchi Line to Ginza and transfer to the Hibiya Line there. Senzoku, one station from Ueno, is a downtown area, so you can also enjoy strolling through the streets if you have time. It’s a completely different scene from the world of Arale-chan however.