Written by Teguh Setia Anugeraha
Have you ever wondered how moslems live in a country where the majority of the citizens are non-moslem? How they live their life as moslems, how they conduct their religious activities, including how they manage to get halal food (proper and consumable food for moslems). Below is a brief explanation of moslems’ lifestyle in Osaka, Japan.
Moslems’ Lifestyle in Osaka
Osaka Province, with the third largest capital for its population in Japan, Osaka City, has the largest international airport in West Japan as well as being a central of economics in the area. Therefore, a quite large number of moslems from various countries come to do business, study, explore the province for tourism, and etc. Due to a relatively small number of moslem population in Osaka Province, hence there are only two masjids (mosque) built consecutively in Osaka City and Ibaraki City. Usually, the masjids are actively used during Jumuah (Friday) prayer, Ied celebration, or on weekends to conduct Islamic studies. Mostly, moslems who come to masjids are the immigrants from various countries who visit or live in Osaka. As for daily religious activities, moslems tend to conduct salat (*daily prayer) at their activity spots, such as classrooms, meeting rooms, even the parks and etc. Fortunately, in Japan, there isn’t any restriction to conduct religious activities.
How do moslems in Japan manage to get halal food and beverages? In Osaka, there are some certain restaurants and stores which sell halal products. The restaurants which serve halal food are usually Japanese, Indonesian, Thailand, Malaysian, Indian, Turkish and etc.
Whereas the stores which sell halal food are usually selling imported food because products with halal label are imported from Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, India, and etc. On the other hand, there are also specific stores that sell halal food, one of them is the store which belongs to the masjid of Osaka City. There are also some online stores which sell halal products.
Due to a raise in number of moslem visitors to Japan, the Japanese government starts to provide more of the moslem-friendly facilities, for example at Kansai Aiport, a special room is available for moslems to conduct salat. Moreover, the room is clean and comfortable enough. There are also Japanese restaurants labeled with halal certificate. (check the link Muslim Friendly Airports/)
Since the Japan 2020 Olympics is approaching, the estimated number of moslem visitors to Japan is predicted to increase, the production of halal labeled food will become a new opportunity for the businessmen who run Japanese food companies. Nowadays, the halal labeled food business starts to emerge from the local Japanese food industry. They produce shoyu (Japanese soybean sauce), green tea, frozen beef, and etc. However, the original Japanese products of halal labeled food are still quite hard to find in the market because the distribution is not properly conducted.