While most of us may think that Japan is far from synonymous to being an area frequented by our Muslim friends, the culinary scene of Tokyo has started to embrace offering halal foods.
But what exactly is halal food?
One might see the term “halal” on labels and restaurant doors, halal is an Arabic word which, in general, refers to something that is lawful or permissible as prescribed by Islamic laws. In terms of food, halal not only refers to the food that is free from ingredients prohibited for consumption by the Islamic laws. Not only that, but the food preparation should also meet Islamic-law approved standards—from processing, manufacturing, production, and utensils/equipment/machinery cleaning and storing.
The process may sound tedious and stringent, but halal food in Tokyo has already started to emerge, with more halal restaurants opening.
Let’s explore halal food in Tokyo.
For a truly delish ramen experience, worry no more for there are several halal ramen places in Tokyo. Tucked near the Shinjuku train station is the Muslim-owned Shinjuku Gyoen Ramen Ouka, which serves ramen meals with rice, which you can eat along with the ramen soup. The menu features regular and spicy halal ramen for about ¥1000. Another certified halal ramen place in Tokyo is Honolu Ebisu, whose house specialty is chicken ramen, is certified by the Malaysia Halal Corporation. Meanwhile, in Asakusa, your craving for halal-certified ramen will be satisfied at Naritaya. The store obtained its certification from the Japan Islamic Trust. The ramen place also has a prayer room for those who’d like to have a quiet time to fulfill their religious obligations. Menya Kaijin in Shinjuku is another popular restaurant serving halal foods, with ramen served in fish broth. Another Malaysia Halal Corporation certified restaurant is Ayam-YA Okachimachi Tokyo, which serves ramen, tsukemen or cold dipping ramen and rice bowls.
For halal-certified wagyu beef and shabu-shabu, visit Hanasakaji-san, famed for its Miyazaki beef. Sushiken, on the other hand, offers various sushi sets and course meals both for locals and those looking for halal-certified sushi. The restaurant obtained halal certification from the Japan Halal Foundation. Another café to consider is Saryo Ouka, a Muslim owned café in Akasaka, which serves sushi platters and wagyu beef rice meals. For halal certified Japanese curry, visit CoCo Ichibanya Curry House in Akihabara and Shinjuku, which both halal certified by the Nippon Asia Halal Association. Origami Asakusa, situated near the Asakusa train station, serves halal meals such as Chicken Sukiyaki Nabe, Beef Shabu Shabu, and Japanese Black Beef Steak. Origami Asakusa earned its halal certification from the Japan Islamic Trust.
For those feeling hungry upon landing Narita airport but is worried that there are no options available, worry no more for there are restaurants that are halal certified within the airport’s premises. Kineya Mugimaru, which is halal certified by the Malaysia Consultation and Training Agency serves halal udon to counter your hunger.
And while the Muslim population and tourists in Tokyo is relatively small, halal food in Tokyo has become a part of the options offered in other restaurants within Tokyo.
Surely, you can still satisfy your craving for authentic Japanese food without sacrificing your need for halal foods while in Tokyo.
Serkan is the founder of Tokyo by Food. He came to Japan to study and he could not go back because of the delicious Japanese cuisine. His passion for Japanese food and Tokyo led him to create this sweet platform. His aim in his life to helping people in need through his business. Therefore, he created Food for Happiness Project.