With more than a million Muslim tourists visiting Japan annually, restaurants have increasingly stepped up to offer local fare that is both delicious and halal. Yet, given the deep roots that pork and alcohol have in traditional Japanese cuisine, such restaurants aren’t plenty to come by.
If you find these struggles familiar, you’re not alone. So here’s a list of ten eateries which offer the best of Japanese dishes that are also halal.
1. Gyuumon – Shibuya, Tokyo
When asking for recommendations for halal-certified Japanese restaurants, Gyuumon is the answer. Located just 5 minutes from Shin-minamiguchi and a short walk from Shibuya station, Gyuumon is established in a convenient, highly-accessible location for holidaymakers. What’s more, it opens till 3AM from Mondays to Saturdays, and 11PM on Sunday evenings. If you’re having a late night craving for all-you-can-eat yakiniku, you have your answer!
Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, 3-14-5, Tokyo
2. Sumiyakiya Nishiazabu – Roppongi, Tokyo
Sumiyakiya is another great choice for Muslim foodies in Tokyo. In fact, the former Malaysian Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad visited this restaurant for a course of Wagyu beef and prime ribs. What sets Sumiyakiya apart from your typical yakiniku place is that they also serves horumon. Horumon is a type of Japanese cuisine with roots from the Joseon food culture, so you can expect to be treated to dishes such as kimchi, Korean pancakes and bibimbap.
Nishiazabu, Minato-ku, 3-20-16, Tokyo
3. Naritaya – Asakusa, Tokyo
Naritaya is known for serving authentic traditional ramen. Apart from offering ramen in both hot and cold varieties, visitors can also opt for mazesoba, ramen prepared with flavoured oil instead of soup. Feeling adventurous? Treat your tastebuds to some shrimp sambal and spicy bamboo shoots. Located near to Kaminarimon Gate and Senso Temple — complete your sightseeing with a great bowl of ramen at Naritaya thereafter.
Asakusa, Taito-ku, 2-7-13, Tokyo
4. Hanasakaji-san – Shibuya, Tokyo
Yet another great restaurant in Shibuya, the outlet prides itself of offering halal washoku, as well as shabu-shabu. Open your senses with the highly recommended Miyazaki herb beef with original taste of bonito broth dipping sauce. Savour the flavour of the sea with big eye tuna and white fish sashimi, grilled mackerel, tasty egg roll omelet, seafood salad and tempura all in the one set of Hanasakaji-san’s iconic halal Shabu-shabu Washoku set.
Sakuragaoka-cho, Shibuya-ku, 3-22, Tokyo
5. Shitamachi Shokudo Ippin – Asakusa, Tokyo
Located mere steps away from Asakusa station, Shitamachi Shokudo Ippin is the place to hit up when you’re looking for good lunches and dinners under JPY 1000. The Ippin Curry Rice makes for a hearty meal with optional toppings such as powdered cheese, a soft boiled egg or even extra chicken cutlets. Also, don’t miss out on the ramen with white broth, made from ‘amakusa-daiou’ Kumamoto chicken (free-range chicken).
Nishi-Asakusa, Taito-ku, 3-16-11, Tokyo
6. MyBread Bakery – Mita, Tokyo
MyBread Bakery presents their baked treats in a signature cow-print packaging and ranges from Japanese breads like edamame oyaki (bean dumpling) and melonpan (sweet melon bread), to more traditional baked goods like the fromage, kale bagel and clive foccacia.
Mita, Minato-ku, 4-1-9, Tokyo
7. Yoshitomoan – Shinjuku, Tokyo
A stone’s throw away from Ushigome-Kagurazaka station, Yoshitomoan seeks to introduce the authentic flavours of soba and their many varieties to its diners. You’ll be spoilt for choice from the very onset with three types of buckwheat noodles to choose from! Edo buckwheat is the most common soba variety in Japan, made from homemade flour and a painstakingly tedious grinding, pulling and sieving process. If you’re in town during the wintertime, feast on their seasonal wild duck dishes to complement your soba!
Nandomachi, Shinjuku-ku, 10, Tokyo
8. Cooking Sun – Funaya-cho, Kyoto
Cooking Sun is a great place to learn more about Kyoto’s food heritage, as well as to try out different styles of Japanese cuisine. Located just ten minutes from Gojo, Shijo and Karasuma stations, they have been halal-certified since 2014. This highly-accessible cooking school offers a unique and localised way to spend your day, plus savouring a meal that you made from scratch definitely heightens the level of satisfaction in our books.
Funaya-cho, Shimogyo-ku, 6-7-9, Kyoto
9. Yuzanso – Shiga, Kyoto
Treat yourself to an overnight stay at Yuzanso to fully savour the diverse Kyoto fare. At Yuzanso, selections range from premium wagyu beef cuts to king lobsters and fish roe. If you’re wondering about breakfast, you’ll be treated to a scrumptious nabe hotpot with fresh yasai (wild vegetables), cold silken tofu, grilled fish and pickles to accompany your meal. Its proximity to key Japanese tourist destinations, such as the Kiyomizudera Temple and Fushimi-Inari Shrine add to its draw for local and foreign travellers alike.
Ogoto, Otsu-shi, 1-9-28, Shiga, Kyoto
10. The U-don – Kansai International Airport, Osaka
Ever wandered around an airport wondering which restaurants served halal food? With the opening of U-don, Kansai International’s first halal-certified eatery, you won’t have to search for long. It is famous for its Sanuki udon, which is very popular in Shikoku. The strands of noodles come in a unique square shape, and make for a delightful meal for youths and adults alike.
Second Floor of the Passenger Terminal Building of Kansai International Airport
Now that you’re armed with a wealth of information about halal restaurants in Japan, go forth and feast! From the usual must-try dishes of ramen, gyoza and curry rice, to the more adventurous delicacies like horse meat sashimi, you won’t have to fret about local food options when you’re travelling in Japan any longer.
EXPERIENCE JAPAN: AirAsia offers the lowest fares to over 150 destinations. Book your seats, accommodation, holiday packages and activities now at airasia.com