Muslim athletes and tourists need not worry about finding halal food in Japan during Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic Games.
Since 2013, the number of halal restaurants has skyrocketed from four to 180, including fine-dining establishments that serve traditional Japanese dishes.
Muslim students are also being accommodated. In 2014, Kanda University of International Studies opened Shokujin cafeteria, which is certified by the Nippon Asia Halal Association.
Also, the popular chain Curry House CoCo Ichibanya opened its halal Akihabara branch in 2017.
Halal Wagyu Yakiniku Panga in Tokyo’s Taito ward branched out of an already accomplished establishment to accommodate halal consumers and to grow the restaurant’s “food culture.”
“My sister worked in Indonesia between 2015 and 2017, and when she asked her Muslim friends in Indonesia to come to Japan, they said there was nothing for them to eat because it’s difficult to find halal restaurants in Japan. When we heard this, we thought it was sad because when we travel we want to have local food, but Muslims who come to Japan have trouble finding places where they can eat,” said Sung Gi Hong, director and manager of Panga.
The restaurant chain has been running since 1999, and gained halal certification in 2015 from the Japan Halal Foundation. Hong said Panga attracts a large number of Muslim customers.
Shinjuku Gyoen Ramen Ouka is another restaurant cooking halal dishes in one of Tokyo’s busiest areas. The restaurant features vegetarian and vegan ramen options.
Other halal outlets in Tokyo include Asakusa Sushi Ken, Sumiyakiya Halal Grill, Hanasaka Ji-san and KO-SO Cafe Biorise.
Darul Ihsan Media Desk