food

Halal tourism takes off in Japan

36 Comments
By Jacques Lhuillery

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“Muslim travelers still do not feel comfortable here,"

Tough sh*t!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Anyone who knows the laws regarding halal meat knows that "halal whale" is impossible.

3 ( +8 / -6 )

Halal whale meat was just a ploy to try and expand a dying market? The meat would have to be stored in a different place than all the other non halal whale flesh.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Most Muslims are pretty relaxed when they are traveling. They don't mind going to places that have alcohol served as long as they are not served, of course. And there are quite a few specialist shops for halal meats and groceries.

I spent many months with hijab-wearing, halal-observing Muslim friends here in Japan and while it was sometimes difficult to choose a restaurant when we went out or traveled, there were many more choices than you would think.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Most Muslims are pretty relaxed when they are traveling. They don't mind going to places that have alcohol served as long as they are not served, of course.

And some are even willing to be served, as long as they know they won't be observed. What happens in stays in .

11 ( +12 / -1 )

A good move by Japan tourism and officials.

Muslims are a growing influence around the world, and it's good to be more open and friendly towards them.

-13 ( +11 / -23 )

I know quiet a few places that been serving Halaal food for years. Also restaurants that serve Hindi/Vegetarian food is often visited by my Muslim friends.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I have a very good Muslim friend, and it was always the adventure trying to have Halal restaurants for her while in Tokyo. Nevertheless, not impossible, and very good tasting.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Why do Muslims require extra treatment wherever they go? It's not like they are aliens who visit planet earth for the first time.

13 ( +21 / -7 )

Each group 'needs' something special, some expect English spoke, etc wherever they go. ;)

Halaal, Kosher, Hindi, Vegan, etc are 'special needs' by quiet a large group of people on this planet. It can generate quiet a lot if income and employment.

I see quiet a few good points and opportunities in doing so.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

Do it if there is money in it, I suppose. To be honest, I find it baffling that people self-impose needless restrictions on what they can do when visiting another country. Seems a bit of a waste to me.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

when in Rome, do like Romans and eat pork ,drink alcohol and dont wear hijab... practice your religion is the private of your own convenience. I find it offensive to ponder to someones make beliefs

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The Osaka Chamber of Commerce handed out 5,000 leaflets as a guide to what can and cannot be eaten—the idea of forbidding consumption of things like alcohol or pork is anathema to omnivorous and foodie Japan.

This makes me laugh. Making food "halal" takes a LOT more than just not serving things together. Prayers must be said over the animal as it dies (in a prescribed manner - interpretations of which can vary depending on which Muslim sect the person follows), then once you've killed it the meat needs to be stored under specific conditions, then in the kitchen you can't even lay the meat down on a surface that has been used for preparing, for example, pork. If pork or alcohol is used in that area the area must be ritually purified before you can used it to prepare halal food..... etc... etc... etc..

It isn't simply a matter of not serving Muslim customers pork steaks in a white wine sauce. "Halal" goes far, FAR beyond that.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I was in an Iranian restaurant in Roppongi with a Japanese friend, and was asked by the manager to move from the smaller room where we were eating to the main room, so that a customer could use the smaller room to pray. We picked up our utensils and moved into the main room. The manager seemed to be a little embarrassed by it and was apologetic and appreciative. The customer, not at all -- not to me, nor to the restaurant manager. So it goes.

Anyway the food there was good, and I suppose it was Halal.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

'Consequently, I'm deeply concerned of this great country that I choose to settle my life in, since an average Japanese is way too kind, tolerant and unprepared to handle the aggressive infiltration of Islamic practices'

A little condescending. I honestly don't think that religion, let alone a monotheistic strain, will gain a foothold in Japan again considering how it's use helped to lead Japan into disaster in WW2. I love the practical side of the Japanese and someone preaching to my coworkers on a Friday about the evils of alcohol would be greeted with something like pity or bemusement. Just off for a pint myself as it happens.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Who needs a room to pray?

You pray as you are. God couldn't care less.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Why do Muslims require extra treatment wherever they go? It's not like they are aliens who visit planet earth for the first time.

Religious freedom. Ain't it a bitch.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Muslims require this extra requirement because as far as I know they are scared to be thrown in the hell if non-halal food is consumed. So, to save themselves from hellfire they try to stick to halal food wherever they go. It's not that bad, thus creating a niche business in Japan and other countries also.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

They can have their "halal" meat if they like, but please don't force the rest of us to eat it. I for one am not interested, and would refuse it. My view is that halal meat is produced in a barbaric way.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Making concessions to any religion seem like a bad idea. If you need magical food then bring a sack lunch. Sheesh. And these groups that "certify" these restaurants...What a scam that is. Fees for inspection, fees for joining their association and more fees for future inspections. Like all religions, it's about the $. Or in this case the ¥.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

It often seems that muslims demand that non-muslim people and societies bend to meet their "needs"... perhaps they could try and be more adaptable themselves.

To be honest, I feel sorry for them with all the medieval rules that their religion imposes on them.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I for one could care less as well. If some restaurants want to cater to their needs Halal/Kosher etc then its fine. I'm not keen at all on Islam, but if the "tourists" are demanding "meet our religious needs" instead of "I can meet my own religious needs" then I have a big problem with this. In my state there are restaurants run by other muslims that meet the halal requirement for their needs just like many kosher stores are run by those who follow Judaism. One can't expect a butcher shop to start catering to a vegetarians needs or vice versa.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

One can't expect a butcher shop to start catering to a vegetarians needs or vice versa.

As a vegetarian myself, I have absolutely no desire to buy anything from the butcher's. Think of a better example next time.

I don't think it's so much muslims 'demanding' halal food in Japanese restaurants - it's more like businesses trying to attract more customers and, at the end of the day, make more profit. I just wish businesses here would make an effort to make more vegetarian food - food which anyone can enjoy. And halal whale meat? Please, what are they going to do, hang the whale and slit its throat? This is plainly scraping the barrel, trying to promote whale meat which few people want to eat.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

All readers back on topic please. The topic is halal tourism in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

While Japan bends over to make special accomodations for muslims, I would like to read about an muslim country that makes special accomodations for non-muslims. Of course, that will be a long wait.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It is strange that Japan needs to make special accomodations for Muslims. Jews, who have similar dietary rules, have been visiting here for a long time without problems, without demanding special prayer rooms and restaurants. Same applies for Hindus, Yazadis, Jains, and any number of groups with particular religious rules.

And the halal whale meat, which has been reported here before, is of course a gimmick; concocted by the whaling association.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Halal tourism must be treated carefully by Japanese. The progressive attitude of Japanese will be taken advantage and before you know it, more demand for the name of Halal tourism will surface. They can get as strict as having only Muslims preparing food since most Japanese would have been "contaminated" by pork or pork related product. And THEN what are you gonna do about it? Hire only Muslim staff? Not enough in the country, bring them as skilled workers?

Japanese should simply just adopt a respectful attitude towards our muslim guests with clear signage of presence of Pork or Pork product and don't bend over backwards to cater for the full spectrum of Japanese food.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

In some cities, like here in Kobe City, with its mosque since about 1940, there have been halal shops and restaurants for decades. There are also travel companies for Islamic believers to ensure everything that they need is provided.

On the other hand, although there's a synagogue, there are no kosher shops or restaurants so I don't know what the Jews of Kobe do for food?

There's also a Jain Temple, with its very strange code for when and now women can enter who also have their own vegetarian diet needs.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The real point is, do they have money and are they willing to spend it here? If the answer is yes, then the tourist industry needs to step up its game!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The prohibition against alcohol seems to me a bit odd. I have had a woman dressed in a hijab sell me alcohol in her place of business. Like I said, odd.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@1glenn

The prohibition of alcohol is more than "odd", given that the Koran itself promises "... rivers of wine, a joy to those who drink," to the righteous in the afterlife.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Islamic tourists have been visiting the country for decades, this is nothing new.

But there again, if I am visiting Saudi along with my wife, my needs are not provided and in addition, I must be very aware of the local customs, especially with regards to my wife.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

realist:

" They can have their "halal" meat if they like, but please don't force the rest of us to eat it. I for one am not interested, and would refuse it. "

You might not have a choice. E.g. New Zealand, with its huge meat exports to the Middle East, produces almost only Halal meat. So, rather than using two separate meat production lines, meat exporters often simply omit the Halal label for exports to non-halal countries. But the costs for Halal, including the certification, are still part of the price. In effect, this is an islamic tax that all consumers pay.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

In New Zealand, all commercial slaughter of livestock, including religious slaughter, must be undertaken in a humane manner in accordance with New Zealand’s animal welfare laws. These laws require animals to be ‘stunned’ immediately prior to slaughter. Stunning ensures an immediate loss of consciousness to prevent animals from feeling any pain during the slaughter process.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

'Do not want. At all. Ever.'

Don't go. You don't want to go and they will survive without your money. Nobody is forced to go. What's your point?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Gaijin Dilema,

Yours is the fallacy of the Slippery Slope, or the Camel's nose.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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