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Kibidango from Koeido certificated as halal!

If you want to bring back some treats that are more Japanese than matcha Pocky and Kit Kat, how about Kibidango?! Kibidango (millet dumpling) is a wagashi (Japanese confectionary) made with glutinous rice, syrup, rice syrup, sugar and millet originated in Okayama prefecture. Most Japanese are familiar with kibidango from the folktale Momotaro! Koeido, the most famous and perhaps the most popular Kibidango seller from Okayama prefecture has announced that their 8 kinds of Kibidango have been halal certified by Japan Islamic Trust. Koeido is an old established confectionary shop found in 1856. After over 150 years from its establishment, they now aims to spread Kibidango to the world with… Read more »

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Muslim Friendly Ramen @ Shinyokohama Raumen Museum

We hear that many of the foreign tourists to Japan have “ramen” on their must-eat-in-Japan list. On the other hand, muslims, vegetarians and vegans probably have a hard time finding the ramen they can eat at those major popular ramen restaurants. But not at Shinyokohama Raumen Museum. They now offer “global standard ramen,” which is vegan and ovo-vegetarian (contains eggs) ramen. Among the 9 ramen shops in the museum, 6 of them now offer no pork, vegetarian ramen. My friend and I chose to eat at Komurasaki because they are known for their tonkotsu soup (pork bone broth) from Kumamoto prefecture. I was curious how their vegetarian noodle would taste… Read more »

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A Happy New Year!!

A Happy New Year!! This is what my mom prepared this morning as osechi, the traditional Japanese New Year’s foods. Each dish has a meaning and they’re all symbolizing good luck. Originally, these foods were made before the new year as women didn’t cook in the new year. The foods are made to last for days so they are salty or sweet. My mom didn’t make everything, she buys some and she makes some. The kuromame is always from my grandma and I love it! Below are explanations of some of the dishes I found in Wikipedia! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osechi) Datemaki (伊達巻 or 伊達巻き), sweet rolled omelette mixed with fish paste or mashed shrimp…. Read more »

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Muslim Friendly Karaoke!

A karaoke box Manekineko has opened a new branch in Yotsuya 3 Chome, and according to them it is the first muslim friendly karaoke in Japan! This karaoke serves halal menu certified by Malaysia Halal Corporation as “Local Halal,” and provides a prayer room. It is “local halal,” which means the shop serves non halal food and alcohol at the same time but the ingredients, kitchen and utensils for halal menu are completely separated. Their halal menu includes ordinary menu you would see in Japanese karaoke box like edamame, karaage (fried chicken), french fries, pizza, and also some noodle dishes including ramen. Karaoke Honpo Manekineko (Yotsuya 3 Chome branch) http://www.karaokemanekineko.jp/shop/kanto-area/tokyo/yotsuyasantyome.html Halal… Read more »

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Halal Restaurant : Tokyo Halal Restaurant @ Akasaka

A real HALAL restaurant, that is not just muslim friendly, named “Tokyo Halal Restaurant” by ASlink has opened in Akasaka, Tokyo on Dec 19th. The restaurant is certified by Japan Islamic Trust, has a halal only kitchen with a muslim head chef, and serves no alcohol. You see, it’s really halal! I was invited to their press conference followed by the food tasting on the opening day. Mr. Mohammad Shamim, the president of ASlink, is from Bangladesh currently living in Japan. As a muslim himself, he says he wanted to make a place where muslim visitors to Japan can enjoy the food without any worries. The company has been doing catering from… Read more »

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Halal Rice Cracker

I was walking through the shopping street that leads to the Sensoji Temple in Asakusa and saw this halal senbei (rice crackers) named “Tokyo Arare” certified by Nippon Asia Halal Association. I bought the red pepper flavor to try. I was expecting it to be really hot but it was actually sweet! Then a little later I got a subtle spicy flavor. I think they made halal senbei because many of the senbei is flavored with the sauce that contains mirin (sweet cooking rice wine). Mirin is daily used condiment in Japan and it’s a bit hard to avoid. The tricky part is that mirin doesn’t taste like alcohol at… Read more »

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The view of Asakusa from Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center. I thought this view is very Tokyo. Tradition, culture, future, ordinary, unordinary, people, beer…everything just jumbled together!

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Prayer Room @ Takashimaya Department Store in Shinjuku

Here’s a report from my muslim friend Amy about the new prayer room in Takashimaya in Shinjuku! Takashimaya in Shinjuku is starting new services for foreign tourists and setting up a prayer room was one of them. While going out near Shinjuku area, Muslims now can take their time shopping and no longer worry about prayer times. Because a prayer room has been set up at 11th floor of Takashimaya department store, which is situated near the JR New South exit. Tokyu Hands and Uniqlo are in the same building, while Kinokuniya Book store is very near. You will be able to get on the 11th floor by elevator. On… Read more »