Kosher food in Japan
Religious food was far from Japanese people’s mind for a long time. People would only come across with them when they are in an international airport ordering a special meal (nowadays, only if you are traveling a long haul flight with a decent airline company because you would not need to order anything for a low budget airline) Kosher food is one I personally remember traveling between Tokyo and NYC.
Just in case..
Kosher food is religious food for people of Jewish faith; meat is allowed but not pork and they need to be treated under their strict rules. Also, seafood is allowed but only fish with scales. Dairy shall not be mixed with meat. Cooking apparatus need to be strictly managed so meat and seafood must not be cooked in the same apparatus. Separate kitchen is desirable but if a kitchen is clean properly, then it may be allowed to service seafood and meat. There are also rules for agricultural products especially grapes/wine.
Where to buy Kosher food in Japan.
The Jewish Community of Japan （http://www.jccjapan.or.jp）has a shop where people can purchase so called “official” Kosher food. Please check their website for more information.
There are some Japanese internet shops selling imported Kosher products. If some organic products would be considered as Kosher then, there are more possibilities to shop around both upper-end supermarket in big cities and internet.
Sadly, lots of Japanese products would have traces of dairy and food additives; thus they would be better to be avoided.
Where to eat Kosher food in Japan.
Again, according to the Jewish Community of Japan website, they are offering carting service and serve their food at their cafe. There are some Japanese companies that are offering certificates as “Kosher”; they are advertising their “approved” restaurants and products on their websites. Personally, I would recommend to do some own research to either they are genuine or not.
There are organic vegetarian restaurants all over Japan; some offer truly amazing menu using Japanese local harvested ingredient. Personally, I would trust them much more than a big company. Certain groups of Japanese people are very into organic and sustainable living. Moreover, Japan produce some delicious vegetables and fruits due to its volcanic fertile soil. If you have a doubt; get in touch with them, they would surely be happy and proud of their organic range. But please remember to ask about their kitchen to be 100% vegetarian; this may be difficult.
Jewish and Japanese
Recent years some people started to share an idea of an ancient relationship between Japanese culture and (the ancient) Judaism. Personally I read some of interesting articles and watched programs on internet. I even visited some of places they mentioned; it would be very interesting to know more about this matter.
Olympic is coming in few months time; Japanese people would like to welcome people from all religious background. Therefore, there are currently more movements to organize a proper religious dietary distributions in Japan. This would surely help increase more awareness towards the religious diet amongst Japanese society.
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