Japan is a place that we can never get tired of ? And it's definitely a destination that's on our list of future trips after the COVID-19 pandemic. With increasingly more halal restaurants in Japan, it's very easy for Muslims in Japan to travel around the country with ease. There are also plenty of things to do in Japan that make us want to come back for more. Here are 10 amazing reasons why we'd travel to Japan again when it's safe to do so!
1. Halal authentic Japanese cuisine
We’re ever so thankful that there are more halal options available for Muslim travellers in recent years, both in big cities like Tokyo and in the outskirts like Mt Fuji ? From Ayam-YA's rich and flavourful ramen broth to Yakiniku Panga's juicy barbecued meat, you'll never feel the same way about Japanese food again once you've tasted it in Japan.
We also love the extensive variety of halal Japanese food available. For instance, you'll have a chance to try CoCo Ichibanya's irresistible halal Japanese curry in Shinjuku, visit the first-ever halal sushi belt restaurant in Asakusa or sink your teeth in premium Kobe beef in Kobe itself! The options are endless ? Be sure to bookmark these food guides for your future trip:
- Your Complete Guide To Halal Authentic Japanese Food In Tokyo
- Osaka Halal Food: 16 Awesome Eateries That’ll Make You Say 'Oishii'
- Halal food in Kyoto: Savour Kyoto’s Yummiest Japanese Cuisine At These 12 Halal Eateries
2. Beautiful natural scenery
In all four seasons, Japan has something different to offer, and it remains remarkably gorgeous throughout the year. It's home to the majestic Mount Fuji, among many other natural wonders ? Lake Kawaguchi offers astounding views of the volcanic mountain and the five lakes surrounding it.
Elsewhere, the romantic Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, the snow-capped mountains of Hokkaidoand the pristine beaches of Okinawa constantly impress us with their beauty. The next time we visit Japan, we're definitely going to get away from the crowds and visit lesser-known regions like Tohoku, West Japan and more. Check out these itineraries to discover the best of Japan:
- The Only 7D6N Tokyo-Osaka-Kyoto Itinerary You'll Need For Your Japan Trip
- Tokyo On A Budget: A 7D7N Muslim-Friendly Itinerary (Under RM3000!)
3. Cherry blossoms
Every year, travellers keep coming back to Japan for its cherry blossomsand it's not hard to see why! The various pink hues, the hanami culture (Japanese custom of viewing cherry blossoms in full bloom) and the atmosphere of cherry blossom festivals make it an experience not to be missed ? The next time we're in Japan, we know we'll be laying our picnic mats at Shinjuku Gyoen or Ueno Park to admire these stunning blooms!
P.S. Save these guides for your future cherry blossom trip:
- Japan Cherry Blossom Forecast: When And Where To See Stunning Sakura Blooms
- The Muslim Traveller’s Ultimate Guide To Japan’s Cherry Blossom Season
4. Rich Japanese culture and history
We're always intrigued by Japanese culture and that makes us want to uncover more of the country! Spanning across thousands of years till now, Japan’s many castles, shrines and museums will tell you how much history has shaped Japan. You can even trace the roots of the Japanese tea ceremony to the beginnings of Zen Buddhism! ? Some of the most notable sights that are rich in culture are the Himeji Castle, Todai-ji, Itsukushima Shrine and the Nikko World Heritage Shrines among others.
5. Amazing theme parks
Credit: Eugune Phoen on Flickr
Home to Universal Studios Japan, Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo Disneysea (and more!), Japan truly brings out the adrenaline junkie in us! The magical parades at the Disney parks are unmissable and it's super fascinating to see the Japanese dressing up in various character costumes too.
For Potterheads like us, a visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan will always excite us. Trust us, drinking the iconic Butterbeer (non-alcoholic!) and trying on Hogwarts' robes are experiences unlike any other. Roller coaster fans, you won't want to miss Fuji-Q Highland's exhilarating rides! Check out our Muslim-friendly theme park guides here:
- Tokyo Disneyland Guide: 10 Essential (And Muslim-Friendly!) Tips For An Amazing Adventure
- Tokyo DisneySea Guide: 10 Essential (And Muslim-Friendly!) Tips For A Magical Time
- 21 Insider Tips To Universal Studios Japan For The Muslim Traveller
6. Friendly and polite locals
When we asked you guys on Traveler Thursday (our weekly segment on Instagram stories) what you miss about Japan, many of you said the friendly locals! It’s true when they say that the Japanese are some of the most polite and well-mannered people you’ll ever meet. Even with language barriers, they always go the extra mile to help. Respect and humility are very important qualities to the locals, and it certainly shows from the way they serve their customers. We're so used to see the Japanese bowing so many times, and that's why we love travelling to Japan ?
7. Shopping at Japanese chain stores
Credit: Dick Thomas Johnson on Flickr
You can't talk about Japan without mentioning shopping! From high-end brands to affordable shopping at chain stores, it's hard not to love shopping in Japan. We love how we can find almost everything at Don Quijote, Daiso and 100-yen shops as well as skincare/cosmetic products at drugstores. We certainly miss shopping for clothes and accessories at UNIQLO, GU, MUJI and outlet stores too ?For those of you who love stocking up on stationery and other gifts, LOFT and Tokyu Hands are super awesome! Check out these Japan shopping guides:
- 24 Muslim-Friendly Souvenirs To Buy In Tokyo (And Where To Find Them!)
- 12 Brands That Are Cheaper In Japan Than Back Home
- An Easy Guide To Tax-Free Shopping In Japan
8. Japanese convenience stores (Konbini)
Trust us when we say that Japanese convenience stores (or konbini) are truly hidden gems! Open 24/7, konbinis stock everything from food to medication and even beauty products. On those days where you don't feel like spending too much on a meal, konbinis are your saviour ? It doesn't count as a trip to Japan if you don't step into a konbini! Check out this Muslim-friendly konbini guide:
9. Cleanliness and orderliness
Japan's high standard of cleanliness and its orderliness is something that we're in awe of. That's what makes it so easy and comfortable to travel around - another plus point for us ? Even when travelling on public transport during rush hour, you won't feel that it's super chaotic.
You’ll hardly see a rubbish bin in sight when roaming the streets of Japan, but surprisingly, the streets, back alleys and…practically everywhere, are almost squeaky clean! It’s so clean you wouldn’t mind rolling on the streets ?
10. Efficient public transport
Anyone who's been to Japan would tell you how efficient their public transport is. There’s no doubt that their transportation system is amazing – they’ve got trains, subways and buses connecting almost every single region in the country!
Though the rail system is super complex and can be confusing at times, we appreciate how convenient it is ? The high-speed shinkansen is one fine example of efficient public transport, with trains arriving on time! We're definitely looking forward to hopping on a shinkansen when we visit Japan in future!
Oh, Japan, how we long to visit you again! But before it's safe to do so, we'll definitely be missing these 10 things about Japan ? Is Japan on YOUR bucket list once it's safe to travel? Let us know in the comments section!