One of the top destinations we would love to travel to once the pandemic is behind us is Japan. With plenty of halal Japanese food, iconic attractions and breathtaking nature spots, there are plenty of things to look forward to in Japan that make us want to return for more. While we're staying safe at home, we can’t help but imagine the things we wish we were doing in Japan right now.
1. Indulge in 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.
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, so 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. Admire the natural wonders of Japan
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 like the romantic Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, the snow-capped mountains of Hokkaidoand the pristine beaches of Okinawa. 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. Catch the flowers of the four seasons
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. While the cherry blossom season in Japan for this year is already over, it's currently summertime in Japan which means a shower of beautiful blue hydrangeas.
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. Make exciting memories at 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 is a must. 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
5. Shop 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
6. Visit Japanese convenience stores (Konbini)
Japanese convenience stores (or konbini) are truly hidden gems and we wouldn't miss out on stopping by one every chance we get! 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 our Muslim-friendly konbini guide:
7. Take a train journey through Japan
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!
P.S. Get on a JR-West train and explore these 5 stunning Insta-worthy spots in West Japan.
While we wait for Japan's borders to open up to more international visitors, let's continue to dream and plan your next Japan getaway so that when the time is right, you'll be well on your way to admiring the majestic Mt. Fuji, tucking into a savoury bowl of authentic ramen noodles and having the time of your life at Tokyo Disneyland ?