Japanese summer festival
Japanese culture

Ready to feel the vibes in Japanese festival? Here is what Muslims can enjoy at food stalls.

Festival season has come.

Japan is full of festivals throughout a year, but it is definitely summertime when we have the most energetic festival! It is not only limited to Dashi floats running through a street, but also numerous fireworks. Even though climate is harsh, taking part in a festival is so fascinating and it is a must-do in summertime Japan.

In the festival, you may find so many food stalls that look amazing. Are there any Halal or Muslim-friendly snacks that you and your kids can enjoy? Yes, there are! Let’s take a look at what foods are available for Muslims in Japanese festivals.

Want to learn seasonal events in Japan?

Why are there many festivals in Japan? Is that religious activity?

Festivals are usually held by religious communities such as temple or shrine, to unite people together, to wish for a good harvest or to ward off evil things to happen. From this reason, we cannot say that festivals are not religious activity at all.

However, most of the modern Japanese people do not regard festivals as a religious activity. They take part in the festivals to simply have fun, so unless you want to avoid going to a religious facility, you can join the festival.

You will find so many Japanese people wearing Kimono, called Yukata. It will be a great idea to wear Yukata and join the festival.

Want to know the way to enjoy Kimono comfortably?

Halal or Muslim-friendly foods available in Japanese festivals

This is a list of food items available at Japanese festivals. Please be reminded, that we are only talking about basic recipe, and it cannot guarantee all of them are Halal or Muslim-friendly.

Cucumber stick (冷やしキュウリ)

This is a very simple food sold in a festival, whole cucumber stick! You may wonder who wants to eat a whole cucumber in the festival, but because of the heat during summer, quite a lot of choose this healthy snack.

Cucumber is put in ice cubes and well chilled. Cucumber stick is served without seasonings, so it is a complete Halal.

Cucumber stick, good way to hydrate your body.

Shaved ice (かき氷)

We often enjoy shaved ice during summertime. There are various colors, but to our surprise all of them have the same taste! To be on a safer side, we ask you to choose Mizore flavor, a white color syrup, because coloring of the syrup can be made from haram ingredients.

Also, avoid putting condensed milk or ice cream, as their emulsifier can be animal-derived.

Choose white, simple Shaved Ice!

Baby Castilla (ベビーカステラ)

Sponge cake ball, born in Osaka. Because of their cute look with an appetizing smell, people are tempted to try this sweet so much. The great news is that Muslims also can enjoy the taste!

They are made from very simple ingredients, such as flour, sugar, egg, oil and baking powder. Try to eat while it is still hot!

There is no filling.

Cotton candy (綿あめ)

In Japanese anime, you may have seen little kids in their kimono, holding a big cotton candy! Cotton candy is made from sugar only, so it is a Muslim-friendly snack!

However, nowadays there are some colored cotton candies to look good on SNS, but if you want to make sure it is Halal, make sure to choose only white cotton candy. These colorings may not be Halal.

Kimono and cotton candy

Not Muslim-friendly food items

There are some food items which may contain haram ingredients. These are as follows:

Yakisoba (焼きそば) / Takoyaki (たこ焼)

Yakisoba is a Japanese style fried noodle seasoned with brown, sweet sauce. Takoyaki is a famous food from Osaka, sometimes translated as Octopus ball. These two dishes are always seen in food stalls at a festival.

As they have a fantastic smell, you may be tempted to try them however, we have to let you know that these two dishes should be avoided Muslims because of their sauce.

As introduced in the Japanese seasonings, sauce used for Yakisoba and Takoyaki contains alcohol and animal-extract. Try these dishes only at Halal-certified restaurants.

Looks yummy, but should be avoided.

Apple Candy (りんご飴)

It is what all kids want to try. Whole apple is coated with candy! There are other fruits such as strawberry or grapes, but it is not always Muslim-friendly.

This is because they use coloring for their candy. Coloring can be obtained from small bugs, which is not allowed for Muslims. As we cannot guarantee that they are made from only Halal ingredient, we will not recommend Apple Candy for Muslims.

Banana chocolate (チョコバナナ)

Whole banana stick, coated with chocolate! There are so many chocolates that can contain alcohol in Japan, but the one used for this recipe does not. However, there is still a small risk that chocolate can contain emulsifier whose source is animal.

Enjoy summer festival in Japan!

It is a vacation time, and we guess there are so many of you who are planning to come to Japan during this time with your kids. If you are lucky to make it, then you definitely have to join Japanese festivals and enjoy just like local Japanese do!

As the food is prepared in stalls, hygiene and ingredients can be a concern. But, we are sure that you can enjoy your experience a lot better, using the knowledge written in this article.