[Okuyama has changed the plates and cooking utensils at his lodge, as well as ensures all the meat he obtains is Halal. (Photo: Japan Times)]
Tokyo: Suppliers and travel agents in Japan are obtaining Halal Certification to cater to dietary requirements of Muslims and converting rest rooms into prayer rooms to attract them as the country looks set to break the record of 24 million arrivals received last year.
"There has been a noticeable increase in Muslim customers to the chain’s stores, so much so that the brand went to obtain the Halal certificate from the Islamic Center of Japan. Currently, the Halal menu is available only at the chain’s main branch in Kobe", Tamrerk Nasomyont, spokesperson for The Originator of Teppanyaki Steak Misono, is quoted as saying by TTGAsia.com.
Agreeing with Tamrerk Nasomyont, Noboru Okuyama, owner of Gassan Pole Pole farm - a mountain lodge in Yamagata, also said Muslim groups have been on the rise since he started welcoming them three years ago.
Noboru Okuyama works closely with Khamisah Bte Salamat, X-Trekkers Adventure Consultant’s product planner and Japan specialist. Together they’ve made his lodge a Muslim-friendly place.
“In the first year, there were five groups of around 10 pax. It’s been three years, and this year I have welcomed 20 groups of about 100 pax", Okuyama said.
Okuyama has changed the plates and cooking utensils at his lodge, as well as ensures all the meat he obtains is Halal. Recently, he also helped to convert a rest stop into a prayer room, the report said.
The businesses said that most of the Muslim customers come from Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. They first visit Tokyo, then go to Osaka by train, and around Osaka such as Kyoto and Nara – all Halal-friendly places. Outside of the Golden Route, Hokkaido is also popular for the Muslims.