Restaurants in Japan are quite outdated in terms of accommodating dietary restrictions and food allergies. 4-5 star hotels or ryokans can usually arrange the requests but please keep sure to inform them in advance and check if they can accommodate it or not. More and more restaurants began to accommodate requests but still the number is quite small especially in the countryside. This page would present basic information and an allergy card to explain food restrictions in Japan. Please check our list of restaurants in Tokyo which offers vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, kosher, and halal meals.
Dietary Allergies Card
*Many Japanese food are flavored with fish, chicken, beef, or pork soup stock. If you can’t eat soup stock too, please inform that as well.
Vegetarian / Vegan
Vegetarian is pronounced ‘be-ji-ta-ri-an’ and vegan is pronounced ‘bi-gan’ in Japanese. Recently, some Japanese follow vegetarian meals as a fashion. Comparing to gluten free, kosher, or halal, the number of restaurants are larger. Japan also has Shojin Ryori (traditional Buddhist cuisine) which are technically vegetarian meals. It would be a great experience to enjoy this Shojin Ryori.
Gluten Free is pronounced ‘gu-lu-ten fu-ri’ in Japanese. Gluten free is not widely known and accommodated in Japan. Ingredients like soy sauce, miso, and vinegar include gluten and many Japanese food are flavored by these ingredients. There are some gluten free restaurants but it would be better to bring some of your own food from your country.
Celiac disease is pronounced ‘se-ri-a-ku byo’ in Japanese. I believe many Japanese don’t know or heard about celiac disease in their life. If you have celiac disease, it would be better to inform all the hotels in advance and bring some of your food to Japan.
Kosher is pronounced ‘ko-sha-‘ in Japanese. Kosher is also less known in Japan. Please inform clearly what you can and cannot eat in advance.
Halal is pronounced ‘ha-la-lu’ in Japanese. Halal is quite sink in urban cities and you can find some halal certified restaurants in Tokyo. The number of restaurants is still small in the countryside.
Please understand that Japan is little outdated in accommodating dietary restrictions and food allergies. If you have any requests, please inform your hotels/ryokans in advance and make sure they can assist you. Please also check our list of restaurants offering vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, kosher, and halal meals in Tokyo.