How to Keep Kosher in Japan

Dreaming of a trip to Japan but concerned about keeping kosher while you’re there? Allow us to help! As Japan travel experts offering customizable and private tours and tour packages, we’ve worked with every type of traveler and learned how to adapt our services to a range of interests, and requirements – kosher travelers included! Keeping kosher in Japan can be a challenge, but with some planning and resourcefulness, it’s definitely achievable. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate your trip:

Challenges and Considerations

A range of Japanese supermarket products filling the shelves
  • Limited Kosher Availability: Certified kosher restaurants are extremely limited in Japan.
  • Ingredient Scrutiny: Seemingly simple items like bread and snacks may contain animal products or be processed on shared equipment.
  • Language Barrier: Deciphering ingredient lists written in Japanese can be difficult.

Planning and Preparation

  • Pack Essentials: Bring enough shelf-stable kosher snacks and pantry staples to get you by, especially if you’re traveling outside major cities. You might also want to pack some travel-friendly cookware to ensure you can self-cater when needed.
  • Consider Accommodation: Opt for an apartment or hotel with a kitchenette for self-catering. At a minimum, check in advance that the room has a fridge and kettle. When you book your Japan hotel through us, we’ll be on hand to ensure your room fits all your requirements!

See our Japan Hotels

Navigating Food in Japan

  • Fresh Produce: Japan boasts high-quality fruits and vegetables, a safe bet for kosher meals.
  • Fish and other approved ingredients: Chabad Tokyo has uploaded a list of kosher fish in Japan that can be bought fresh from the supermarket.
  • Bread: As bread can largely be problematic in Japan in terms of Kashrut, it is recommended to order bread from Chabad who offer bread delivery services.
  • ‘Kosher-Friendly’ Options: If you’re slightly more lenient, vegetarian and vegan restaurants might be a good option. But, be cautious of hidden animal ingredients like fish sauce. Websites like Happy Cow, Vege Project Japan, and Vegewel are all great ways to find vegan/vegetarian eateries near you. There’s also a handy website named ‘Is It Vegan – Japan’ which allows you to search for a product and find out whether it contains specific ingredients.
  • Ingredient Awareness: Learn basic Japanese terms for meat, dairy, and fish to aid in ingredient scanning.

Imported Kosher Food in Japan

kosher in japan products
  • Chabad Lubavitch of Japan, Tokyo notes the following supermarkets that often stock imported kosher items:
    • National Azabu Supermarket has a wide range of imported foods, including Kosher frozen bagels, kosher tortillas, bread and pita, chips, kosher wine, tuna fish, cookies, etc. (all at a high price!). They also deliver within a 20-minute radius of the store.
    • “National” is a 2-minute walk east of the Hiro-o subway station, near the Arisugiwa park. See map. 4-5-2 Minami-Azabu. Phone: (03) 3442 3181 – Open 9:30 am – 8 pm daily.
    • Another good international supermarket for finding kosher products is Nissin World Delicatessen. A similar range of products; delivery service available as well. Located 2 minutes away from the Azabu-juban subway station. Higashi-Azabu 2-34-2. Phone: (03) 3583 4586. Open 9:30 am-8 pm daily.
  • Chabad of Kyoto also notes the following stores →
    • Gyomu Super supermarket (https://bit.ly/3bLRW4R), 
    • Fresco Supermarket (https://bit.ly/3zOpWFJ), 
    • Yamaya liquor shop (https://bit.ly/3QxBZOz)
  • Chabad of Lubavitch of Japan, Tokyo (Minato-Ku) has a small store, Aretz, selling a variety of imported kosher Israeli products. They are open every Friday from 11-3 pm.
  • At Chabad Tokyo (Ota-City), you’ll find Kosher -The Shop. They sell kosher-certified products online for pick up or delivery.
  • Chabad of Takayama’s ‘kosher corner’ sells fresh and frozen pastries and kosher food – canned, frozen, and other basic kosher products that can be purchased by getting in touch.

Kosher Eateries

  • Kosher Delica: This service offered by Chabad of Tokyo Japan (Ota City) provides pre-ordered kosher meals under rabbinical supervision delivered to any address within Japan. Be sure to contact them well in advance to inquire about menus and delivery options. 
  • Chana’s Place: Japan’s only sit-down kosher restaurant, located in the Tokyo Chabad House in Minao City. Chana’s Place in Tokyo offers a range of meat and vegetarian meals. They also offer gluten-free food upon request. Bonus fact: Chana’s Place is available for orders through Uber Eats!
  • Funasaka Sake Brewery – Kosher-certified Japanese Sake.

Chabad Houses

chabad house tokyo

There are currently six Chabad houses in Japan. There are two in Tokyo, two in Kyoto, one in Kobe, and one in Takayama. All branches offer kosher meals and Shabbat meals and services. 

Chabad Lubavitch Tokyo – Minato City

Contact: Mendi – rabbi@chabad.jp
Location: 1 Chome-5-23 Takanawa, Tōkyō-to 108-0074, Japan
Website: https://www.chabad.jp/ 

Chabad House Tokyo – Ota City

Contact: Biyami Edery – chabadtokyo@gmail.com
Location: 1 Chome-25-18−3F Sannō, Ōta-ku, Tōkyō-to 143-0023, Japan
Website: https://chabadjapan.org/ 

Chabad House Kyoto – Sakyo-ku

Contact: chabadkyoto@gmail.com
Location: 30- 3 Okazaki Tennōchō, Sakyō-ku, Kyoto, 606-8335, Japan
Website: https://www.chabadkyoto.com/ 

Chabad House Kyoto – Ukyo-ku

Contact: Rabbi Dovid and Chaya Mushka Posner – 81-70-8451-8770
Location: 312-101 Uzumasa Yasui Mitodencho Ukyo-Ku Kyoto, 616-8073, Japan.
Website: https://www.jewishkyoto.com/ 

Chabad House Takayama

Contact: Shalom – Rabbi@jewishtakayama.com
Location: 3-chōme-173 Kiriumachi, Takayama, Gifu 506-0004, Japan
Website: https://www.jewishtakayama.com/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/4448096/jewish/-.htm 

Chabad House Kobe

Contact: Shmulik – vshmulik770@gmail.com
Location: 4-chōme-12-12 Kitanochō, Chūō-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0002, Japan
Website: https://jewishkobeosaka.com/our-services/kosher-food/ 

Additional Tips For Keeping Kosher in Japan

  • Download Translation Apps: These can help decipher ingredient labels on packaged foods.
  • Connect with the Local Jewish Community: Chabad centers can offer support and further advice on kosher options.

Customize Your Private Tour Package with Tourist Japan

Planning a trip to Japan can be overwhelming for anyone, let alone when your group has specific requirements like kosher to work around! There’s the language barrier, the complex transportation systems, and the countless activities to choose from, and that’s all before you start to work out how to accommodate your group’s unique needs. That’s where we come in. As Japan travel experts with years of experience, we know this fascinating country inside out. Moreover, we thrive on the challenge of creating custom trip itineraries that perfectly accommodate our clients’ needs and desires. Start by browsing our range of Japan tour packages to envision your ideal trip. Then, contact us and we’ll help make it a reality!

See All Japan Tour Packages

Got a question? Get in touch!
We respond to 90% of inquiries within one business day.
Still deciding? Send a message, we're here to help!