Food in Japan

One of the main challenges you may face as you travel around Japan is that dietary needs are not always catered to. If you’re from a country where dietary restrictions are common, this may come as a surprise. Unfortunately, special dietary requirements, no matter how serious, cannot always be accommodated in Japan. It is far less common for people to have or voice special dietary needs in Japan. This means that Japanese people have a more limited understanding of what food restriction or preference entails (eating gluten free, for example). While traveling through Japan with special dietary requirements is no easy feat, we encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and enjoy all that Japanese cuisine has to offer. Food is an important part of travel in Japan, and our tours focus on cultural immersion, including offering varied and appetizing local dishes. In order to experience Japan to its fullest, please take the time to review the dietary restrictions below so that we can best accommodate your needs.

Here are the items we are able to help you avoid:

Beef, Pork, Chicken, and Shellfish: Please note that fried foods are cooked in the same oil that other products have been cooked in. If cross contamination is not acceptable, you will not be served any fried food.

Eggs And Dairy Products: Please note that eggs and dairy products are used in batters for fried foods. If this is not not acceptable, you will not be served any fried foods.

Due to the nature of Japanese cooking and Japanese food, we cannot accommodate for the following dietary restrictions:

Gluten: Gluten is incredibly difficult, if not impossible to avoid in Japan. Gluten is added to soy sauce as a thickening agent and many foods are cooked in soy sauce. We will not be able to accommodate for gluten restrictions, but our guides will be able to point out what includes gluten and you can avoid it during your meal. The amount of gluten in soy sauce is minimal, and unless you have Celiac’s the gluten should not be an issue.

Low Sodium: The Japanese diet is very healthy, but it is extremely high in sodium. Low sodium soy sauce is generally not available in Japan. It is impossible to stay away from sodium in Japan.

MSG: MSG is used as a flavor enhancer in almost all Japanese foods. It is impossible to tell if MSG was used or not, thus we are not able to accommodate for MSG restrictions.

Fish Broth: Many foods (vegetables included) are cooked in fish broth. We are not able to serve meals that have not been cooked in fish broth.

Raw Fish: Raw fish is not a huge portion of the meals served. It is usually served as a side, and you can just choose not to eat it if it is served.