A travel agency based in Osaka city is offering tours in Japan catering specifically to Muslim visitors -- a growing segment of inbound travelers from abroad -- featuring a visit to a mosque, halal food and an attendant adhering to Islam.
Miyako International Tourist Co. says its most popular route starts from Tokyo and takes participants to Osaka, Kyoto and Nara, all major tourist destinations. In recent years, Hokkaido, the northernmost island prefecture that has no rainy season and is known for winter sports, is also gaining traction, it says.
Mohammed Naji Matar, a 39-year-old veteran Syrian attendant who has lived for eight years in Japan, contacts the hotels and restaurants on the itinerary by phone to request halal food prepared in line with a Muslim regimen. "Our customers are particularly anxious about what they eat," he said. "We want to offer a sense of safety and peace of mind."