When you go to visit another place or country as a Muslim traveler, you may be concerned about how Muslim-friendly your destination will be: whether you’ll be able to find spaces to pray when you’re away from your hotel, or whether you’ll be able to find Halal food. Japan’s ancient capital of Kyoto is a diverse city home to people of many cultural and religious backgrounds, and is visited by many people from various regions and countries.
When you visit, you’ll find that Kyoto has many facilities to support the prayer and other needs of Muslim visitors so that you can enjoy all the city has to offer as you head out sightseeing!
Here are a few suggestions for Muslim visitors to Kyoto:
Places to go in Kyoto with prayer spaces
Some travelers might be concerned about having a place to pray while they’re out sightseeing. Not to worry, though—there are many prayer spaces at popular locations in Kyoto, so you can head out with confidence!
Nijo-jo Castle is one of the 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kyoto City. Its extraordinary architecture, garden, and many exquisite wall paintings make it one of Kyoto’s most popular destinations.
An English-language guided tour of the castle is also available, taking you into a part of the castle that isn’t usually open to the public!
The Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts (FUREAIKAN)
The Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts FUREAIKAN is a great introduction and gateway for all tourists interested in arts and crafts. It showcases all the 74 categories of Kyoto traditional crafts while allowing visitors to also participate in craft workshops. Additionally, craft demonstrations by artisans are held regularly, as too are geiko and maiko performances, who are in fact living human museums showcasing the very best of Kyoto traditional crafts with their kimono, footwear, hair ornaments and so on. For those interested, please visit the FUREAIKAN website for schedules.
To find out more about the Kyoto Museum of Traditional Crafts FUREAIKAN, visit here.
Kyoto International Manga Museum
Opened in November 2006, the Kyoto International Manga Museum is the first comprehensive cultural center focused on manga culture in Japan, with collections of manga-related materials in excess of 300,000 items. Collections feature modern Japanese manga, as well as manga-related historical materials from the 18th Century (Edo Period). There is even a collection of comics from around the world, including the Middle East. Admission is 800 yen (about 7 USD) for adults, 300 yen (about 2.50 USD) for junior high school students (aged 12-15), and 100 yen (about 0.89 USD) for children under 12 years old.
The museum building used to be one of the oldest elementary schools in Kyoto, and its courtyard is the perfect place to sit down, relax and enjoy reading a manga.
LAOX (Kyoto Marui)
The Kyoto Marui department store is centrally located in Kyoto’s downtown shopping area, very close to the Kamogawa River, and to Hankyu Kawaramachi and Keihan Gion-Shijo Stations. Duty-free store LAOX offers quality products made in Japan on the 1st and 5th floors, and also offers support for its Muslim shoppers with a prayer space right here in central Kyoto.
For information on more Muslim prayer spaces in Kyoto, a map, and more, see here!
Enjoy Halal Food in Kyoto
Kyoto’s cultural diversity means it’s home to a variety of delicious Halal food options, too, from the more traditionally Japanese, to the exotic. For a taste of Turkish Halal cuisine, head over to Istanbul Saray, which is centrally located in Kyoto’s Sanjo Kawaramachi area.
To get an idea of what other Muslim-friendly dining options Kyoto has to offer, take a look at our Finding Halal Food page! You’ll find many styles of cuisine, including tofu, kaiseki dining, and kyo-ryori—and everything from pork-free to Halal-friendly restaurants, certified by the Kyoto Muslim Association.
Make your own Halal ramen!
Even get a taste of some delicious Kyoto ramen with this Halal-friendly option! At Ramen Factory Kyoto, you get to not only taste a bowl of noodles, but to make your own. Why not make some memories along with your ramen?
Muslim Friendly Hotels in Kyoto
A greater number of international visitors means that many of Kyoto’s hotels and other establishments are becoming much more aware of the needs of their Muslim guests, including not only food and room to pray, but qibla and other assistance.
See Muslim-friendly hotels in Kyoto and some of the services they offer.
We hope to see you in Kyoto soon!