Notes to keep kashrut in Japan
The followings are tips and notes to keep kashrut in Japan.
Kosher Japan Co., Ltd., which is run by us, issues kosher certifications for many of Japanese traditional foods. If you want to buy some, please contact us.
Also, we know some virtually kosher products that we can buy in Japan. If you like to know, please contact us.
Most of the bread you can find in supermarkets in Japan contain artificial fat like margarine and shortening. Such fat may be made from or contain lard. Some of the least expensive types of bread even specify lard in their ingredients listings. Small bakeries that bake bread with special care may not have lard as an ingredient, but they are likely baking bread with bacon in the same oven.
We can send our kosher bread on request.
Fish may contain parasites (worms), even if the fish itself is a kosher type of fish.
Artificially grown fish (養殖 Youshoku in Japanese) has less risk of parasites because the feed is basically free from living parasites as it's frozen or dry. On the other hand, fish captured from nature (天然 Ten-nen in Japanese) frequently contains parasites. The word 養殖 Youshoku (artificially grown) is often translated to "breeding" by Google Lens, and the word 天然 Ten-nen (catcher from nature) to "natural."
Non-frozen raw fish processed for sashimi and sushi has lower risk as the cook would work to remove Anisakis, a parasite causing food poisoning. However, as Anisakis dies when frozen, the cook may have no care for parasites in fish for sashimi or sushi that has once frozen (e.g. tuna fish). A technology to kill Anisakis in raw fish by electric current has been developed recently, so some non-frozen raw fish may be that the cook doesn't take the care to remove Anisakis. Of course, the knives and cutting boards to process fish need to be cleaned when the cook changes types of fish, as they would deal with non-kosher types of fish. As fishmongers basically don't deal with hot foods, the cleaning of knives and cutting boards is enough with soap.
The most basic type of egg in Japan is the white egg.
Imported kosher items
Some of the supermarket chains are dealing with kosher imported items.
Gyomu Super supermarket (https://bit.ly/3bLRW4R),
Fresco supermarket (https://bit.ly/3zOpWFJ),
Yamaya liquor shop (https://bit.ly/3QxBZOz)