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Japan
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I would like to do a work term in Japan for my degree...so I would have to stay there for 8 months. Has anyone here been to Japan and had a good gluten-free experience?

Thanks

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I have lived worked and studied in Japan for many years.

I also translate Japanese and would be happy to help you figure our shopping and speak with some over my collegaues over there on the best avenues to take.

I will post some links shortly here...

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Well first I woulc contact this hospitals department of gastroenterology, and just ask.

Most of the doctors here speak English. tell them your situation, and ask them for a

a shopping list, or list of gluten free products in Japan...

Here is the link:

http://www.sannoclc.or.jp/english/

Remember soy milk, buckwheat...and there are health food stores, and in Japanese they are known as

"shizen shokuhin ten"

You could say, "Ichiban chikaku no Shizen shokuhin ten wa, doko ni arimasuka?"

(Where is your nearest natural/health food store?)

There is a local grocery delivery service called Coop (pronounced "cope" in Japanese)

which lists whether or not the foods have wheat in them (note: they list wheat, not

gluten which still leads to some unpleasant surprises). Another possiblity is Foreign

Buyers Club which imports (expensive) gluten free foods from overseas and will deliver

right to your door. Meiji-ya (a store which has many locations in large Japanese cities)

is another possibility since they also have a lot of imported foods with labels in

English. It's a lot easier for me to decipher the labels to find out if the food is

OK or not. Another possibility is Tengu Foods near Tokyo. They are a foreigner-owned

health food shop which seems to have gluten free foods, but I haven't tried them yet

so I can't vouch for them. They will deliver anywhere in Japan.

Also...I would print this out....

http://www.celiactravel.com/gluten-free-ca...2-japanese.html

Its a card specifically in Japanese that details celiac disease/gluten free eating for a restaurant.

Hope this helps...send an email to that hospital.

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Can you reccomend anything particular besides sushi that we can eat easily? I am going for a month. Ill have a kitchen to cook but I would like to eat a few meals out!

Domo Arrigato!

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Can you reccomend anything particular besides sushi that we can eat easily? I am going for a month. Ill have a kitchen to cook but I would like to eat a few meals out!

Domo Arrigato!

Konnichiwa,

I'd be happy to help you.

I'm planning to go for a month late spring/early summer so we've been doing our homework. Is this your first time? Can you speak Japanese? Are you pretty familiar with the cuisine and how it is prepared or what ingredients are used? I ask because some of the info I give might be different depending on your answer.

Even though my husband and I both speak(he's Japanese), I got dining cards because I think they'll help alot. My basic plan is to eat fish rice and plain vegies and fruits. The basics of the celiac diet.

I can give you names of dishes, info about ingredients, web sites but it would help if you can give me some more background info. about your familiarity with Japan, language skills etc. I want to give you the info. that is most useful for you.

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Arrigato! This is our first time. We speak a little, but have tons of books that we are taking with us. I am also bring Triumph Dinning cards too.(Which I will be depending on!) We are going to have an aprtment that we can cook in, but I we really would like to eat some meals out. From what I have read it seems that each resyuraunt specilizes in only one type of cuisine. (Ie sushi, shabu shabu) Which may make things a bit tricky.

My basic plan is the same as yours! I know mushita is steamed, but other than that I could use some basic celiac phrases if you have any.

I do know that most food seems to be cooked with shoyu. ARe rice noodles popular there? I havent seen much about that, I know that soba (unless 100% BW is popular there) udon, and ramen are all out. Food is scaring me the most.

Also we are planning to goto Koyasan and stay at a temple for 2 nights. This comes with food I know, I am not sure what else there will be in the area, resturaunt wise. The thing with this is It is all vegetrian, i know that means there is fu (i belive thats what its called, wheat gluten) is plentiful in the cooking.

Any other tips you can give would be a HUGE help! I really apprieciate this!

Lauri

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Wow, first time. I hope you have a wonderful experience. I'm excited for you. I love Japan and will never forget my first time or all the other times for that matter. Our coming trip will be my first time gluten-free so there are alot of unknowns but I'll let you know what I can. Japanese customer service is very good but like here, most people aren't really familiar with what's in their food. I'll give you my thoughts for today and if I come across anything else I'll keep posting. Also if you do a search for Japan(Japanese) on this website, you'll find other posts, I mention it too often!

at the apartment: Buy brown rice(genmai) for more nutrition. It is sold in with various degrees of polish, usually a percent is listed on the front. When cooking it in a rice cooker, there is a large chinese character on the front of the bag, find the same character on the inside of the cooking pot and fill the water up to the appropriate number(of cups of dry rice) on that scale. It takes what seems like 2 hrs. I gained so much weight eating white rice 3 meals a day on our last trip! The grocery stores sell small packages of beautiful meats and fish perfect for singles or couples. Shopping for 1 or 2 is so easy in Japan. Fruits are expensive but depending on the season you can enjoy really tasty varieties that are not readily available in the U.S. Special treat. You can bring your own gluten-free soy sauce with you. It is available in Japan but from what we can find it is mail order only. We are going to buy some foods on line from a Japanese company and have them shipped to my MIL's house where we will be staying. The company specializes in various allergies but website is in Japanese only. If you have someone who can help you stateside I can give you the address. the large department stores have fabulous food vendors in the lower basement levels and sometimes have foreign grocery sections. Tokyu Hands Department stores usually have a good selection. As I have time, if you want I can give you some authentic recipies for pilafs in the rice cooker. you would have to buy shoyu, mirin and sake and maybe dashi(soup base). If you're up for a self directed study in Japanese cooking, Kinokuniya bookstore(it's huge) in Shinjuku(Tokyo) has cookbooks on Japanese cooking in English, some with western measurements.

At Koyasan: We will be staying in a ryokan(traditional inn) a day or two and they provide meals at an extra charge. I plan to send them the dining card info ahead of time and work with them instead of going out to eat that day. I think they are in a better position to make adjustment or offer special dishes than a restaurant would.

Eating out: one of the problems with soba is that even if it's 100% buckwheat, you need to check if it is dusted with regular flour to prevent the noodles from sticking together. Rice noodles aren't as popular as they are in Vietnamese cuisine. My husband thinks shabu shabu might work but you would need to bring your own shoyu because all the dipping sauces would be off limits. I have tried eating out at an authentic Japanese restaurant once since going gluten-free and even with my own translator, I ended up with Yudofu( boiling water with a piece of kelp in a clay pot with tofu, chinese cabbage and a few other veggies), sauteed mixed mushrooms in a butter sauce(the chef used my gluten-free soy sauce) and maki sushi with real crab meat, avacado. Good but a little disappointing and plain compared to what I used to get. Oh, well such is the life of a Celiac.

Since I won't be able to enjoy all the European style bakeries, my mission is to have my SIL help me find some really good mochi tea comfections.

I'm adding this after my original post: It is customary to serve iced barley tea(mugicha-mugi means barley) in restaurants and homes etc. It is polite to just leave it and not drink it if you don't want or can't have it. Somewhere other than a restaurant, you should not ask for something else.

If it would help I might be able to ask a friend to read the Japanese side of the dining card in to me and I could post it for you so that you could read it in Japanese.

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Hi,

Although I;'ve been to japan hundreds of times in the past 25 years next week I'll head there for a month, the first time being gluten free after being diagnosed a year ago.

Twenty years ago I was in a chefs school in Tokyo and familiar with the foods and how many dishes are prepared. What worries me the most is eating out, especially at the resaurants my friends own

and where I've worked. They do know about my problem but not about the fine points and additives we celiacs need to avoid. It's going to be a different experience to have my name on bottles of wheat free shoyu ( soy sauce) instead of shochu and sake. I do plan to bring a number of bottles of san-J wheat free soy sauce. san-J is a Nagoya based company but their wheat free shoyu is made in the US

amd hard to find in Japan.

In Meguro Tokyo there is a place called Be Good Cafe which is suppoed to be aware of celiac and offer gluten-free meals. Their web site is begoodcafe.com

If you have someone who speaks Japanese with you, head to the fruit section of the tsukiji market

where you can buy fruit at cheaper prices than at department stores. Most Tokyo neigborhoods do have good and fairly reasonable fruit shops, all cheaper than the big department stores.

At some shops you can get sobako which is 100% soba flour and not mixed. I use this to make crepes, spetzel and a even pizza crust as well as noodles. It is very hard to find 100% soba undusted noodles unless you happen across a specialy store usually in growing areas liek northern part of saitama or tourist areas near Tokyo like Kawagoe.

You might try yuba and some of the tofu restaurants too. Just avoid the sauces.

Ken

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Hi,

I'm heading to Tokyo in a few weeks and wondered if anyone had actual restaurants/cafes etc that are gluten aware?

I checked out the be good cafe website but it's all in Japanese, could someone confirm that the address is: Za House Bldg, Ball room?

Any help would be greatly appreciated as i'm really scared that i'm going to eat gluten on my first day and ruin my 3dys in a fantastic city :(

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There are a number of health food restaurants called Be-Good cafe. I;ve been to the one in Meguro Tokyo which has some thingsbut that s along way from my place so I tend to visit friends restaurants.

Akita Sumo Ryori in Koishikawa near Tokyo Dome is great although they speak no English. They prepare a number of gluten free thinsg for me and usually have wheat free soy sauce. You just have to explain you have the same problem as ken does or print out the celiac Japanese card. If you go there, you can email me and I'll send the phone numbers and names etc. kenlove@kona.net

It would be good to bring a bottle of the san-j wheat free soy sauce with you although you can buy better wheat free soy sauce at health food stores or even in large department stores.

Some depends on where you will stay in Tokyo as to where to eat. I always tell people about Akita because its a small neighborhood place and a great experience. The owners brother was a famous sumo wrestler and his nephew is currently a highly ranked sumo star. Sometimes these guys show up at the place which is always fun. i've been friends with them for 30 years and the food has always been great.

Have fun!

Ken

Hi,

I'm heading to Tokyo in a few weeks and wondered if anyone had actual restaurants/cafes etc that are gluten aware?

I checked out the be good cafe website but it's all in Japanese, could someone confirm that the address is: Za House Bldg, Ball room?

Any help would be greatly appreciated as i'm really scared that i'm going to eat gluten on my first day and ruin my 3dys in a fantastic city :(

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Hi Missy'smom,

 

Could you tell me what this site is, that is in Japanese only?  I have found Alishan and FBC.  Are there any more?

 

:)

 

Trish

 

.We are going to buy some foods on line from a Japanese company and have them shipped to my MIL's house where we will be staying. The company specializes in various allergies but website is in Japanese only.

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Hi, Trish, and welcome.

This topic is several years old, and missy'smom has not visited our site since November of 2012.

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This topic was started years ago. Are you looking for mail order food within Japan? Be careful with Alishan. Their website lumps wheat free/gluten free together. Double check the items. For example, I have found barley soup in that category because it is "wheat free." Yoyomarket is sort of new and they buy from Costco and ship to you in Japan. Other than that, it is mainly Alishan and FBC for imported food.

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My wife and I just got back for Japan and I think it was pretty tough to find gluten free options.We had bilingual people to help us and a very good "celiac card".  Japan loves packaged food and it all has wheat. The restaurants are laden with soy sauce. Most of the sushi is made with malt vinegar. Luckily we brought a fair amount of food with us, had a kitchen and grocery store nearby. It was a really fun trip.

 

If you go to Japan, be prepared, especially if you don't speak and read Japanese. 

Edited by Dhelihiker
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