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Traveling To Japan With Celiac Child: Restaurants & Grocery Tips?

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We're traveling to Tokyo and Kyoto for a 10 day vacation.  We're really excited, but are quite nervous about finding safe food for our young daughter, who has Celiac.  We've looked at the archives, but wanted to post to get updated information for 2015!

 

Does anyone have any recommendations for restaurants in Tokyo that are knowledgeable about gluten free dishes that are safe for those with Celiac Disease / Coeliac Disease?

 

Also, any advise on grocery shopping for someone who does not speak Japanese would be great!

 

We're bringing along as much food as we reasonably can (dried miso soup, gluten-free soy sauce), but would love to hear tips of other foods that travel well.

 

Another thing that would be great is if someone has a summary of terms in Japanese, both the Kanji and the English pronunciation.  We purchased the Triumph travel cards (http://www.triumphdining.com/products/gluten-free-dining-cards), but I'd like to learn the terminology since we're hoping to buy groceries as well.

 

Many thanks in advance!

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I love Japan!

I lived there for a few years before I knew I had celiac disease but I knew I was allergic to wheat.

My first night there, I went into a convienience store and a lovely person taught me the kanji for wheat and its pronunciation: ko mugi ko.

Knowing this helped me a lot. I can't comment in restaurants there but I will tell you that Japanese people were very lovely and helpful in regards to my allergy, however, since allergies are rare there, many people did not understand and would say: "oh, you're allergic? So you don't like bread? But you eat cake and cookies, right?"

Apparently it's quite common there to say you have an allergy to things you dislike. So be sure to emphasize the medical consequences to your child of you can . Good luck!

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As Shell 156 said   you need to learn some of the  words. Ko mugi ko is wheat  flour  where as ko mugi is wheat.  Another  way to say no wheat or flour is meriken ko or american powder.   Takashi Imai <takashikun.imai@nifty.com> is my old friend there in Yokohama who is a doctor and understnads  celiac. Ive had a place in Japan for more than 30 years and commute between there and hawaii.

Bring your own soy sauce --  soy sauce in Japan is  wheat and many chefs  dont understand that ..

 

JU wari soba is 100% buckwheat  but  regular  soba is not .   what hotel  are you  at.

 

 

www.musmus.jp is mostly veggie place  i was at in nov.  and  good and all you do is tell them komugi allergy  -- allergy is-- al ru gi

 You can  ask the hotel to help you say it correctly. 

shoyu ( soy sauce)  dame (daa May)  means  you cant have  soy souce

 

download the free   travel cards in japanese too. 

 

have to run now but will try to add more in the next few days..


"Ryo tatereba mi ga tatanu"

If we try to serve both sides, we cannot stand our own ground.

Japanese proverb

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

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How did it go?? I am going for two weeks and I am really nervous! I am planning to bring a lot of food with me, but I would love to eat as much Japanese food as I can. Did you find any good snacks? Any types of places that were good? 

 

I know I'll be bringing a lot of snack bars and peanut butter (nice and calorie dense, in case...) but would love suggestions about what worked or didn't work for you. 

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there are  a lot of gluten free foods, you just  have to  becareful at each  place that they didnt use  shoyu (soy sauce)  bring your own braggs  or gluten free soy sauce and you can  have  sushi ( other than the eels and things  coated with  sauce) . Much yuba ( tofu skin) shabu shabu without the soy sauce. Some things are good to stay away from.rice balls  form  7-11 or family mart often  have wheat (Ko-mugi)   if you can  learn the kanji for komugi  or how to pronounce komgui allergy in japanese  it will help you at many restaurants. 


"Ryo tatereba mi ga tatanu"

If we try to serve both sides, we cannot stand our own ground.

Japanese proverb

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

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Hi and thanks! Yes, I have learned how to say it, and we will have a native Japanese speaker with us most of the time. 

 

I have heard such conflicting things about the onigiri... I would love them to be safe because we'll be all over the place and I have a bad habit of getting hangry when I don't eat. Also because they sound kind of fun.... 

 

The other thing I am concerned about is vinegared rice. Is that only for sushi? And do people know which kind of vinegar they use? 

 

I am also hoping that the OP found good stuff to carry along, since we'll be hiking some as well, and will need to carry at least the food I know I can eat. 

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if you make your own onigiri or get them from a restaurant where they are made  fresh it should be ok.   in 30 years i have not seen  malt vinegar or ever had problems with the vinegar there. 

usually its all rice vinegar and mirin --  also if you look for a place that has  juwari soba -- 100% soba with no  wheta, thats something you can  enjoy -- just  have your own  sauce  or use  soba yu for the sauce.  when I hike i just bring dried and  fresh fruit and sometime onigiri.    have a great trip

 

 

Hi and thanks! Yes, I have learned how to say it, and we will have a native Japanese speaker with us most of the time. 

 

I have heard such conflicting things about the onigiri... I would love them to be safe because we'll be all over the place and I have a bad habit of getting hangry when I don't eat. Also because they sound kind of fun.... 

 

The other thing I am concerned about is vinegared rice. Is that only for sushi? And do people know which kind of vinegar they use? 

 

I am also hoping that the OP found good stuff to carry along, since we'll be hiking some as well, and will need to carry at least the food I know I can eat. 


"Ryo tatereba mi ga tatanu"

If we try to serve both sides, we cannot stand our own ground.

Japanese proverb

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

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The other day I forgot my lunch and ended up in a convenience store to buy lunch. Japanese convenience stores often have hard boiled eggs. They are in the "deli" section with salads. They are sold as two or one egg (vs. a pack of 6 or so which would be raw). I also got a banana and a cucumber! I had some salt in my car so it worked out fine. Sesame oil makes a great tasting salad dressing to put on veggies. I haven't had a problem with take out sushi packs but I avoid anything with seaweed in it or anything with a sauce.

 

Also Soyjoy bars are gluten free:

https://www.otsuka.co.jp/en/product/soyjoy/

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