the halal way.
Tulu Tours came existence to attend towards a problem in modern travel that many Muslims do not even realize they have. Whereas in Islamic, most Western and Asian countries, halal travel can be quite simple.
In the far-East, and Japan in particular, not knowing the language and (diet) culture may impose difficulties in enjoying the beauty of the destination while keeping to your religion. We never create itineraries or suggest culinary experiences without having experienced it ourselves, in order to ensure the experience is Islam-compliant and truly fulfilling.
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A Quick Q&A
what is halal travel?
While the Japanese government and society are very open to accommodating Muslim travelers, much more than ever, Japan unfortunately still lacks in the variety of culinary experiences Muslims can endlessly enjoy – especially considering authentic and top-notch Japanese cuisine.
This means that halal food that is prepared by a Muslim chef in a fully halal environment in unfortunately very rare to find. Most of the time, halal food is prepared in the same kitchen, but with different cooking utensils. Halal food may be certified halal, meaning that a Muslim organization has granted halal certification, or may be free from non-halal ingredients. An example of such cuisine is sushi that is not certified halal, but is prepared without the use of any alcohols (such as mirin or sake) in the preparation of consumption of the sushi.
who can book Tulu Tours?
While Tulu Tours offers curated tours that suit a Muslim traveller’s lifestyle, being Muslim is not a requisite to join one of our tours – both Omakase or tailored. Even if you’re not Muslim, we’d love to show you Japan through halal glasses.
Please note that Tulu Tours does not suggest or book any sightseeing spots that are not in line with a halal lifestyle, such as visits to izakayas, bars, clubs, and others. If you wish to visit such a spot, we can plan your day around these activities, where the booking or planning of such a spot falls onto you. This is only available for tailored tours, as our Omakase tours follow a fixed, strict schedule). Tulu Tours will continue to make time for prayers during the day as well, so please keep in mind that there will be short prayer breaks from time to time.
what are Tulu Tours like?
Tailored tours are highly customizable, and are typically booked by business partners with strict visiting deadlines but who wish to still see the best of Japan in a short amount of time, guests wishing to embark on a more lavish, laid-back trip with a small group of companions, family trips, or honeymoon goers.
Omakase group tours are fixed tours that can be booked by a limited number of guests, offered once or twice a year per tour theme.
is there gender free-mixing?
Both yes and no. For our Omakase group tours, we offer both mixed tours as well as ladies-only tours. The ladies-only tours will be guided by Esma Esra, and while there won’t be a male travel companion joining the tour, we might have male drivers, workshop leaders, restaurants chefs et cetera.
For our group tours that are not classified ladies-only, we do have a rule that at least 30% of the total group size should consist of the opposite gender, to prevent single male or female guests joining the tour. If it happens that all guests are female, it will be considered a ladies-only tour. If it happens that all guests are male, Enes Muhammet will be your primary tour leader. Esma Esra might join parts of the tour, however, to ensure seamless travel.
how are prayers organized?
Japan might not always have prayer rooms as you might be used to in your home country, but nonetheless is very accommodating towards Muslim travellers.
While we are excited to show you the major mosques of Japan, we might not always be in vicinity of a mosque or prayer room. In more distant locations, such as countryside Japan or natural environs, we will organize outdoor prayers. Naturally, we will make sure you can take your wudu in an appropriate place, as well as pray in a remote location – most probably with a lovely view attached!
can we visit shrines/temples?
Yes. While shrines or temples are religious locations that do not comply with Islam, we do believe a visit to enjoy the architecture and design is a great way to understand Japan’s history and culture.
This being said, there are certain rituals done at shrines or temples by visitors, such as worship or acts of worship that might not seem worship to strangers of the religion, that are not in line with our religion. We will instruct accordingly, so you won’t have to worry about your conduct at these places.