Enjoy Making Ramen with Halal FoodstuffsNew Facility in Kyoto, with Prayer Room
"Ramen Factory," an experiential facility where visitors can enjoy cooking ramen themselves, which is popular among foreign tourists visiting Japan, opened on October 14, near Tofuku-ji Temple, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto. Muslim halal foodstuffs are used as ingredients, and there is also a prayer room where Muslims can pray. Recently, a pre-opening event was held to which Muslim students were invited, and participants enjoyed making ramen for the first time.
The facility is managed by Japan Food Entertainment Inc. based in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, which runs ramen restaurants for foreign tourists. The factory has been made Muslim-friendly, incorporating the opinions of Indonesian Muslims in its design. For example, it has a prayer room with partitions for dividing by gender, and a shower room for wudu, or ritual cleansing before prayers. It uses halal-certified foodstuffs for all ingredients, including not only the chicken bones for the broth and chicken as a substitute for Chinese-style barbecued pork, but also "miso," fermented beans and soy sauce. Recently it has applied to the Kyoto Council for Sharia and Halal Affairs for certification as a halal restaurant.
The ramen-cooking experience starts with participants kneading wheat flour to make noodles. They can choose a broth with their favorite flavor out of salt, soy sauce or miso. Then, they boil noodles, and add toppings, such as boiled eggs and green onions, to create their own choice of ramen. There is a manual available in which each step is explained with photos. Staff members who can speak English or Chinese support participants.
A Malaysian, second year graduate student at Kyoto University who participated said, "I sometimes eat ramen in Malaysia too, but it tastes better in Japan. Kneading noodle dough was hard, but I'm happy because it turned out good."
Shin Miyazawa, representative director of Japan Food Entertainment Inc., said, "Many tourists who visit Japan from abroad are looking forward to food. I would like people across the world to enjoy ramen, including Muslims, who will visit in increasing numbers in the future."
The ramen-cooking experience starts from 2,500 yen per person. There is space for 36 people, and visits as a group are acceptable. For more information, call the Ramen Factory at 075-741-7104.(Translated by Mie Hiuzon, Psyche et l’Amour, Inc.)