Otaru, located just a stone’s throw away from Sapporo (around 30 minutes ride by train), not only has a beautiful canal view that will remind you of the old Japanese port, but it is also famous for its food! Various food can be found in Otaru Sakamachi Dori. Along the Sakaimachi street, you will find many restaurants, from Japanese seafood, fresh seafood, dessert, to yummy fruits.
My recommendation for my Muslim fellows when visiting this place is Donburichaya. Donburichaya might be the only one Muslim friendly Japanese restaurant in Otaru right now. The main menu is filled with seafood, especially salmon! Salmon is one of the must-eat seafood items in Hokkaido. Salmon cuisine in Donburichaya can be served raw in the Toro Salmon Donburi, where the thick slices of the fatty salmon belly are served on the top of a rice bowl. This salmon will melt in your mouth and tastes its best when served fresh. If you are not a fan of raw seafood, try the Grilled Salmon Donburi. In this dish, you will enjoy the moist and mild taste of cooked salmon. One of the dishes that were recommended by Donburichaya but not written on the English menu is the Grilled Salmon with miso sauce. The sweet taste of miso enriches the flavor of the salmon.
Muslim friendly menu offered by Donburichaya are free from alcohol and forbidden ingredients in Islamic law. The shoyu soy sauce used for seasoning in this restaurant is halal. If you are not sure about the menu, ask the staff for the English menu book for Muslims.
Since July 2017, Donburichaya Otaru also provides a prayer room for visitors. The prayer room is not limited only to Donburichaya customers, but for every Muslim who wants to pray in Otaru. Please ask for permission from the staff to use the prayer room on the second floor. The wudhu (ablution) room is also provided separated with the toilet.