Essential Tips for a Halal Trip to Osaka

By Halal Trip | 25, Feb, 2024
Essential Tips for a Halal Trip to Osaka

One of the biggest cities in Japan, Osaka is one of the top destinations to visit when in Japan, with its rich culture, food, and attraction options. But before you step onto the plan, we’ve crafted a comprehensive guide to ensure that your journey is not only smooth, worry-free, and filled with excitement.

These are some essential tips for a Halal Trip to Osaka:

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1. Complete the Customs Form Before Flying to Japan
Visit Japan Web

Image Credit: Visit Japan Web

This list starts even before you get on the plane to Osaka, Japan. To ensure a smooth and fast immigration process, we recommend you fill out the Customs Form on the Visit Japan Web. You will need to create an account on the website, after which you will have to fill out the form with your particulars along with the declaration form. Once you are done, you will be presented with a QR code that can be used for immigration when you arrive in Japan.

Imagine skipping the tedious in-flight form-filling routine and the nerve-wracking quest for in-airport WiFi. With this QR code in hand, you're the VIP of immigration, effortlessly gliding through without missing a beat.


2. ICOCA Card and Osaka’s Public Transit App

Like many other major cities in Japan, Osaka possesses efficient public transport that can get you almost anywhere in Osaka. If you’re intimidated by the stories you heard about how complicated the subway system is in Japan, fret not, this is how you can properly utilize the subway like a true local


But wait, there's a crucial first step—grab yourself an ICOCA Card. This nifty, rechargeable smart card isn't just any ticket; it's your golden pass to subways, buses, monorails, and beyond. It could also be used as a mode of payment at vending machines, lockers, and some stores, so it is a handy tool to have at all times.

You can acquire these ICOCA Cards at train or subway stations across Osaka. Simply approach the ticketing machine and choose the option to purchase an ICOCA Card. You will then be prompted to enter the amount you want to be charged on the card before receiving the card. Similarly, you can recharge your ICOCA cards at these ticketing machines too.

Pro tip: If you arrive at Kansai International Airport (KIX), you can find the ticketing machines at the train station just opposite the arrival hall.

Public Transit App

To assist you in navigating the web of transportation options around Osaka, we recommend downloading map apps like Google Maps or Japan Travel by NAVITIME. These digital sidekicks will be your guiding light, offering precision in directions and a plethora of transit options. Giving you precise directions and options on how you get to your destination, ensuring you reach your destination swiftly and effortlessly.

Worried about connectivity? Fret not! Download and enable offline search to keep the adventure going, even when your data takes a breather.

Google Maps: Apple Store | Google Play
Japan Travel by NAVITIME: Apple Store | Google Play


3. Looking for Halal Food in Osaka
Halal Food in Osaka

Renowned as Japan’s kitchen, Osaka is a haven for food. From tempting street food to chic cafes and restaurants, the city has it all. And here's the exciting news: Osaka is rolling out the red carpet for Muslim travelers, making it a breeze to discover delectable Halal food options!

You can read our article on the Halal food places in Osaka for a list of restaurants and dishes we recommend when in Osaka. Having recently explored the city, we've got some exciting news—Halal delights are practically sprinkled all across the city center! Simply look out for the Halal sign at the storefront. For the foodies, fret not, you can still get Halal Japanese cuisine and dishes that are authentic around town!

Check out our article on "Authentic Osaka: A Culinary Tour of Halal Food in Osaka, Japan" for a list of Halal food in Osaka!


4. Plan your Itinerary around Prayer Places
Prayer Places in Osaka

Osaka awaits, and we've got your back when it comes to answering the crucial question: "Where can I perform my salah?" Fear not, for a seamless and spiritually enriching journey is just a prayer away! For peace of mind and to fully immerse yourself in the wonders of the city, we recommend crafting your itinerary around the locations of prayer places and mosques scattered across Osaka. There are several prayer places around Osaka, so you don’t have to worry about where you can perform your daily obligations. As a matter of fact, most of the Halal restaurants we’ve been to have a prayer place in the restaurant or nearby!

Curious about crafting the perfect itinerary that covers major attractions while keeping your spiritual needs in focus? Look no further, as our article "Explore the Enchanting Osaka: A Comprehensive 3-Day Itinerary" has got you covered.


5. Essential Travel Items: Prayer Mats and Water Bottle for Wudhu

Amidst the vibrant pulse of Osaka, discover moments of serenity and reflection at the city's numerous mosques, Islamic centers, and prayer rooms, welcoming Muslim visitors with open arms. Osaka has been increasingly open to religious diversity, so prayer places are increasingly easier to find.

To fully utilize these prayer places, we recommend carrying a prayer mat, prayer garment, and a digital Qibla compass like the HalalTrip app, to ensure convenience and tranquility during your prayers. Most of the prayer places we visited in Osaka do provide ablution (wudhu) facilities, it is always best to be prepared, that is where a water bottle would come in handy, a humble yet indispensable travel companion not just for hydration but also to ensure that you will always have the option to take your wudhu anywhere at any time.

HalalTrip App: Apple Store | Google Play


6. Planning for the WeatherOsaka in Spring Sakura

Image Credit: Katharine Crompton on Unsplash

Osaka enjoys a temperate climate where the colors of the city change as seasons change, bringing a different flavor each season. To make the most out of your trip to Osaka, it’s always a good idea to pack according to the weather to fully experience the magic of Osaka.

Winter: December, January, February

Watch as the buildings in Osaka brighten with an assortment of elegant lights as the city prepares for Christmas and the New Year in December. While snow is a rarity, brace yourself for a cool spell. Visitors during this period are advised to bring winter coats and gloves to keep warm.

Spring: March, April, May (Sakura usually mid-March)

Watch Osaka in its full natural pink glory, with cherry blossoms all over the city blossoms turning the city into a canvas of natural beauty. Because of this, Spring is a popular time to visit Osaka. There are several popular spots to view the cherry blossoms, including the Nishinomaru Japanese Garden in Osaka Castle Park, Expo ‘70 Commemorative Park, Nagai Park, and Yodogawa Riverside Park. In addition to these places, you can also view the cherry blossoms at the Osaka Mint Bureau, where they specially open their doors to the public for people to view the 300 cherry trees consisting of over 100 cherry variants on their premises in mid-April. One thing special about the cherry trees in their garden is that they usually bloom a bit later than the others you see elsewhere.

Summer: June, July, August

The arrival of summer is when Osaka is at its liveliest, with festivals, fireworks displays, and more. There are many things you can see in Osaka during Summer such as the Tenjin Matsuri, which is a colorful procession of barges on Osaka’s rivers. Keep an eye on the mid-June to late July rainy season, and pack your umbrellas for those unexpected showers. Summer in Osaka is typically hot and humid, so it is a good idea to don lightweight and breathable clothing so you can stay cool and dry while exploring the city.

Autumn/Fall: October, November

Maybe the most colorful time of the year in Osaka is during Autumn or Fall. Trees paint the city in hues of yellow, orange, and red, creating a breathtaking tapestry. Osaka Castle Park is a great place to visit to see the full range of colors of Autumn or Fall. Expect to see autumn events such as the Midosuji Parade, where you can see a procession of floats and marching bands down the boulevard. Plan your visit around mid-November for the peak of Autumn's splendid display.


7. Wear Comfortable Footwear for Exploring Osaka
Comfortable shoes in Osaka

Image Credit: Leih Quimson on Pexels

When visiting Osaka, get ready to dance through the vibrant streets of Osaka because this city is made for walking. Whether you're exploring from one captivating spot to another or navigating the city via its efficient subway system, you're in for a journey that demands comfy kicks. Because of this, we recommend wearing comfortable footwear at all times when exploring Osaka. Walking is not a bad thing when in Osaka, as you’ll get to fully take in the sights and sounds of the wonderful city.

Even if you forgot to pack your trusty walking shoes, Osaka has a number of great locations where you’ll be able to find and score great deals on affordable and stylish footwear at the many shopping places in the city. Keep an eye out for exclusive Japan editions from your favorite brands—a stylish souvenir to strut through the streets!

If you're looking for the best places to find new shoes or to do some shopping, check out our article "Best Shopping Spots in Osaka's Bustling Streets"!


8. Bring Your Passports Along & Tax Exemption

In Osaka, like everywhere else in Japan, your passport is not just a form of identification as a visitor; it's your ticket to unlocking the full spectrum of attractions and services. A crucial travel tip echoes through the bustling streets – keep your passport with you at all times. This small precaution ensures smooth access to various attractions, creating a worry-free experience during your Osaka escapade.

In addition to this, bringing your passports along while you explore Osaka also has an amazing perk in the form of Tax Rebates! As tourists, we can enjoy tax exemptions at certain stores, like large departmental stores, electronic retailers, and many more establishments in the city. Keep a lookout for “duty-free” or “tax-free” signs at the shop entrances and cashiers. When doing so, the establishment will ask to look at your passport to process the tax exemption. At the time of writing, your purchases must total 5000 yen or more to qualify for the tax exemption/refund.


9. Translator App & Useful Phrases
Google Translate

Image Credit: Rubaitul Azad on Unsplash

Translator App

It goes without saying that the primary language used in Osaka is Japanese, but don’t let this deter you from booking your flight to Osaka, as there are ways to go around this. Although English is commonly understood at major spots, having a backup plan is always a smart move. One app that we used and found to be very useful during our time in Osaka is the Google Translate app. Beyond text translation, it effortlessly transforms speech and even deciphers images from Japanese to English.

Pro Tip: Download the Japanese language in the app so that it is always available, even when you run out of data or have no reception.

Google Translate App: Apple Store | Google Play

Useful Japanese Phrases

Another tip that will ease your travels in Osaka is to learn a few useful phrases that will be used frequently during your travels in Osaka, Japan. Here are some useful phrases and words:

Yes: Hai (hai)
No: Ie (i-ye)
Please: Onegaishimasu (O-ne-gai-shi-ma-su)
Excuse me: Sumimasen (Su-mi-ma-sen)
Thank You: Arigato (A-ri-ga-to)
This: Kore (ko-re)
One person: Hitori (Hi-to-ri)
Two person: Futari (Fu-ta-ri)
What do you recommend?: Osusumewa nan desu ka (O-su-su-me-wa-nan-desu-ka)

To give an idea of how you can use these phrases and words in the real world; here’s a very simplified example of how you can order at a restaurant:

Japanese: nan-mei-sa-ma-de-su-ka? | Translated to English: How many people?

English: One person / Japanese: Hi-to-ri-de-su (One person)

English: Excuse me (when calling the wait staff) | Japanese: Su-mi-ma-sen

English: Is this halal? | Japanese: Ko-re-wa-ha-ra-ru-de-su-ka

Japanese: Hai | Translated to English: Yes

English: Do you have an English menu? | Japanese: Ei-go-no-men-yuu-ga-ari-ma-su-ka?

English: What do you recommend? | Japanese: O-su-su-me-wa-nan-desu-ka?

English: Can I have this? One please (while pointing to the picture of the dish on the menu)
Japanese: Ko-re-hi-to-su-o-ne-gai-shi-ma-su


10. Osaka e-Pass
Osaka e-Pass

Image Credit: Osaka e-Pass

If you’re planning to explore Osaka to the fullest, one handy tip that is worth looking into is the Osaka e-Pass. The pass is like a cheat code where you can unlock almost everything Osaka has to offer. It offers access to over 20 sightseeing spots and attractions around Osaka for free, including the Tsutenkaku Tower. All you need to do is show the QR code at the entrance of each facility, and you’re free to enjoy the attraction! You can view all the attractions offered on the official website here.

The Osaka e-Pass is available in 2 types, a 1-day pass for ¥2000 and a 2-day consecutive pass for ¥2500, so you can choose the type that fits your itinerary. We recommend planning your itinerary with the attractions and places to visit beforehand to fully maximize the Osaka e-Pass. The Osaka e-Pass can be purchased online and can be purchased in advance.

Visit the official website to learn more and purchase the Osaka e-Pass here.


Shinsekai Osaka

As we conclude this article with 10 useful tips and insights to empower your exploration and enrich your adventures in Osaka. From navigating immigration effortlessly to savoring the city’s cuisine, and of course, the tips on ensuring that you can enjoy Osaka to the fullest while also considering our religious obligations.

Whether you’re strolling through the colorful streets of Shinsekai, to see the Glico man in Dotonbori, exploring historic landmarks, or indulging in tax-free shopping, Osaka has something magical for every traveler. So pack your bags and let the wonders of Osaka unfold before you. Osaka welcomes you with open arms!


This article is brought to you by the Osaka Convention & Tourism Bureau

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