Eager to attract more Muslim tourists, Japan’s Hokkaido Island wants to work with Malaysia’s Halal Industry Development Corporation "HDC" to make its capital Sapporo more "Muslim-friendly".
Nozomi Ota, who heads Sapporo’s Developing Local Cuisines in Observance with the Cultures of Muslim Tourists Project, said the city had begun to make changes to accommodate Muslim travelers by building more prayer rooms and publishing a list of halal restaurants.
"We hope travelers can enjoy our food in Sapporo and feel safe. We will work with the HDC and fly some people to Malaysia to learn about the halal food", she told reporters in Chuo-ku here recently.
About 30 restaurants serving Japanese style food have been approved by the local government as being safe for Muslims and are accessible on the website: Information About Muslim-friendly Restaurants
Ota and her team have been working with halal industries in Indonesia to tap the Muslim market in South-East Asia.
In December 2015 the number of visitors reached 50,264, and during the year 2015, total of 305,447 Malaysian tourist visited Japan.
AirAsia X, the leading low-cost, long-haul carrier, announced that the airline will commence 4 times weekly direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Sapporo beginning from 1 October 2015.
In conjunction with the launch of the route, AirAsia X will be offering promotional all-in-fares from as low as RM99 one way for Economy or RM999 one way for the award-winning Premium Flatbed.
These promotional fares are available for online booking starting today until 2 August 2015, and for the travel period from 1 October 2015 until 31 August 2016.
AirAsia flight D7 550 will fly from Kuala Lumpur to Sapporo at 11.35pm every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and arrive at 8.10am on the following day. It will depart an hour later and arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 5pm.