Q: Hi! First off I’ll start with saying how awesome GenkiJapan.net is It has helped me a whole lot! Your videos are very insightful and always entertaining, so thank you Now on to my question: I have Coeliac Disease which means I can’t eat food/drinks containing gluten, wheat, barley, rye, malt, oats or spelt.. and I was wondering if Coeliac Disease is heard of in Japan, and if there would be many gluten free options, particularly in Tokyo? I know obvious meals would be plain rice, vegetables and grilled meats, but if you have any other meal ideas to add that’d be awesome! Thanks! – Nikki
A: Hi Nikki,
Thanks for the nice words!
As you’ve probably seen with the other posts about allergies or even vegetarianism, then Japan is very, very much behind the US or Europe. Eating out it will become tricky as “gluten free” is not a word that many people have heard or even if you say the word and explain it in Japanese they wouldn’t understand e.g. many people would just think “oh these foreigners, I’ll give them some Japanese food and they’ll be fine!”
For example during the summer I had a friend’s son who’s allergic to eggs, all eggs, but the travel agent for their school trip didn’t get the concept of not being able to eat some food so just said that he was allergic to raw eggs and cooked ones were fine!
The good news though is that you can buy anything in Tokyo so for home cooking you will be OK. Plus all the packaging has clear labels on so you can see what is in everything you buy in the supermarket.
I hope that helps a little!