A kosher restaurant will open to the public in Tokyo next month, reports JTA. The restaurant, which is located at the Chabad house run by Rabbi Mendy Sudakevich in the Takanawa neighborhood, has been feeding customers for several weeks—but by appointment only. Once it officially opens, “Chana Place’s” will serve classic Israeli/Middle Eastern cuisine to up to 14 guests at one time. And believe it or not, they’ll have competition—there’s already a kosher felafel cart operated by the other Chabad rabbi in Tokyo, Binyomin Edery.
Tokyo might seem like a surprising place for a kosher restaurant, but there are a few hundred Jews living in the city, and thousands of Israeli tourists pass through Japan each year—plus there’s plenty of interest from Japanese diners, who have already embraced several non-kosher Jewish eateries. The two countries have positive diplomatic relations, with a new reciprocal one-year work-holiday visa program, and a concerted marketing effort to woo Japanese tourists to the Holy Land. (We’ve been following the anime series Israel, Like! with delight for the last couple of months.)
Behatzlacha and itadakimasu!