The middle of the nineteenth century saw Japan open up to Western ideas, leading to the arrival of Jewish settlers from Russia, UK, and the USA. 1860 saw the creation of the first Jewish community in Yokohama which consisted mainly of those on the run from anti-Semitism. Their numbers continued to grow to in the thousands by 1918.

Japan was allied to Nazi Germany, yet resisted the Nazis anti-Semitic attitude and maintained sympathy towards the Jews. This was evident through their assistance to the Mir Yeshivah’s 1940 escape from occupied Europe via the Japanese consul in Kovno, Lithuania.  The Jewish community continued to grow with the arrival of Jewish servicemen from the country’s postwar American invasion, and those running from turbulent China. Of late there are Jewish foreign workers known as ‘gaijiin,’ the term ‘gaijin,’ is used to name any foreigner.

Castle in Japan

There is a synagogue in Tokyo along with two Chabad houses. There also is a nice small community in Kobe.

Japan was one of my favorite places to visit and I spent a few months there. I have a number of friends living around the country, some Jewish and some not. One of my Jewish friends lives up in the north. I visited him. He was delighted to have a Shabbat guest for the first time in over a year. He was a member of the Synagogue choir in Australia where I was the Chazzan. We had a great time singing all the old Synagogue tunes.

I spent a Shabbat at both Chabad houses in Japan. Both were wonderful. They also both provide kosher food services.

In Kobe I spent a few weeks. Made friends with the Rabbi and his family. I’d tell you all about how wonderful they are and how you should go visit, but they are now no longer there.

When I travel I eat a lot of fruit. Problem is, in Japan fruit is super expensive. This is mainly because all fruit must look perfect. This said, dried fruit and fruit juice I found to be some of the cheapest I’ve bought anywhere.


Rabbi CLimbing Mout Fuji in Japna


Holocaust Education Centre

866 Nakatsuhara, Miyuki, Fukuyama 720
Telephone: (849) 558 001, Fax: (849) 558 001


Open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 10.30 am to 4.30 pm


Orthodox Sephardi

Ohel Shelomoh (Jewish Community of Kansai)

4-12-12 Kitano cho, Cho ku 650-0002
Telephone: (78) 221 7236, Fax: (78) 242 7254

Mobile Phone: 08061 440652

Service Friday night and Shabbat morning  each followed by kiddush. If you are coming with a large group you should let them know in advance.  There is a Mikveh.

I spent a few weeks in Kobe. Awesome Rabbi and family but they are not there any more.


Tyota Robot playing Trumpet in Japan at the Toyota car factory

Japan Jewish Community Centre

8-8 Hiroo, 3 chome, Shibuya ku 150 150-0012
Telephone: (3) 3400 2559, Fax: (3) 3400 1827



Embassy of Israel

3 Niban cho, Chiyodaku
Telephone: (3) 3264 0911


Tokyo Mikvaot   Telephone: (3) 3409 9443, Fax: (3) 3409 9443


Jewish Community of Japan

8-8 Hiroo, 3 chome, Shibuya ku 150-0012
Telephone: (3) 3400 2559, Fax: (3) 3400 1827


They sell kosher prepared foods and have a  meal on Friday night and Shabbat day. I did not attend these. I went to both of the Chabad houses which I very much enjoyed.


Mother and Daughter in Japan5

Chabad Tokyo Japan

1-25-18 San no, Ota-ku 143-0023
Telephone: (3) 3772 7707

Mini Market

Kosher Food

Kosher Delica

2-7-31 Minami Azubu, Minato-ku
Telephone: (3) 5441 4770, Mobile Phone: 09036 837707

Email:, Website:;

Supervision: Central Vaad Hakashrus of Japan
Central organisation: Chabad House of Japan
Hours: Sun to Fri lOam to 4pm

National Azabu

4-5-2 Monami Azabu
Telephone: (3) 3442 3186

They have some kosher items.


2-34-2 Higashi Azubu
Telephone: (3) 3583 4586

They have some kosher items.


Beth David Synagogue

Old Japaneese house

8-8 Hiroo, 3 chome, Shibuya-ku 150-0015
Telephone: (3) 3400 2559, Fax: (3) 3400 1827


Services are Friday evening at 6.30pm (7pm summer); 10:00am Shabbat morning. There is a  Mikvah there.

Chabad Japan

2-27-23 Ebisu Shibuya ku 1500013
Telephone: (3) 5789 2846, Fax: (3) 5789 2847


Contact them for information.

Isu Hoto in Japan along the coast


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>