When I lived part-time in Japan I sometimes brought my Low FODMAP Japanese dictionary. However it’s not easy to live on a strict low FODMAP-diet in Japan.
Why is it so difficult to live on a strict low FODMAP-diet while in Japan?
In my experience there are many reasons why it’s difficult to live on a strict low FODMAP-diet in Japan.
The language is the first problem. The Japanese don’t speak very well English and if you don’t speak Japanese you do have a problem. Luckily, I have a Low FODMAP Japanese dictionary written by a Norwegian professor in Japanese. I have no chance to look after mistakes and I trust the list to be correct.
The second problem is that they use lots of stock in Japan. It’s not easy to understand if they have used onion or garlic to make the stock. I took the chance and I don’t think they normally use onion or garlic.
Undertanding the term “food intolerance/allergy” is the third problem. I don’t think it’s very common in Japan and they very often take what’s healthy as “this is good for you”.
What is safe to eat?
Sometimes you can get rice-noodles instead of wheat noodles. Soba-noodles are also safe to eat. Be aware that they can have been made of a blend of buckwheat flour and wheat. I tolerate some wheat and I usually took the chance on soba-noodles.
Sushi was my safe-food in Japan (as it is very many places). Wasabi is usually safe, but CAN contain sorbitol, E420. This is usually in the small sachets you get when ordering take-out sushi. Ordinary soya-sauce is also safe as long as you are not celiac. (If so, you need glutenfree soya-sauce.)
At the food-court you can sometimes find fresh spring-rolls.
If you can tolerate some wheat, you can also take a chance on the tempura.
As always Mc. Donalds and Burger King CAN be a safe haven…. Their burgers are made with plane meat. If they don’t have glutenfree bread, you can eat the burger with some extra chips. Not very healthy, but it can be a life-saver if you are “hangry”.
Low FODMAP Japanese dictionary
Here is the Low FODMAP Japanese dictionary. Feel free to download and print it.
If you want more tips please have a look at my Instagram account