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Sesame, peanut, tree nut allergy 2019/4/24 23:18
Hello;

My son has an opportunity to travel to Japan with his school. Unfortunately he has allergies to nuts, tree nuts, and sesame. In the past we have travelled to other countries and had allergy cards printed up, but in those countries we were able to communicate with people and read menus. Japan is completely different.

I'd like to hear experiences from people with food allergies who have visited Japan. I'd like to know what worked, what didn't work, what to do, what not to do, etc.

Thank you.
by volan  

Re: Sesame, peanut, tree nut allergy 2019/4/25 08:41
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Sesame, peanut, tree nut allergy 2019/4/25 15:38
There are many Japanese people here with various allergies. If your son show what food he can't eat precisely, I think he will be okay.
by neko (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Sesame, peanut, tree nut allergy 2019/4/25 20:31
If sesame oil causes reactions, I would be concerned. You would never know what oil was used in food preparation.
by Paul (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Sesame, peanut, tree nut allergy 2019/4/25 22:10
Japan is not really all that good with allergies and peanut and sesame oil are both very popular for cooking. Sesame because of the flavor and peanut because it has a high smoking point.

If this is a life threatening allergy, I would definitely be very concerned. Tree nuts and sesame are not always marked ingredients. I would talk to the school in your home country about your concerns and see what their responses are since the program is through the school.
by rkold rate this post as useful

Re: Sesame, peanut, tree nut allergy 2019/4/25 22:13
the situation is different.
in other countries, you, the parents, took care of him. but, in this time, he must take care of himself with no parent's help.
I assume that most of his school friends don't have such disease. they may not care for his allergy to choose restaurants with eating in a group.
be noted that most of restaurants don't serve dishes for allergy patients, because the patients are still rare in Japan.
also you have to know that restaurants make dishes tasty, not to be healthy. they will use many hidden ingredients to make their dishes original.
by ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Sesame, peanut, tree nut allergy 2019/4/26 01:02
Hi Volan,

I understand that you are hoping to "hear experiences from people with food allergies who have visited Japan." Unfortunately, I am a Japanese resident, so I cannot speak from experience. But I did raise a son with food allergy while traveling to foreign countries, and I feel for you.

I wonder how old your son will be when he visits Japan. If he was able to handle his allergy in other countries, I see why not in Japan. By making sure his teacher (or whoever adult that would be responsible for him during his trip) understands the situation, and by requesting special meals in advance, it is quite possible to avoid what he should. At least I have done that not only for my Japanese son but also for Hindu vegan visitors who needed to avoid many of the food ingredients typical in Japan.

By the way, peanuts and other nuts aren't so frequently used in meals in Japan (apart from what you see in fancy restaurants for adults), and is well considered as one of the top 7 allergens in the country. Sesame, on the other hand, is commonly used also as extract. Walnuts are sometimes used for regional treats as well.

One of the bigger concerns may be that, when a child reaches a certain age and tells the teacher (s)he needs special care for her/his meals, the teacher and other adults become so concerned that they tend to avoid even the things (s)he can eat. This becomes kind of a let-down for an adolescent, which can be avoided if the child is fully aware of what (s)he can eat or not and is also capable of exchanging food with fellow travelers in her/his group.

I hope you get feedback from people who have actually gone through similar situations as foreign visitors to Japan. In any case, I'm sure you know much better than many Internet users, and the last thing you want to do is to become paranoid over this.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Sesame, peanut, tree nut allergy 2019/4/26 03:52
Volan, Does your son carry the epi-pen, and is he able to use it by himself? I believe the law here prevents a non-relative (a teacher, ambulance driver, etc.) from using it - requiring that either the individual themselves use it, or a qualified doctor, which could mean a long wait until arrival at an emergency room. Or maybe his allergy is such that it is not life threatening?
by Paul (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Sesame, peanut, tree nut allergy 2019/4/26 07:27
Thanks for all your responses. At the time of the trip my son will be 17. He is well aware of his allergies and is able to speak up for himself. He has travelled before to other countries without his parents. He does know how to use an epi pen.

It looks like the decision will be taken out of our hands. The tour provider has stated that they will not take on the liability of having someone with his allergies on the trip, so unless something changes between now and then it looks like we're out of luck.

Again, thanks to you all for helping out.
by volan rate this post as useful

Re: Sesame, peanut, tree nut allergy 2019/4/26 13:39
Thank you for your feedback. I'm rather shocked to learn about your tour provider's decision, though. It doesn't even seem right. I do hope that your son gets to visit Japan in the future in one way or another. In fact, he might even feel more assured if he could book accommodation with a reliable and understanding concierge who can handle all the meal reservations, which was what we did a long time ago. I wish your family luck.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Re: Sesame, peanut, tree nut allergy 2019/4/26 14:04
That sounds like a very smart decision by the tour operator, and not bad luck at all. If he really has a life-threatening condition then he might be okay eating in restaurants in international hotels, not in random spots where the kitchen staff don't speak English and don't know anything about allergies.
by Umami Dearest (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Sesame, peanut, tree nut allergy 2019/4/26 14:43
no one takes any risk of other persons. the response of tour agent is quite reasonable.
you and your son must take the risk by themselves. this is not the language problem and not specif for Japan.
Japan is not much different to US.
the school and the tour agent may give some attention to the foods provided by the hotels or some specific restaurants where they arranged. in this kind of tours, students will go around anywhere by a single or a group. (it must be a fun.) at that time, no one takes care of your son !
all is your decision that you choose no troubles with no actions, but he loses a chance to get unpredictable experiences with his friends.
by ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Sesame, peanut, tree nut allergy 2019/4/26 18:07
You don't need a tour guide or operator to see Japan. You can organize hotels and transport yourself.
by hakata14 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Sesame, peanut, tree nut allergy 2019/4/27 03:52
Just make sure he's vigilant about figuring out what ingredients are in things. Those are some rough allergies to have in Japan.
by Ahuffman rate this post as useful

Re: Sesame, peanut, tree nut allergy 2019/5/24 20:12
I have traveled to japan multiple times and I'm allergic to sesame (not live threatining but it get uncomfortable) I never had problems with sesame oil (though I'm not really the typ to eat fried food and I don't think I have a strong reaction to it) but the thing I experienced is shichimi (or whatever it is called) it is a spicemixture and is in quite a lot of meat rubs and stuff, so I ordered some kobe beef and wasn't thinking about it being overly seasoned, but I guess the rub on it had sesame in it, the same was with Ramen (which is why I have never tried ramen after the first time) I guess the place put shichimi on it for seasoning and well...
also sesame isn't always labeled and sometimes just used as decoration on rice or meat so you have to be vigilant.
but they were quite considered in restaurants when i asked about it or when I ordered an udon salad an wasn't thinking about the sauce options so the girl just put on sesame dressing and I had to say sorry could you make another one (no problem at all and she apologized eventhough I was the one who spaced out ^^') that is another think most of the clear salad dressings in conbini and I think restaurants (that are not like french dressing with joghurt and stuff) have sesame in them.
so I think it is manageable if you open your check or ask and if in doubt don't eat/ buy it.

by me (guest) rate this post as useful

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