Translated by Ilham Rio Baramika
Tokyo Muslim Guide - 5 Mosques Near Famous Destinations
Written by Matcha Admin
Tokyo Camii Mosque in Shibuya might be the most famous mosque in Tokyo. There other beautiful Muslim facilities in Japan's capital that are also worth visiting. We introduce five mosques located in the proximity of popular places to visit in Tokyo.
Tokyo's Beautiful Mosques
Picture from Japan's Largest Mosque - Tokyo Camii Turkish Cultural Center
The number of Muslim visitors to Japan has increased in recent years, especially in Tokyo. The number of facilities that offer halal food, prayer rooms, and other services for Muslim travelers has also increased.
Tokyo is the city with the most numerous mosques and prayer spaces for Muslims in Japan. However, most of these facilities are located relatively far away from major sightseeing areas. As these establishments are often dedicated only to the daily usage of local Muslim communities, the buildings are usually situated in residential areas and it requires some time to reach them from the center of the city.
We introduce five mosques in Tokyo that are located near popular sightseeing areas such as Asakusa, Ueno, and Shibuya.
1. Masjid Assalam Okachimachi Mosque in Ueno
Masjid Assalam Okachimachi, or Ueno Okachimachi Mosque, is located at about eleven minutes' walk from Ueno Station. This facility is managed by the As-Salaam Foundation, a Muslim community center.
The building itself serves two different purposes. On the first floor, there is a community center for weekly gatherings and activities of the local Muslim community. The upper level serves as a prayer hall for visitors and the local Muslims.
The building houses a library and a study room with a wide collection of Islamic books.
2. Masjid Darul Arqam in Asakusa
Masjid Darul Arqam is also known as the Asakusa Mosque. Asakusa is one of the most popular areas to visit in Tokyo with famous sites such as Sensoji Temple and the nearby Tokyo Skytree, the famous landmark tower visible from this area.
Darul Arqam Mosque is located within walking distance from Sensoji Temple. This four-storied mosque, including the library on the ground floor, serves as a Muslim community center. The facility was established in 1998 as a part of the mosque construction project conducted by the Islamic Circle of Japan, a well-known Islamic organization.
3. Otsuka Mosque near Ikebukuro
Otsuka Mosque was established to accommodate Muslim community members living in central Tokyo and is operated by the Japan Islamic Trust.
During the 1970s-80s there was a lack of religious facilities for the Muslims living in Tokyo, and this mosque was created in order to meet this need. Otsuka Mosque officially opened to the public on February 4, 2000, and it serves as a center for Muslim activities such as seminars, Islamic lecture series, and Arabic language classes.
4. Arabic Islamic Institute in Tokyo near Roppongi
Picture courtesy of Halal Tokyo
Hiroo Mosque, or the Arabic Islamic Institute in Tokyo, is located in the Minato ward of Tokyo. The mosque is housed within the building of the Arabic Islamic Institute, a cultural establishment located in one of the most international districts in Tokyo.
More than just a religious establishment, the Arabic Islamic Institute Tokyo is a center of Arabic culture. In addition to meeting the need for a prayer hall, the center contributes to deepening the understanding of Arabic culture in Tokyo. One of their activities involves operating a school of Arabic culture and language, which is located in the same building.
5. Tokyo Camii Mosque near Shibuya
Tokyo Camii is the largest mosque in Japan and is located in the center of Shibuya ward. Its convenient location makes it easily accessible from central areas in Tokyo such as Shibuya, Harajuku, Shimokitazawa, and others.
Tokyo Camii Mosque serves as a Turkish cultural center. It was built by the community of Turkish immigrants from Kazan-Russia in 1938. Not only is it the largest mosque in Japan, but it is arguably also the most beautiful one.
The mosques in Japan will probably have a slightly different atmosphere than most Muslim people are familiar with. One of the reasons is that most of them are established within Japanese apartment buildings, blending in with the surrounding residential areas.
Fortunately, however, the Tokyo Camii Mosque resembles the image of a mosque that is familiar to most Muslims. The design of Tokyo Camii Mosque is heavily influenced by Ottoman architecture, resembling the famous Sultan Ahmed Mosque, or Blue Mosque, in Turkey, with its impressive dome and tall minarets.
Enjoy Your Visit at Tokyo's Mosques
Muslim visitors to Japan need not fear to miss the prayer time during their visit to Tokyo. Remember you can visit one of the mosques In Tokyo, both for your regular prayers and as part of your travels in Japan.