Translated by Shannon McNaught
Manekineko Yotsuya Sanchome: Halal Food And Karaoke!
Written by YOSHIHITO OSHIMA
No matter where you're from or what your religion is, when visiting Japan, you should be able to enjoy the culture and fun. That includes Karaoke!
Karaoke is a part of Japanese culture that you should try at least once. However, even if they all say 'karaoke' on the sign, the services available differ between stores and chains.
For example, there's the Halal-certified karaoke store Manekineko Yotsuya Sanchome found in Tokyo's Yotsuya neighborhood that Muslim customers can enjoy. It's only a 1 minute walk from the train station and easily recognized by its signature manekineko or lucky cat on the front.
Let's take a look inside.
The front doesn't look too different from your average karaoke parlor.
How can you tell it's halal certified? Well there are official local halal certificates posted on the wall!
These are pictures of Muslim customers that have visited the store before. It looks like they get a lot of customers too, everyone from travelers to those living permanently in Japan.
The karaoke rooms are clean and bright.
When it's time for prayers, you can look to the sign on the ceiling that points in the direction of Mecca.
All of the store's 40 menu items are free of pork and alcohol products and all other ingredients used are halal certified. In fact, all seasonings used here are provided by the Malaysia Halal Corporation. Everything is prepared in a special kitchen too.
The menu includes karaoke staple items like french fries, yakisoba, karaage (Japanese-style fried chicken), and more.
Rāmen is one of the store's most popular dishes and has 3 soup bases to choose from: soy sauce, miso and salt.
Since there's also a non-halal menu for other customers, even their trays are labeled 'halal' and 'non-halal'.
This space is used for prayers. Of course, there's a sign pointing to KIBLAT on the ceiling, but there's also a timetable for salat posted.
A truly different sort of karaoke place, Manekineko Yotsuya Sanchome is the perfect place for Muslims and non-Muslims alike to kick back and sing to their heart's content.
Address: Tokyo, Shinjuku, Samoncho 3-1, Samon Eleven Bldg. 2F
Hours: 9:00–6:00 (of the following day)
Nearest Station: Yotsuya-sanchome Station (四谷三丁目駅) Tokyo Metro line
Access: 1 minute walk from Exit 1 of Yotsuya-sanchome Station
Phone Number: 03-5315-4266
Website: Maneki-neko Yotsuya-sanchome (Japanese)