Thanks to some jobs I need to do and the extreme procrastination skill of mine, I have not publish any Japan’s Journal regularly lately. But I promise I will record all the most interesting part my journey from 22 – 30 July 2016 on this blog.
On my third day in Japan, I decided to do two things: Go to Shimokitazawa Shelter, a place that I will cover more later, and find the biggest mosque in Tokyo. Quick Googling took me to the fact that the biggest mosque in Tokyo is called Tokyo Camii, a place that was built and maintained by the Turkish Community in Tokyo. To get there you need to walk a few hundred meters from Yoyogi-Uehara Station.
I did say that it only took a few hundred meters to get there by foot, but thanks to the fact that I have no internet for the day, it took me around two hours to find the place, and God knows how many miles I have walked. After went through a long-walk without finding any signs of the mosque, I started to doubt my “finding places based on Google Maps screenshot” skill. Right after that, I found an Indian restaurant with Halal label drawn proudly on the door. “It’s near!” I said to myself.
It is near, but that doesn’t mean I managed to find the place easily from there. It took me another hour or more to walk around the place aimlessly. During the time I found a park to rest, played with some pigeons and dogs, saw some kids having fun in the park, found another Halal restaurant (this time, it’s Egyptian), and saw an interesting thing I shouldn’t have seen. I even met an Arabic guy that helped me showing the direction to the mosque, yet I still failed.
Tired, I decided to visit the Indian restaurant from before. I ate a plate of Biryani (in Japan!) and drank a glass of mineral water and orange juice. The set cost me more than ¥1.000, which makes it the most expensive Biryani I ever ate. After finished eating (and watched a Japanese news about Pokémon GO, which mentions something about fatwa surrounding the game 😦 ), I asked the chef the direction to the mosque. He might be good at serving Biryani, but was so bad about explaining direction.
Finally, I decided to give up my search. I walked back to Yoyogi-Uehara station, and during my trip back, suddenly I heard something…
It was the sound of azan! I heard the sound of azan in Tokyo, Japan!
I turned my head to the right, and there it was, the biggest mosque in Tokyo standing firmly, surrounded by big trees on the side of the main street. It should be a really easy place to spot, yet I missed it. When I got in, there are only a few people inside, and they just started praying maghrib. I hurriedly take wudu, took one snapshot, and join them.
After praying, I asked permission from the Imam to take pictures of the mosque interior, which he answered kindly, had a small chit-chat with random guy from Pakistan, and left the place with a smile on my face.
Yes, just that. I might have the opportunity to ask around about Islamic community in Tokyo, but I was late to visit another place that day. Hence, my adventure for the day consist of walking aimlessly for hours. Still, it was such an adventure.
Finally, to the real deal.