Despite their modest numbers, mosques in Tokyo are vital for Muslims seeking worship, gatherings and cultural exchange. Japan’s biggest mosque, Tokyo Camii in Shibuya, stuns those who come across it with its gorgeous Ottoman-style architecture as a striking testament to cultural diversity amid the city’s modern skyline. However, unlike some cities where these mosques dot the landscape, in Tokyo there aren’t so many and they are often inconspicuously nestled within the urban fabric. Here are some of the more quaint spots to engage with the Islamic faith in Japan’s capital.

hidden mosque in tokyo 3

1. Masjid Nusantara, Akihabara

A short walk from the area’s neon lights, maids and game centers will bring you to this unassuming building where an Indonesian-run mosque can be found on the fifth floor. We put down our manga and picked up the Quran from one of the decorated prayer rooms where Arabic calligraphy can be found, as well as helpful signs in both Japanese and Indonesian. The mosque has regular events with the well-known Japanese Imam, Sheikh Ahmad Maeno. There is even a halal restaurant across the street with halal versions of ramen, gyoza and Japanese curry. 

Location Masjid Nusantara
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Masjid Shin Okubo

2. Masjid Shin-Okubo, Shin-Okubo

Nestled down an alley in the middle of Tokyo’s famous Koreatown, the harmonies of BTS pause momentarily as the azan, or adhan (Muslim call to prayer) echoes through the streets, calling the many foreign residents and business owners in the area in for their daily prayers. This single-room mosque can be found in what is known as Islam Yokocho, a street dedicated to halal restaurants and supermarkets. Despite only being one room in a building, the mosque provides a place to perform wudu (the ritual of washing before prayer), a shelf overflowing with Islamic books and a decent-sized prayer space.

Location Masjid Shin Okubo

Kinsicho Jame Masjid

3. Jame Masjid, Kinshicho

After appreciating the spectacular view of Tokyo Skytree, head towards this conveniently located prayer space.  A stone’s throw away from JR Kinshicho Station’s south exit, Jame Masjid is open 24 hours a day, every day. Before Friday’s prayers, a friendly Japanese doorman will usually greet you. There might also be some biryani served here on the odd occasion. There are sometimes talks on Islam held here for newly-reverted Japanese Muslims and they even provide iftar (a fast-breaking meal) during the holy month of Ramadan. 

Location Jame Masjid

Dar Al Taqwa Nihon Islamic Bunka Center

4. Dar Al Taqwa Nihon Islamic Bunka Center, Ojima

The hardest-to-find mosque on this list, Dar Al Taqwa provides a decent prayer space for people living around Koto ward in Tokyo. There is a convenient basin outside the mosque for visitors to perform wudu and a shelf to store shoes. That is pretty much it. This no-frills establishment sees many migrant workers and businesspeople in the area come to pray Isha, the fifth and final daily prayer for Muslims. Located in a small alley within a residential area of Ojima, Google Maps is truly your best friend.

Location Dar Al Taqwa Nihon Islamic Bunka Center
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Masjid Al Ikhlas Kabukicho

5. Masjid Al Ikhlas, Kabukicho

It is hard to imagine that Tokyo’s famous red-light district has a place of worship right in the middle of it, but Al Ikhlas is actually a regular place of worship for many people working in the area. Seek forgiveness in this small but clean mosque which holds Jummah (Friday communal prayer) to the best of its capacity with people even praying in the hallways. The location is quite odd, but staff members have commented that there is no better place for a holy establishment than the area of Tokyo which is most famous for its debauchery.

Location Masjid Al Ikhlas Kabukicho
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