MUSLIM TOWN – Enjoy shopping Halal Goods in Japan
When you search on Google map, it is displayed in one shot “Islam Alley”. Was well known among the favorite curry and spices, corner of nearly fit comfortably town in a semicircle of about 30 m radius is called this way.
Take the ticket gate of JR Shin-Okubo Station, because it and turn to the right Korea Town, the shops and turn left Chinese large and famous. But, take the ticket gate, turn the store of Matsumotokiyoshi that appears to the left front on the right, and the Hyakunincho culture as advance about 50 meters, shop dealing with, such as halal food on the left side of the road is dotted.
In precepts in accordance with the teachings of Islam as “halal”, I have the same meaning as “legal”, “it was allowed.” In contrast, those illegal called “Haram”. Among them, pork and alcohol, blood is the prime example of contraindications. Pork extract, derived from porcine gelatin, and do not eat well as processed products and cosmetics containing such a raw materials lard and can not be used. In addition, meat sheep and cattle, such as chicken, was sacrificed processing while offering a choice in Ho~tsu to Muslim ritual, unless not a halal is the bled.
Spice also display that can not buy in Japan Super
In the Islamic alley, even if entered into any halal shop, it is immediately filled with the aroma of spices. The Malay and Indonesian the shelves, bottled and canned that has been written, such as Arabic. And is packed meat such as sheep and cattle, chicken, fish species can be mixed, such as in Thailand and carp unknown chunk of fish, and crowdedly places such as tortillas and flame in the freezer.
In most of the shop, it has also been sold Basmati rice and jasmine rice to where it stands out most. Japonica rice are also sold, but most are from China. Chinese is written noodles also will solos. Customers also mostly foreigners, here as long as you are in the store forget that it’s Japan.
Enter from Okubo street to street culture, first entering the eye halal food shop most is, it “Barahi Foods & Spice Center (below, Barahi)”.
“In the past it did not come only foreigners. Recently ringing I Japanese has increased” said, Mr. Bansutora-Bimaru Prasad working in Barahi. That “I want spices for making curry, there are many people who come to visit to say.” And “other we’ll also (Japan Super) spice to buy not in” (Bimaru Mr.), advertising is also a little.
Often having no Japanese notation in the product to shelves
The Barahi is opened is about seven years ago. Is also the locality who are often foreigners, “in Japan of super, he really need (halal food) did not enter the hand. Maybe other people were also thought to be in trouble,” said (Bimaru Mr.) , it tells the reason that issued the shop.
Most large store next to the Islamic alley of Barahi, “GREEN NASCO (hereinafter, Green Nasco)” it. I dressed in the Middle East ethnic costume, (it seems that aka Nasr) beard shopkeeper tall to run a retail shop and two restaurants one shop. Restaurant next to the Barahi, the shop name what “food court” But, there is only 1 shops restaurant serving mainly is a kind of Indian Biryani.
Retail stores and one store facing the street culture, to the secluded location of the trail that was sandwiched between the same store “Shinjuku greengrocer”, there is a shop owner resides. And I tried to listen to talk to Mr. Nasr, but was ousted without flatly soon to be “busy” to greet.
Indeed, the main store facing the culture street, and Muslim women wearing a thing of the scarf-like called hijab that covers the head, have a such a lot out of a man seen as African. On the other hand, shopkeeper store that resides in the store is a little darker, it has been out of many men bearded of Middle East-based, need a little courage to enter at first glance. However, customers who come in there like me over the voice from the other side to be “I hope that your business go well”, but all quite friendly.
Friendly and kind and also supports Japanese
Are you entered the multi-tenant building second floor of the Green Nasco directly across is, “ROSE FAMILY STORE (below, Rose Family)” it. Did not hear again the “busy” and talk to the shopkeeper, Taken together story picked up in the city, this shop seems oldest in Islam alley. In clerk fluent Japanese, me over the voice to be like “Do you have what looking for?” The friendly.
It is the same in any of the shops, but the goods in the store is almost no Japanese notation, such as do not put the label itself by what, unidentified items often. But, if you do not know to ask, “This What is”, using such as smartphone, hard, and to me an effort to translate into Japanese. And to further nor bought a very high goods, “This is me was thank to come,” said Japan is like give me a mango juice that rarely enter the hand, kindly unrivaled.
After entering from Okubo street culture street you see is “The JANNAT HALAL FOOD (Jean nut)” Islam Alley also end point, this than previously do not see halal specialty store.
“The best-selling is, meat and spices.” In reversal from sharp eye, it had me answer with a gentle smile, it’s Raihan president of Jean nut. While listening to the story as well, customers of foreigners visit all the time. Barahi almost the same, to eight years ago I opened the store from the “halal food from entering not troubled in hand” (Raihan’s) experience. I chose this place is that because originally were many foreigners.
It is arranged also Ajinomoto in the lower shelf
Currently it is often close-up as Korea Town in Shinjuku neighborhood originally not limited to the Asian, many foreigners such as the Middle East and Africa system is live, it was also a foreign city.
According to Kanse Akiko assistant professor of National Museum of Ethnology, the around the Islamic alley that Myanmar-based Muslim lived since ancient times. It is, by Indian Muslim has opened a halal food shop in around 2005, is of that became a place to gather in at once Muslim.
It is on the fourth floor of the multi-tenant building that Rose family enters has entered mosques, apparently here seems to have become the core of the Islamic alley. Weekly at noon on Friday, Tsumekakeru many Muslims for collective worship.
Halal specializes in Shin-Okubo has still continued to grow. In front of the shop owner of Green Nasco resides, just six months ago on the second floor of the multi-tenant building, there is a “Shinjuku HALAL FOOD” opened in 14 end of the year.
shopkeeper and the “I thought here if customers gather.” Referred to as “those of foreign production is just all halal food,” but are also placed, such as Japanese-made mayonnaise. It was that of “This is not know what halal. Have put so customers come that sometimes want” (owner).
Halal certification mark of Japan is funny
The Contact rice and spices that are sold to halal specialty store of Shin Okubo, does not have a halal mark
The notice On store of these Islamic alley, the halal certification mark that are making noise now Japan, with much attached to the part of processed foods, such as meat and noodles, comes with such as halal certification mark in most of the goods It ‘s not. Contact rice and cereals, spices such as cumin and cardamom, even fish do not see, such as certification mark. Originally the halal ones, it is funny to put a halal certification mark.
“It should be noted in halal, only meat and alcohol-related. The truth is simple,” said Raihan’s Jean nut also say. “In Japan the newspaper, I read an article that gave a halal certification mark in the water, but I thought it a joke,” he said tone is light but eyes were not smiling. It’s seriously “It is not allowed to talk about the halal”.
While staying in Japan, the Islamic taste the emotion of exotic alley. In Japan, it could lead to that fool the Muslims when the poor, fake halal certification mark is flooding. Before issuing also several hundreds of thousand yen to such a thing, once, to visit the Shin-Okubo, whether Muslims are really buying what, it is not bad, even to try to explore.