Written by Sk. Nishat Abdullah-san
In Japan, there are different categories of shops selling goods of daily requirements namely convenient stores, Super shops and Departmental stores. Convenient stores are available in almost doorsteps, but not found to have any Muslim friendly preparation so far. But the good news started to come from super markets and Departmental stores. Japanese Departmental Stores have started to turn their face towards Muslim Customers. Laox is one of the leading departmental stores operating in different areas of Japan. They have branches running busy time in Akihabara, Ginza etc. This time they have opened their gorgeous, well decorated outlet rich in different goods in Shinjuku.
As Laox has been Muslim friendly from earlier days, this time they have also taken some special measures for their Muslim Customers. They have arranged special corners for Muslims where they have been selling samurai Ramen, different Halal ramen and Soba, Sakura jam, Halal certified chocolates etc. The brands of the Halal Items they were selling were almost new to me. This might be the charisma of Japanese departmental stores. All the goods placed in Halal corner are undoubtedly Halal and the Halal sticker is put over each and every pack. The Halal corner is decorated nicely with a banner on the top written “MUSLIMS WELCOME”. It gives a Muslim customer some sort of pleasant feeling. The staffs were also very cooperative and enthusiastic to show the Halal corner and prayer room.
In the busy business area like Shinjuku, it’s natural for a Muslim to find it difficult to say prayer in a suitable place. Moreover Muslim tourists might not have enough time to go to a mosque which is located far from here. Laox Shinjuku has also taken it into account. They have prepared separate prayer rooms for males and females. These prayer rooms are well decorated and contain direction for “Qiblah” (the direction Muslim should face during saying prayer).
Actually departmental stores run on the concept of collecting different modern brand items, Jewelleries, electronics etc. which has no question to be Halal or Haram. Along with these, they sale some of the goods for daily requirements which are mainly for the customers or tourists who are passing busy time in Tokyo in shopping. But still the items I found in the Halal corner of Laox, can be hardly found in common Halal food shops. So, I think the initiative that has been taken by Laox, will not only draw the attraction of Muslim tourists, but also the Muslim residents in Japan.
|Location||Shinjuku 3-chome Kyodo Bldg. 5-8F, 3-1-20 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo|
|Business hours||10:00am – 9:00pm
Open 365 days
|Nearest train station||1 minute walk from Toei Shinjuku Line Shinjuku-sanchome Sta. Exit C1
10 minutes walk from JR Shinjuku Sta. East Exit