With the influence of Korean boom, Shin-Okubo build has the image of a smallKorean town. But these days not only Korean influence can be found here, you can also see signboards written in many other languages such as Chinese, Burmese (Myanmar), etc. which makes me feel like it has become a multinational city.
Do you know that there is a street called “Islamic Yokocho” where Muslim people tend to gather in Shin-Okubo?
The place is unexpectedly close to the station. Once you exit JR Shin-Okubo Station, you will see Matsumoto Kiyoshi (drug store) right in front of the station and the left street of the pharmacy called ‘Hyakunin-cho Bunka dori’ which is also known as ‘Islam Yokocho’. There are many long rows of Islamic restaurants and grocery stores , which you will be attracted to from the rich smells of aromatic Arabian spices.
After you pass the Matsumoto Kiyoshi, you will find the shop called “Barahi Foods & Spice Center” on the left side of it. This is a HALAL food store where you can buy spices and ingredients of India and Nepal. On the second floor of the building, there is a restaurant called ‘MO:MO:’ where you can enjoy authentic Nepalese cuisine at reasonable prices.
Halal is an Arabic word meaning lawful or permitted by Islamic traditional law. It is generally associated with clean and good quality meat that adheres to the cultural practices of preparing food in Islam that is fit for consumption. Here you can get rare items which you cannot see easily in Japan.
There is a grocery store called ‘Shinjuku Yaoya’ where you can buy vegetables and fruits at a cheap and reasonable price. This store is open 24 hours and always crowded with shoppers.
If you turn left from the GREEN NASCO, you will find a fish shop which sells fish such as Mackerels (500 yen for 3 piece), Yellowtail (600 yen for 2 piece) and much more, at half price of supermarket.
Here you can also buy a whole chicken (hen), which will cost you 250 yen for per piece.
‘Islam Yokocho’ has an exciting atmosphere which give the sensation of being in a foreign country.
(Writer: Yukimi Tanimura)