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JR East to open prayer room at Tokyo Station

20 Comments

JR East will open a prayer room within Tokyo Station’s premises due to an increase in travelers from Muslim countries, notably Southeast Asia. The multifaith room, which will be a free of charge, opens on June 5, Fuji TV reported

While West Japan Railway Company (JR West) and Nankai Electric Railway Co have already installed worship facilities —at Osaka Station and a building adjacent to Namba Station, respectively — JR East says the installation of a prayer room inside a station’s premises will be the first nationwide.

The carpeted facility, measuring 8 square meters, is going to be set up in Tokyo Station’s Marunouchi North Exit. It will also feature a “purification space” for religious practitioners to cleanse their hands and feet, regardless of their religion or denomination, JR East said.

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20 Comments
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Why not a church or temple in Tokyo Station? Why muslims will need special treatment everywhere? Prayer room, halal food? Everyone else need to compromise for them?

-2 ( +15 / -17 )

It is a multifaith room.

Why not, indeed?

The multifaith room ... It will also feature a “purification space” for religious practitioners to cleanse their hands and feet, regardless of their religion or denomination, JR East said.

It's not special treatment and it's not just for Muslims. Nobody is compromising anything. It's simply a nice gesture. There's synagogues, kosher restaurants and delivery services for Jewish people here; is that special treatment as well?

5 ( +12 / -7 )

Let people pray if they want. As long as it doesn't inconvenience me or I'm expected to pay for these rooms, knock yourself out.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Why not a church or temple in Tokyo Station? Why muslims will need special treatment everywhere? Prayer room, halal food? Everyone else need to compromise for them?

The room has not been even opened yet and you are already judging with negative assumptions. Also, have you traveled to many countries? It is not like multifaith rooms are uncommon...

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Japan is simply open for business. Muslims with money want to come and travel and spend money....then worship. The Muslim population is growing and more and more will want to come to Japan. It's practical.

Muslims are to pray the five obligatory prayers everyday. There is a certain time for prayer and it is not to be missed or even delayed

(Q/A Source)

Aren't the Japanese smart? If you are a Christian traveler then you can pray anytime you want to and just wait until you get to your hotel room. But Muslims don't have that luxury. It's simply smart businesses so no need to be paranoid about the religion taking over. Yes, any faith can use these rooms but they were built in anticipation for future Muslim travelers and that they can't delay their prayers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Great News.

As a Buddhist we don't worship/pray to buddha, he was a human(not a God). So no image is preferable.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japan is simply open for business.

True. Also I have noticed that in the prayer rooms, the instruction boards are often written in English, Chinese, Korean, Indonesian and Malaysian, representing the largest tourist demographics who come to Japan. Note that no Arabic language is used whatsoever, despite the largest user of prayer rooms are undoubtedly Muslims. Clearly, it is rather intended to the Southeast Asian tourists.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Not sure why this is needed at a train station. Prayer rooms are for places where you spend a lot of time, like an airport. You shouldn't be in a train station for more than 20 minutes.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Not sure why this is needed at a train station.

Because (and I will repeat this) Muslims are to pray the five obligatory prayers everyday. There is a certain time for prayer and it is not to be missed or even delayed. They are sightseeing and suddenly prayer time is coming so they can simply go to the train station (It seems JR sees extra train ticket sales from this). Again, aren't they smart? It's just business. It's being practical.

You shouldn't be in a train station for more than 20 minutes.

What exactly does this mean?

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

You shouldn't be in a train station for more than 20 minutes.

Actually prayers could be done for less than 5 minutes

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I think it's quite a reasonable provision. Whether just 8 square metres is sufficient, time will tell.

I'm interested to know how Muslims pray when they're on a long flight for example, as not many planes have an on-board prayer room. Or trains for that matter.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Do they need to book in advance, or could we see both Ultra Orthodox Jews using it at the same time as the Islamic Fundamentalists ?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Multifaith rooms already exist in Japan(see article) and many other places globally, often use them while travelling.

Never seen or heard of any problems.,

Chanting buddhist sutras(in chinese) take a bit. ;)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm interested to know how Muslims pray when they're on a long flight for example, as not many planes have an on-board prayer room. Or trains for that matter.

Muslim here, and have been living in Japan for more than 2 years. During long journey, it is allowed to combine prayers, so 5 times becomes only 3 times (morning, afternoon, evening). Even prayer could be done by sitting during very long flight, if other options are impossible.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

cannot imagine a christian and muslim praying in the same room, have to see it myself. Maybe It will become a sleeping room

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Kiyoshi Mukai

Millions and millions of christians and muslims interact in many ways, all day, everyday, all over the world. Believe it!

5 ( +10 / -5 )

I am sick of people who think this is some favour to muslims. It is just a nice gesture plus a business move. Muslims have to pray 5 times a day. More prayer room means more muslims can visit comfortably. and anyways they are multifaith rooms. So if you want to do your thing you are most welcome.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

It's all about business, not religion.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As long as this remains multi-faith I am all for it. If a Jew, Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist (or any other religion for that matter) can use the room simultaneously and peacefully it would probably make the world a better place.

If it did transition to a special room for Muslims, Jews, Christians, whoever...then I would find it problematic.

No problem with food and hand washing station as long as other religions are accommodated (even if it is offensive to one of the other religions).

4 ( +4 / -0 )

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