Hokkaido is the second largest island in Japan and its northernmost prefecture. It is a beautiful place that is best known for its volcanic mountains, natural hot springs (onsen), and ski slopes. Winter brings snow and icy cold temperatures, attracting skiers and snowboarders; and the mild summer weather gathers adventure-seekers and nature-lovers.
But for Muslim travelers, the thought of whether they'll be able to find places to pray is always a concern. Even though Hokkaido doesn't have a very large Muslim community, it does not mean that you won't be able to find prayer places in Hokkaido. Contrary to what you may think, there are quite a few prayer rooms and mosques in Hokkaido.
Find mosques (masjids), prayer rooms near you
Here are 5 of them:
Image Credit: Sapporo Masjid
Sapporo Masjid is run by the Hokkaido Islamic Society, which was inaugurated in 1993, inspired by the heartbreaking story of a stillborn child named Kadhija who was not given a timely burial due to a lack of Islamic resources. Even though the mosque is small, it means a lot to the Islamic community in Sapporo which is what makes it one of the best Islamic tourist attractions in Japan. They conduct Jummah prayers, Qur'an classes, Da'wah sessions, and other events so pop by for a visit!
Locate mosques (masjids) and prayer rooms near you
Image Credit: Noor Masjid
Masjid-al-Noor is one of the most well-known mosques in Japan so it is one of the prayer places in Hokkaido that you can easily locate. It is also referred to as “Masjid Otaru” by the locals as it is situated in Otaru-shi and was inaugurated in 2009. It is a three-story building with a green dome and minarets sitting atop; the outside walls are decorated with gold-plaque Arabic wordings. The masjid is open to Muslims and non-Muslim visitors, and they also sell Halal food (the proceeds go to charity).
Muroran Mosque is a mosque run and financed by a small community of Muslim students at the Muroran Institute of Technology. It is located opposite the university, making it easily accessible for the students to attend daily prayers. They also conduct Jummah prayers and Qur'an recitations during the weekends. Seeing this community thrive despite its numbers is amazing, so make sure to visit if you're looking to locate mosques in Hokkaido!
Chitose outlet mall is a shopping mall that is situated close to the Chitose Airport (with a free shuttle bus service to and from), that is home to more than 400 shops. Although this is not a mosque, it provides the perfect location for the Muslim traveler trying to find prayer places in Hokkaido as it has a prayer room.
Address: 4 Chome Kita 2 Johigashi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido Prefecture 060-0032, Japan.
Phone: +81 11-207-5000
Sapporo Factory is another major shopping and entertainment complex that house around 160 outlets, a museum, multiplex movie theatres, offices, and best of all, a prayer room! If you're looking for what to do and see in Hokkaido, add this to your list because it's a great place to do some shopping and offer timely prayers.