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Distribution of "Muslim Hospitality Map" in Asakusa guide increasing tourists from Islamic regions

Distribution of

"Muslim Hospitality Map" in Asakusa

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On April 29, the event "Walk-around tour in Asakusa for Muslims" was held, wherein the introduction and distribution of "Muslim hospitality maps" took place. Halal Media Japan, in cooperation with the Asakusa tourism federation were responsible for publishing the maps.

The tour group was divided in 3 groups, in which they walked a route mainly introducing shops outlined on the map. Subsequently, souvenirs were received from participating shops. Tour participants were also able to enjoy taking photographs at picture spots. Within the group, a team of participants dressed in Kimono cheerfully exclaims "It isn't our first time in Asakusa, but in kimono it is exceptional. I'm happy being able to wear a kimono." Performer RYO, a Tokyo Univ. student portraying a Samurai made a sprightly appearance during the tour, delivering his trademark line "Katajigenasshingu" (Japanese wordplay of "Katajikenai" and "Nothing" to mean "I appreciate your thanks") while wielding his prop sword. Also livening up the experience was the "sword fights" with the muslim visitors.

The map outlines Halal certified shops such as the following: Sekai cafe, Ippin (Cafeteria), Sarai Kebab, Otako (Chiffon cake made of rice flour), Naritaya (Ramen), Kameya (Japanese confectionery), Taj Mahal (Indian curry), Hyoubandou (rice crackers), among others. In addition to the halal certified shops, prayer rooms and mosques are also shown.

When asked about what food they want to eat in Japan, a Muslim participant of the tour reflected "I want to eat cake. I was really happy being able to eat chiffon cake during the tour. I'd like to eat short cake someday". Reflecting on accommodating the needs of muslim visitors, one of the organizers shares "Although little-by-little, we would like to grant their desires, therefore giving them the opportunity to enjoy Asakusa. I would like to go on enhancing the map."

Going further, "Asakusa is not only limited to tourism, food and lodgings - facilities that would please the muslim visitors also exist here. However, they are not aware of it" it is mentioned. "While the number of halal shops and prayer rooms are as of yet not enough, the emergence of LCC travel continue to increase the number of visitors originating mainly from the Islamic regions of South East Asia. Hastening the measures to respond to the needs of Muslim visitors nationwide cannot be ignored. We must increase awareness of Asakusa amongst the many tourist spots" it is asserted.

In lieu of the tours and activities planned in various places in the coming future, appeals to respond to the needs of Muslim visitors are being made. The maps will be made available in tourist centres and numerous hotels throughout the Asakusa area.

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