The prayer room has four air conditioners. It’s also equipped with water tanks and outdoor faucets so the faithful can wash before making their prayers.
“The mobile mosque is seen as very unique to Japan,” announced Yasuharu Inoue, head of the committee which created the movable mosque at US$ 88 thousand, SFGate reported on October 8.
“It’s getting a lot of attention from Muslim countries as we received inquiries from over 45 countries and event organizers who consider using it at international events,” he added.
The Tokyo-based executive committee for the mobile mosque project announced its plan to create a second wheeled truck mosque in preparations for Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.
The wheeled mosque, which can go anywhere, was created with an eye on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, as well as other international events that will be held in Japan.
“Japan is short of mosques, the worship houses of Islam – one of the three major religions in the world. So, we wanted to create an environment where everyone can perform their prayers at ease,” Inoue said.
The mosque is expected to be leased to event organizers and dispatched to locations that don’t have sufficient rooms for prayer, such as gyms, stadiums and tourist facilities.
The Japanese mobile mosque which was unveiled in Chiba Prefecture last September started to receive Muslim worshippers from Kanto region to perform prayers.
“There were very few places for worship for Muslims and they had to avoid people’s attention when I came to Japan 30 years ago,” said Sandha Saleem, a Pakistani worshipper at the mosque who lives in Adachi Ward, Tokyo.
The truck-shaped mosque is 12 meters long and 2.5 meters wide when it drives on the road. Within several minutes of parking, the sides expand to the right and left, rendering the truck about six meters wide.
The size of the vehicle’s prayer room is 48m2 that can accommodate more than 50 people at once. It’s provided with four air conditioners and equipped with water tanks as well as outdoor faucets so the worshipers can perform wudu’ or washing before prayers.
The earliest Muslim records of Japan can be found in the works of the Muslim cartographer Ibn Khordadbeh. Recently, the Pew Research Center estimated in 2010 that there were 185,000 Muslims in Japan.