November 29, 2010

Mosque Wedding

(The Center, seen from the street.)

My friend got married yesterday in the Tokyo Camii & Turkish Culture Center, more easily explained as "the Mosque". Built in 1938 and renovated in 2000, it is the second oldest mosque in Japan. (There are currently about 60 mosques in all of Japan.)

(Outside the prayer hall.)

The Center is located in Yoyogi Uehara, about 5 minutes' walk from the station. Although the area itself is well-known, there is much less awareness of the mosque among Tokyo residents. Perhaps it's better this way: guests at the wedding (including me) couldn't stop gawking at the gorgeous architecture, and  barely restrained themselves from snapping away. (Photography is strictly prohibited during ceremonies and prayer times.) The Muslims that come to pray already have to contend with the noisy outside traffic; I'm afraid increased visitors would add to their distraction.

(The doors of the prayer hall.)

However, the prayer hall is open to the public every day, from 10:00 to 18:00.

The intricate design of the doors.

Inside the prayer hall. Check out the chandelier, with its script motif.

There are so many shapes when you look up; the effect is nothing less than surreal.

Following the Islamic custom, female guests wore borrowed head scarves and men sat in the front, separated from their wives and children, who sat behind them.

The second floor is for women and children.

The menu served at the reception was inspired by the cuisine of the Ivory Coast and Senegal. The kiddies got a slightly different menu, replete with animal-shaped carrots.

No comments: