Nov 27, 2017
Praying outside in Japan..literally outside
The purple carpet you see in this picture is a Islamic prayer mat. You place it on the ground when you pray.
I also have a plastic pocket prayer mat, for when I am not at home. I carry it in my purse at all times.
Muslims can pray inside a mosque, but if a mosque is not nearby then where in Japan do we pray....and what do Japanese people have to say about people praying in public??
Well first of all, there ARE some public prayer spaces, which are not mosques, but simple rented out rooms, additions to toilets or little spaces off to the side of restaurants that will let you pray.
In this blog, I am only going to talk to you about where I usually pray and how people act.
The best place to pray is in a park. There are plenty of parks across Japan, no matter where you go you can find a nice green space to pray.
I find myself often praying in bicycle parking lots. This is simply because I am shy and usually parks are full of people, or I am simply too far away from a park and come across a parking lot before I can find a park.
No matter what time I pray though, no matter how little people are around or how out of the way I think I am. ALWAYS someone comes at the last moment and has to walk through or to where I am. It happened to me 3 times where a woman came. They usually say nothing but I always wonder if I scared them or something.
I got used to praying in public but I always wonder what people think when they see someone praying. The only interaction I ever had with someone was a woman who didn't want to pull out her bike, maybe because she didn't want to make noise. So she waited. It was only about 30 seconds till I was done and I quickly said "I am sorry" and she said "oh no take your time".
One time I was praying in Yoyogi park and a homeless man came near me and my friend and started setting up his home for the night. No interaction. No strange looks.
I must have prayed outside at least 25 times and I never had anyone laughing at me or taking pictures...yet. Thankfully. Though I do feel like people look and wonder what I am doing, and once they realize it maybe they just continue on with their day.
at 8:55 AM