Stroll down the streets of this residential area in the west of Tokyo and you are sure to be struck by the presence of a growing ethnic minority, a very uncommon sight in largely monocultural Japan.

Here in "Little Nepal," Nepalese families shop for their groceries at supermarkets, Nepalese business owners operate curry and spice shops, and Nepalese children in distinctively logoed uniforms commute to and from school or play with their friends in the vicinity of Asagaya Station.

Walk inside any of the convenience stores in the area, located 10 minutes west of Shinjuku Station on JR's Chuo Line, and chances are many of the clerks will hail from Nepal.