With hoodies and scarves covering their heads, a group of Japanese high school students point and whisper in awe upon entering the main hall of Tokyo Camii as Muslim worshippers prostrate beneath a glittering dome set against a bright sky.

Located just five minutes from Yoyogi-Uehara Station in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward, Tokyo Camii welcomes hundreds of visitors weekly as Japan's largest congregational mosque. The spectacular Ottoman-styled building can hold up to 1,200 people at a time and includes a Turkish cultural center for social gatherings.

Although there are more than 80 mosques in Japan (with 10 based in Tokyo), Islamic culture remains rather unfamiliar to many people in Japan. Furthermore, as in other countries, Islam tends to get a lot of negative press due to problems with extremist groups and religious fundamentalists. Despite this, Tokyo Camii spokesperson Shigeru Shimoyama says he has noticed a growing curiosity about Islam thanks to the influx of tourists from Muslim countries visiting and, sometimes, moving here.