JR East to set up prayer room at Tokyo Station


East Japan Railway Co. will install a prayer room at Tokyo Station in response to an increase in Muslim visitors to Japan, mainly from Southeast Asian nations.

The prayer room, with a floor space of about 8 sq. meters, will be launched on June 5 and can be used by about two people at a time, the company said Tuesday.

It will be the first prayer room at a train station in Japan. Currently, some airports and station buildings have such facilities.

Located at the JR East Travel Service Center outside the ticket gates at Tokyo Station’s Marunouchi North Exit, the prayer room also has a facility for users to wash their hands and feet.

Adherents of religions other than Islam can also use the room, which will be available from 8:30 a.m. every day. It will be closed at 7 p.m. on weekdays and at 5 p.m. on Saturdays and holidays, including Sundays.

Tokyo Station is one of the biggest train stations in the capital, accommodating the Tohoku, Joetsu and other shinkansen lines as well as commuter routes including the Yamanote and Chuo lines.

JR East also said that space for luggage to be secured inside the passenger cabins of the Tohoku, Hokkaido and Akita shinkansen trains will be phased in from July 1.

Luggage space inside the passenger cabins have already been made available on Hokuriku Shinkansen trains.