Article by : Amalina Tajudin

       I am sure all of us know that Hari Raya Aidilfitri marks the end of Ramadhan and is an important religious day celebrated by Muslims worldwide. During Hari Raya in Malaysia, many Muslims and even non-Muslims return to their hometown or “balik kampung” to be with their families and loved ones. Also, during Hari Raya, Malaysians always break the record for hours of traffic jams on the highway every year. For me, going through the hassle is worth it because after braving the congested roads, not only that you are able to meet your long-time-no-see family members, but you can also feed your stomach with a myriad of traditional Malay delicacies such as ketupat, rendang and satay.

Those are some of the common situations in Malaysia. How about in Japan? I had collected some surveys from my friends who study in Japan about their experiences celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri in Japan for the first time. Let’s take a look…

  1. Class, seminar or test on the first day of Hari Raya.

I consider myself immensely lucky because I got the chance to celebrate my first Hari Raya in Japan with my friends at the Embassy of Malaysia in Shibuya. In countries outside Malaysia, the Embassy is the only place where you can get a variety of Malaysian food and feast like in the heaven with other Malaysians. Based on the surveys that I conducted on my friends, 60% of them got classes/exams while only 40% of them had the chance to celebrate their first Hari Raya in Japan. The 40% of them went to either the nearest mosque or their seniors’ houses. There were also students who enveloped themselves in the futon (Japanese blanket), choosing not to go anywhere. These are common situations for students as there is no special holiday to commemorate Hari Raya in Japan.

  1. Homemade food or bento (Japanese-style packed lunch) during Hari Raya.

In Japan, you will not find people selling Kuih Raya, Lemang or Rendang by the street. So here, we have to prepare the dishes by ourselves. It is actually a good experience to try cooking traditional Malay delicacies for the first time in our lives. Rendang, Nasi Minyak and Nasi Briyani are some of the famous food that Malaysian students in Japan usually cook either by using Brahim’s instant food, or herbs that can be purchased online via Baticrom shop. However, there are also students who simply eat Japanese food like Onigiri (Japanese rice ball) or buy bento from the convenience store during Hari Raya. This is due to the lack of time to make traditional food, and the need to rush to class during Hari Raya. I know it sounds pathetic but that is the reality when you live overseas far away from your family.  


                                                       Homemade traditional Malay food


  1. Unpredictable natural disaster.

Japan has been the site of some of the 10 worst natural disasters of the 21st century – tsunamis, floods, typhoons, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, among others. Japan suffers from 1500 earthquakes every year, but thus far, I have never experienced (God forbid!) any natural disasters during Hari Raya in Japan. But there was this one year when some of my friends who live outside Tokyo could not go anywhere – even to class – during Hari Raya because of the typhoon at their place. In Japan, when it comes to typhoon, usually, class will be cancelled as the trains and other public transportations cannot be operated.

                                              It was raining heavily during my first Hari Raya in Japan

  1. There’s no place like HOME.

Japan is a giant in the eyes of the world. Japanese trains are among the world’s most punctual with an average delay of just 18 seconds! Japan is also the largest automobile producer in the world. To top it off, Japan has also produced 18 Nobel Prize winners. With such sterling records, Japan is indeed an appealing  place that all of us are supposed to love, but still, all we can think about during Hari Raya is home, right? Celebrating Hari Raya, albeit in a seemingly perfect country, is not comparable to celebrating it in our hometown. Away from my hometown, there is no Hari Raya holiday and there is nowhere to go to collect “duit raya” – money given by the elderlies to the young ones during Hari Raya. Yes, I am still eligible to collect “duit raya” as I am single and a student. Aside from that, it is only in my home country that donning “Baju Kurung” is viewed perfectly normal. I still remember on the way to the Embassy, there were too many eyes staring at us as we walked in our “Baju Kurung” – the Malay traditional garment commonly seen worn during Hari Raya. It was, not to mention, awkward that we felt as if we were walking ads promoting Hari Raya in Japan. But the awkwardness subsided as soon as we caught the sight of our friends; the sheer happiness of gathering with friends made us forget about the unusual looks received. Besides, usually in Malaysia, after going to one house, we will hop to other houses before going back home by night. But here, after going to the Embassy, you only have two choices: first is to go somewhere with your friends to have fun to make up for the celebration, or second, to go back home and skype with family in Malaysia while wiping your tears away when they are not looking.

Screenshot 2016-06-30 21.48.30
                        This picture was taken before performing Solat Sunat Aidilfitri together at Embassy


Talk about miles…….

And we are far apart…….

But talk about the heart…….

And we are close together.


The Wonderlust – Kyoto

Article by: Tenten Sim

Konnichiwa! From spotting a geisha along the Gion street, the beauty of historical architecture to the most exquisite Japanese cuisine and the list goes on.

This is a city where you feel spiritually clean and sense of inner peace, in case you watch KungFu Panda haha! There are just so much things you couldn’t miss in Kyoto!

1- Visit Kinkaku-ji (The Golden Pavilion).


Opening hours: 9am-5pm

Admission fees: 400yen

Opens daily unless stated otherwise.

2-Walk like a philosopher on the Philosopher’s walk.

3-Visit the Ginkaku-ji (The Silver Pavilion)

Screenshot 2016-06-23 14.22.41
Opening hours: 8:30am-5pm (9am-4:30pm from Dec to Feb)

Admission fees: 500yen

Opens daily unless stated otherwise.

4-Be in awe of the beauty of Arashiyama
Screenshot 2016-06-23 14.22.46

Screenshot 2016-06-23 14.22.49
Screenshot 2016-06-23 14.23.00
5-Visit the famous shrine for love luck: Shimogamo Shrine


Screenshot 2016-06-23 14.23.06

Japanese couple having traditional wedding ceremony.


6-Visit Kiyomizudera and stroll along the kiyomizusaka.

Screenshot 2016-06-23 14.23.09
Japanese girls queuing up for famous cream puff in kiyomizusaka.


7-Rent a kimono, act like a geisha and then selfie in Gion old street.

Screenshot 2016-06-23 14.23.13

You can reserve your maiko session at


8-Visit Yasaka Shrine and Jishu shrine.

Screenshot 2016-06-23 14.23.19

Screenshot 2016-06-23 14.23.24

9-In Jishu shrine, walk from the love stone till the other side with your eyes closed under your friend guidance.

Screenshot 2016-06-23 14.23.27


10-Visit Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine, the famous scene in Memoirs of a Geisha.



11-Eat matcha ice-cream, matcha cream puff, everything matcha.


Screenshot 2016-06-23 14.25.04


12-Have lunch at Michelin one star Hirokawa Unagi-ya.

13-Eat all the tofu! From silk tofu, sesame tofu to tofu skin sashimi you name it.



14-Lose yourself in the sea of souvenirs.


Personal recommendation: Kyoto Baumkuchen, the perfect blend of Kyoto Uji-matcha and soymilk.


Of course Kyoto has a lot more to offer and the places above are just few of the famous spots. What are you waiting for? Let’s plan your trip to Kyoto!



Your writer,


It’s Dad’s Day

Article by: Izzati Azmi

2015-03-20 21.11.52

It’s Dad Appreciation Day. Don’t let your dad feel unappreciated, especially on father’s day. Take some time to call your dad, send him a text, snapchat him even and if he’s not here anymore, pray for him the best prayer you know. Anything goes, just let him know he matters. This is the day that being cheesy with dads are acceptable.
But if you think that was a bit too cheesy for you, maybe you could add “and can I have some more money?” because face it, Dads = $$. Also, malls do father’ day celebration discounts, and not only on Dad-stuff. (A hint for you, Abah 😉 )
Dear Dads,
For all the late nights meetings,
And all the ‘outstations’,
Being busy most of the time,
Thank you. We know you’re stressed and appreciate your hard work. We may not show it, we may even complaint about it, but we do appreciate it.

Dear Dads,
For all the rebelling that we kids do,
And all the ignorant decisions we make despite your advices,
And all the house-wrecking we did that we say we didn’t
We’re really sorry. We never meant it if we say ‘I Hate You’, and regret all the arguments we’ve had. Despite all the bad things we say/do, we love you nonetheless (please don’t disown me).

And Dear Dads,
Despite the tacky clothes and the same style that you never change,
Despite the embarrassing act you do publicly,
Despite you forgetting our birthdays (we know you’d only knew because of Mum),
Despite the classic TV shows that everyone except you watches and we had no control of the remote..because..superiority.
And despite when you said “My little girl has grown up. When did this happened?”.
I Love You. Please, never change (piggyback me around the house again, please). And please keep doing those embarrassing acts, because you’re the only person, we’d hate to admit it but, do it best and we like it (and mum too).

And finally, an advice to young dads out there. How do you know if you’re ‘dad’ enough? Heres’ how:

Why, puasa?

Why, puasa?
Article by: Ruiz Asri

Well, why?
Simon Sinek, in his TEDTalk video which has received an outstanding 27 million views on TED’s website (https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action) – that makes it the 3rd most watched video on TED, introduces a simple yet powerful rule which he calls “The Golden Circle”. In short, Sinek argues that in all human endeavor, the “Why”of that effort is most important, even more so than the “How” and “What” of that effort.

Extending this thought, an important question that begs to be answered in this month of Ramadhan is: Why fast?

I am pretty convinced that most people, in the Malaysian muslim context at least, can tell you WHAT is fasting, and HOW to do it. One question, however, is seldom asked; and it may just be one of the more important questions to ask: why fast?

Now, I have to clarify that my question is NOT to ask Muslims why they fast during Ramadhan. I believe that your Muslim friends will be helpful to tell you that Ramadhan is the month during which the Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad. It was commanded by Allah via the Quranic verses (Surah Al Baqarah 2:183), that Muslims ought fast during the month of Ramadhan. This explicit commandment by Allah, by a matter of faith acts sufficient as the logical reasoning behind why Muslims fast during this month.

My question, instead, is: why the act of fasting?

Why did not God decree that Muslims should do something else?
Why not command that Muslims pray 10 times a day in addition to their five daily prayers?
Why not meditation? Why not volunteer work?
Of all the things that God could command Muslims to do, He chose “fasting”.

So, once again – why fast?

When you are fasting, especially under this summer heat and humidity, the hunger that clutches onto you is a bold presence that demands your attention. Every time you swallow your saliva, thirst introduces itself even more harshly that the previous time. It does not matter who you are – Hunger and Thirst do not discriminate, and this pair is persistent in telling your biology to drink and eat up.

But for those who fast, despite your body scolding you to stop starving yourself from food and water, despite your dire urges to fulfil the basic of your survivalistic needs – you keep it under control.

“No, stop. Not till sunset.”

That is you telling yourself to shut up, and be patient. That is you exercising your will to overcome your urges and cravings. There is this “willpower” inside you that undergoes training when you fast. The more you train this “willpower” of yours, the stronger it grows. When the time comes where you are challenged to will yourself to do what is difficult but morally right, to fight your desires and act righteously; that is when this “training” will prove you useful.

The toughest of our Malaysian soldiers (e.g. Special Forces Malaysia Commando GGK

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9KULN_KYfw) are built by undergoing strenous training regimes under gruelling conditions. For these soldiers, their training programs are essential to enhance their physical ability and hone their mental endurance for the battlefield. They undergo such rigorous exercises so that when their call of duty arrives, they will be up to face the challenge.

As how a standard of physical and mental ability is demanded of Malaysian soldiers, it would seem that God too has raised the bar for Muslims and set a higher level of “willpower” requirement for Muslims. Fasting for a whole month? It seems to me like Muslims have a “willpower” training regime built in their religion.

But that IS the point of fasting.
That is the WHY of fasting.

I have come to reason, and to believe, that fasting was decreed for Muslims in order to enhance the individual’s willpower. Within that one month of fasting, you diligently train your willpower to become stronger, so that during difficult times ahead and when challenges come to face you, you will be able push yourself to do what is right, to do what is best.

Noone wants to control what they eat, and rather just eat ice cream all the time – but it is important to maintain your health.
Noone desires to study textbooks, and rather just play games all day – but that is how you hone your knowledge.
Noone likes to go to break their sweat for work, and rather just get easy money – but that is the way to earn an honest living.

If you are capable of blocking your wants, and denying yourself even the most fundamental of your needs, using your willpower to bend your actions in the right direction; you are among those who have strong willpower. And from what I have come to known, “strong willpower” is what winners and heroes are made of.

“The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights”- Muhammad Ali

Quoting the legend in boxing, I believe that many would agree with his words that training is such a vital part in preparing for any fight. Your training will determine your winning or losing of the fights to come. And of all the fights to prepare for, what other fight is more important than the fight against your own self-will?

So fight, fast.


1) Ramadan in Allah’s Words – How to Approach Ramadan – Nouman Ali Khan


2) Start with why — how great leaders inspire action | Simon Sinek | TEDxPugetSound


3)  Special Forces Malaysia Commando GGK – History Channel Documentary


Mother’s Day Rant

Mother’s Day Rant

Written By: Mark Lani

As a Masters student in Japan, I spend more time outside than in class (Not a good example). So I get to go shopping and stroll around town looking for ideas when there is nobody around (Best time to go shopping). During my usual routine, there would be other students, the elderly and women. To be a bit more detailed, mothers. Today, I’d like to talk about my observation of mothers in Japan.

Japanese mothers always bring their children, usually one or two everywhere they go to. Typically, they will carry the younger ones in baby carriers and the older child will walk by themselves or in strollers. Basically, they have their hands full just taking care of their children. However, this doesn’t stop them from being the home maker, buying all the necessities of their homes and making sure that it is nice and tidy.

In Japan, specifically Tokyo, people do not drive cars to get from one point to another. Bicycle is the main transportation apart from the trains and busses. And mothers, they have to buy groceries almost every day while also bringing their children along. Imagine this: if you weigh around 150 pounds and the groceries you are carrying totals the weight around 170 pounds, it doesn’t seem that much right? Now add one or two kids in the equation and the total weight will probably be around 200-250 pounds. It is ridiculously hard to cycle with that weight. Even balancing the bicycle is hard enough. Without a powered bicycle, it would equal to a daily workout.

One day when I was walking back from class, I saw a mother whose daughter was throwing a tantrum by the sidewalk. She didn’t want to get on the bicycle to go home. The lady also had a son who was diligently trying to get on the bicycle without her help, which was pretty dangerous. She had to deal with two situations at once. However, being an amazing mother that she is, she single handedly managed to calm her daughter while also protecting her son from hurting himself. If you think you’re good at multi tasking, think again.

I am only talking about the situation in Japan since I get to see and observe these instances first hand. But I’m sure in Malaysia, or everywhere around the world, super moms exist! Mothers who are full time housewives and working mothers alike are amazing people. Making sure that the family receives love and care and ensuring that the house is maintained. It would not be too much to say that they are super humans.

I would like for everyone to always appreciate your mothers because of their effort to help you grow from a noisy and irritating child to a responsible and matured adult. If you ever think that your mother has not done anything for you, think again. Look at their wrinkled and bruised hands to understand. Makeup only covers the wrinkles on their face, but not the bruises on their hands and in their heart.

Appreciate and love your mother while you still can. Happy Mother’s Day!

Picture: Me and my mom at the Tokyo Camii Mosque

Picture: Me and my mom at the Tokyo Camii Mosque

P/S: I purposely did not write about dads here. Wait for it in another post!




Written by: Janice Koh Kar Oon.


Looking for really delicious bubble tea, missing “daufufa,” or simply looking for a

comfortable place to hang? Take a visit to “Chun Shui Tang” (春水堂), in Daikanyama.

Bubble tea (also known as pearl milk tea, 珍珠奶茶, or 波’霸奶茶) is a Taiwanese tea-

based drink invented in Taichung in the 1980s, by believe or not, from “Chun Shui

Tang”, Taichung. This shop was also in fact, the first to serve iced tea.

The words “Chun Shui,” translates to spring water, whereas, “Tang” refers a hall or

room, where in the old days was used to welcome friends and other guests. Hence, the

idea of “Chun Shui Tang” is to “use the finest waters to entertain honored guests.

Beginning from Taichung in Taiwan, the bubble tea drink has come to occupy almost

every corner in Taiwan, and has spread abroad to many countries around the world

including Malaysia and Japan.

Having visited the original store in Taichung, I found that the taste, quality, and

ambience of the third branch of “Chun Shui Tang” to be open outside of Taiwan, in

Daikanyama, to be pleasantly similar to the original. The shop gives off a traditional

Taiwanese atmosphere with soft classical Taiwanese background music playing from

the speakers, warm wooden furniture, and the nostalgic interior design of the shop.

Besides milk bubble tea, the shop boast a variety of drinks, and has many other savory

items on its menu, such as “Daufufa” (豆腐花), “Tangyuan” (湯圓), and Taiwanese

noodles, which will give you a very hard time to decide on what to order. The place is

pretty accessible, and also a great place to hang or to work, as they provide free Wi-Fi

to guests. The place is often crowded on weekends, and sometimes during dinner time

on some weekdays.

Yummy Tangyuan and Daufufa!

Yummy Tangyuan and Daufufa!

Chilling at ChunShuiTang                                                                        Takeout Bubbletea is available too!

Chilling at ChunShuiTang Takeout Bubbletea is available too!

Beef noodles (牛肉面)and ZhaJiangMian (炸酱面) set meals that come with a drink and mini daufufa!

Beef noodles (牛肉面)and ZhaJiangMian (炸酱面) set meals that come with a drink and mini daufufa!

Do make a trip here, when you can. This place will be bound to leave a good impression, both for bubble tea lovers, Taiwan food fanatics, and for first timers. Have a nice Cha-Time!! 😀  

Ps. There are other branches of “Chun Shui Tang” (春水堂) in Tokyo and you can find them at this link. (Link in Japanese) http://www.chunshuitang.jp/shop/

If you are looking for more places to find bubble tea in Japan, check out this link.   

Tolong bungkus Milk Bubble Tea untuk saya. 😀

A Malaysian Hanami 2016

hanami photo

What do you do during Spring in Japan?

Yep, you guessed it right, you go look for blooming Sakuras and hang out with friends while enjoying the flowers!

As usual, with the aim of uniting Malaysians across Japan, MSAJ held the annual Hanami (Sakura Viewing) event on the 2nd of April 2016.


Picture from left: MSAJ, KULN Tokyo, IPIJ, MSATU

What’s new about the Hanami event organized this year? We collaborated with Ikatan Persaudaraan Islam Jepun (IPIJ), Kelab Umno Luar Negara Tokyo (KULN Tokyo) and the Malaysian Student Association at Tokyo University (MSATU) ! The collaboration was a successful innovation.

We managed to get a large number of people to attend this event due to the collaboration made. The attendees include students from various universities, shakaijins (working people) and officials from the embassy!


Bunch of people trying to talk with Encik Ghani, JPA official

Picture: Bunch of people trying to talk with Encik Ghani, JPA official


It was an enjoyable day with everyone happily engaged in conversations. There were also nasi lemak and some kuih prepared kindly by KULN Tokyo! Since it was so good, we almost ran out of food! It became hard to manage the crowd towards the end of the day, but it was worth it because everyone just seemed to be caught in the moment connecting with each other.

MSAJ would like to thank our collaborators KULN, IPIJ and MSATU for such a successful event. We also look forward to have future collaborations with other organizations in the spirit of unity!

P/s: Check out the photos on Instagram and Facebook with #malaysianhanami2016 for the photography competition held on that day

Picture: The MSAJ team

Picture: The MSAJ team


Introduction of KAYA post

kaya post pic

“Boss! Kopi satu, roti kaya dua, dan satu telur separuh masak !”

“Makan sini atau mau tapau?”

A typical Malaysian breakfast is the perfect combination to start your ordinary morning, extraordinarily. Malaysians who are staying in Japan may find it hard impossible to have this kind of breakfast but hey, let’s キックスタート! the day together by sharing the sweetness and crunchiness of thoughts by our fellow Zai-Nichi-Malaysians.


Allow us to introduce our new: “Kaya Post”.

Rather than calling it simply a “bulletin”, an “article” or a “report”, “Kaya Post” is here for the purpose of sharing, expressing and voice out the minds and hearts of Malaysians who have had their share of experience here in Japan.

Just like how we believe that everyone should have a taste of Kaya, we believe that those on the net ought have a taste of our “Kaya Post”!


Through Kaya Post, interesting stories of our events, wonderful experiences will be shared here !

Stay tuned with MSAJ and we hope our little story will bring you a little joyness and some food for thought !


Have any comments/questions about this initiative? Please share your thoughts via our contact form: http://www.msaj.net/contact-us/

(Picture source : google)

Malaysian Food in Japan: Malay Asian Cuisine

Dear Malaysian students in Japan, when was the last time you tasted original locally made Malaysian food?? We believe that many Malaysian students who are studying here in Japan miss our local Malaysia food very much!!

Unlike Thailand/Vietnam/Korean food, Malaysian Restaurants are so scarce and limited in the Tokyo Area. Whenever we crave for Malaysia Food, what we can mostly do is to cook for ourselves with the spices/flavorings that we brought from our homeland, Malaysia (I can only cook Maggie Mee Ayam at home T.T )

So, the Web System Crew of MSAJ is planning to write a comprehensive guide of Malaysian Food around Tokyo Area. Today, the first Malaysian Restaurant we wanna introduce you is … Tadaaa ~

Original Local Malaysian taste at Malay Asian Cuisine @ Shibuya!
Malay Asian Cuisine

Malay Asian Cuisine Website
Malay Asian Cuisine Facebook

Unlike the typical (the traditional kampong style like straw mats, bamboo chairs, emphasizing on the nature of Malaysia) , Malay Asian Cuisine’s interior is rather similar to the modern Izakaya style which is very comfortable .

DSC01236 DSC01237Interior of Malay Asian Cuisine: Modern Relaxing Style

Ok let’s not waste time, let’s look at what kind of Malaysian food that Malay Asia Cuisine offer:
DSC01246Malaysian Asian Cuisine’s temporary menu (when MSAJ crew visited) You can see the prices are totally affordable for students <3 (well, of course it cost more if you order drinks)

Food recommendations by the shop manager, Joe

The traditional Ayam Rendang that Malaysian mothers like to cook

Also our all-time favorite –The Black Pepper Beef <3


This Roti Canai is really ALIKE with the ones we can eat at Malaysia


Not to forget some Chinese food, Roast Chicken (p/s: instead of the meat, the chili sauce is the essential point of the whole dish!!)DSC01262
After the delicious main dishes, not to forget their homemade taste, Pandan Cake!!
DSC01263Are you starving already??

MSAJ Crews overall review of the dining experience at Malay Asian Cuisine :

1) Authentic Original Taste of Malaysian Food
The MSAJ web system crew was really delighted and touched when we tasted the food! The food they served really tasted like the taste of homeland food. Almost no difference and some even tasted better than the food we can get at Malaysia. If you want to introduce your friends from other countries of what REAL Malaysian food is, or sometimes when you crave for original Malaysian food but have nowhere else to go, Malay Asian Cuisine is definitely the best place to visit ♡ I personally like the roti canai (well, the portion was inadequate though)

2) Serves some rare Malaysian Dishes
Beside serving some mainstream dishes such as Nasi Goreng , Nasi Lemak , Sate etc… Malay Asian Cusine also provides many quite a number of unique dishes such as Roast Duck, Satay Rendang Pizza( Wow this doesn’t even exist in Malaysia), Paper chicken (The one we can find in Pasar Malam), Pulut Panggang etc.. How about trying new Malaysian food outside of Malaysia?

3) Spacious and clean: Comfortable atmosphere for a whole night long
Malaysia Asian Cuisine is a restaurant newly opened in January 2014. Its concept and interior is quite modern. For me, it is quite suitable for people to gather and chit chat for the whole night long. It is also very spacious, so you can enter the restaurant with a whole gang of friends without worrying about insufficient seats (of course it’s better to call and reserve your seats beforehand)

MSAJ Overall Review  ( 5 stars max)

Taste of Food ★★★★
Originality of Food ★★★★★
Food Portion ★★★
Price ★★★
Atmosphere ★★★★

DSC01277Not forget to mention that all food served in Malaysian Asian Cuisine is HALAL!!

That’s all for our first review on dining at Malaysian Food Restaurants in Tokyo!! We hope you find this post useful for you!!
Stay tuned for our next review on other Malaysian restaurants that you can find around Tokyo Area!!

Prepared by,
MSAJ Web System Crew
Fish & Chen Zhun

DSC01258 DSC01279