This is a journey to meet a person with whom I have been talking for around 9 years over phone, but never met. He is Yusuf Ikka from Thalassery, Kerala and he runs an Indian Grocery store in Japan; the only Indian grocery store run by a Malayalee or Keralite. His shop name is Nasco and they provide Halal food for Muslims in Japan. Its a great feeling to be able to shop your grocery in your mother tongue.
Nasco have shops in Shinjuku and Gunma ken in Japan. Shinjuku shop is near to Shin-Okubo JR station. Walk a few steps in the street against the Shin-Okubo station and in the corner we see Nasco shops. Shops usually opens at 11:00 AM. You will see Malayalees and other Asian and African people in the shop.
Store is organized in Kerala style and someone from Kerala will quickly feel at home with the ambience of the store and the products in the rack. You will see all kinds of spices, meat, dried grains, beans etc.
Yusuf Ikka`s shop is a little away from the corner and he even stores raw banana along with all spices, other products etc.
You can call and place the order or order online. See home page below:-
Yusuf Ikka`s family started business 32 years ago and Yusuf Ikka himself started his part in Japan about 20 years ago. Business was started with a vision to provide Halal food across Japan. Nasco have their own Halal meat preparation centre. Nasco beef is the best fresh beef I have ever had in Japan.
Nasco runs a food court/restaurant, Kebab shop etc near to these shops. Restaurant serves Thalassery dum biriyani which is very popular in Kerala. Though the Biriyani is a little less spicy than the average Kerala standard, it really gives that native taste and flavor of the dish. There are other interesting dishes also.
Around the street corner, there are other Halal shops available which makes the street a little crowded by Asian and African people who are living in Japan. There is a fresh fish shop also which is interesting with the variety of fishes they have in the shop.
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