Cerita Jepang, Islam
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Trade-off between Kamejima Station and Honjin for Reaching Nagoya Mosque

Featured Image Nagoya Mosque

Abstract. Nagoya mosque is located almost in the exact middle between Kamejima-station and Honjin station. Many people thought that Honjin-station is the nearest and thus the most convenient station to get off from and on to the city subway. Challenging this idea, we measure the travel time taken from both stations. Both stations is comparable in walking time. Finally, we argue that actually Kamejima-station is the better access for Nagoya mosque, considering topology, terrain, train schedule, and also the travel time itself.

Albadr Lutan Nasution (m.ln.albadr[at]gmail.com)

1. Background

The center of Islamic activity in Nagoya city is undoubtedly the Nagoya Muslim Mosque, located between Kamejima and Honjin station on Higashiyama Line in Nakamura-ku. It is the only mosque in Nagoya city center. Established in 1937, this mosque actually predates the city subway itself, even though current building are rebuilt in 1998 after the original mosque burnt down by US raid on World War II [1]. As redundant as it seems, the phrase “muslim mosque” in the mosque’s name may serve as disambiguation to other mosque in Nagoya city that not exactly fit as “Muslim”, i.e. Ahmadiyya etc. Though, it may be only the author’s bias and falls outside of the scope of this paper.

Being a new resident of Nagoya city and a muslim, the author will have to travel to the Nagoya Muslim Mosque frequently. Especially in Ramadan, maybe it will be almost everyday. The most convenient is public transportation notably Nagoya municipal subway. The muslim resident of and traveler to Nagoya is quite lucky, because the mosque is only one or two stations after the city center, Nagoya station.

Figure 1. Higashiyama Line.png

Figure 1. Position of Nagoya Mosque on Higashiyama Line

The subway station topology of Higashiyama Line from Nagoya station until Honjin station is presented in Figure 1. We can see that the Nagoya mosque is only one station away if we get off at Kamejima station and two stations away at Honjin station. Selecting between these two stations for hub to reach the mosque is the main concern of this paper.

The main motivation of this “research” is for author’s convenient. As the author travel to the mosque frequently, optimizing this travel will be very helpful in the long run. At the very least, this is simply a matter of curiosity and habit for him. For example, in the first month residing in Nagoya, the author took many different bicycle routes to go to work in order to find all possible paths. Thus, in the instance of a path is blocked due to traffic light, the author can immediately switch to the other path in which the traffic light is green. On the grand, it will improve the travel time to work tremendously.

2. General Consensus

It seems that there is a general consensus regarding the matter of which station is nearest to the Nagoya Muslim Mosque. This can be seen in the Figure 2 and most of maps available online. The author also observe that most worshippers will take the Honjin station to travel to and from the mosque.

Maps Kamejima-Honjin.PNG

Figure 2. Honjin station (left), Nagoya mosque (middle), and Kamejima station (right) on Wikimapia map [2]. North side is in the top.

Challenging this notion, the author tries to measure the walking distance and time from Nagoya mosque to both stations. The distance measurement can be done simply by Google map. The walking time (and possibly distance) can be measured by directly visiting and walking along the routes. The estimation is presented in the Table 1. This measurement is taken from the entrance of the mosque until the nearest entrance of both stations.

Table 1. Distance and time from Nagoya Muslim Mosque to nearest station entrances

Route to mosque Distance Walking Time
Kamejima 4th Entrance 443 meter around 6 min
Honjin 3th Entrance 337 meter around 4 min

From the Table 1, it is clear that Honjin station is the nearest station from Nagoya mosque and thus the general consensus to use this station for travel hub has a reason.

3. Further Measurement

The rest of this paper will assume the same constrain as the author for traveling to the mosque, which is the travel is to and from Nagoya station side or east side not Nakamura-ku side or the west side. This assumption probably hold for most muslim residing in Nagoya city.

In order to make fair judgement upon that assumption, the author then measure the travel distance to Nagoya mosque both using Kamejima station and using Honjin station from the platform of Kamejima station.

Therefore, if we choose Kamejima station as hub, the author will get off the train in Kamejima station, start the timer, exit the station using entrance 4th, and the walk eastward to Nagoya mosque.

Choosing Honjin station as hub, the author will NOT get off the train on Kamejima station. Instead, the author will start the timer approximately as the train depart from Kamejima station, then get off on Honjin station, exit using Honjin station entrance 3th, and walk westward to Nagoya mosque.

The measurement is done thrice. The average results are presented in Table 3. As a supporting evidence, video of each experiment is presented on Figure 3 and 4. The video is the same rate as recording, therefore the seeker’s elapsed time can be used as measurement time for this experiment.

Table 2. Time measurement of getting off at Kamejima station or Honjin station

Route to mosque Travel Time
Platform – Kamejima station 4th Entrance – mosque 7 min 23 s
Platrorm – Honjin station 3th Enrance – mosque 7 min 21 s

Figure 3. Kamejima station as hub

4. Discussion

We can see on Table 3 that actually the travel time are comparable for both hubs. The difference between travel time for the three experiments are not exceeded 30 seconds. The train’s travel time from Kamejima to Honjin is exactly* 1 min 30 seconds. Taking this travel time and not only walking time into account, this result may serve as evidence that it does not matter which station to choose to get off from.

*by “exactly” I mean to the last second

The variance of this travel time mainly because of the existence of big junction on the Kamejima station route, as we can see in Figure 2. This is probably the other reason that most people choose to get off in Honjin instead of Kamejima, as waiting the traffic light can be perceived to lengthen the travel distance and time to the mosque. In the experiments, the author blocked with the big junction’s traffic light twice. However, it takes only around maximum 30 seconds. When we are lucky to get the green light, we actually can arrive at the mosque faster than getting off from Honjin station.

The terrain inside both stations are also notable to mention. Honjin station has a complex terrain from the 3th Entrance. We have to descend very long stairs and then ascend another stairs again. We can see this on video on Figure 4 .Contrary to it, Kamejima station has very simple terrain. The platform gate can be found right after descending the first stairs from the entrance. Not to mention that there is an elevator on Kamejima station which is not exist on Honjin station.

Figure 4. Honjin station as hub

Travel time between the two station can also become a concern. In the case of going home and catching a train, choosing Kamejima station may be much better. Because that means that we can have the advantage of spare time around 1 minute and 30 seconds for waiting the train. An experienced traveler by train in Japan may realize that this is a tremendous amount of time.

5. Conclusion

We presented some evidence that getting off from Kamejima station to reach Nagoya mosque and conversely getting on Kamejima station to go home from the mosque is way better than Honjin station. This strips the general consensus that Honjin station is nearer to the mosque and thus more convenient.

The travel time itself, including train travel time, walking time, and waiting the traffic light time are comparable. However, considering many other variables such as topology, terrain, and time schedule, Kamejima station is the better choice.

Reference

[1] Nagoya mosque history (URL: en.nagoyamosque.com/nagoyamosque/history)
[2] Wikimapia Map – 名古屋モスク (URL: wikimapia.org/2130855/ja/名古屋モスク)

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