Try tasty shabu-shabu at Shuisha-en near Camp Zama

Photo by Takahiro Takiguchi
Photo by Takahiro Takiguchi

Try tasty shabu-shabu at Shuisha-en near Camp Zama

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

If you are located on Camp Zama or the Sagami Housing Area and are looking to splurge on a high-end restaurant with gorgeous dishes and a great atmosphere, Suisha-en has you covered.

A quick drive from SHA (5 minutes) and Camp Zama (10), Suisha-en is known as a great place for tasty Japanese dishes in a traditional Japanese setting.

The shop’s name, Suisha-en, literally means waterwheel garden, welcoming guests at the entrance is just that, a large wooden waterwheel.

This eatery has been a favorite of commanders and executive officers of Camp Zama since its opening in 1964. Letters of appreciation from USAGJ Commanders hang at the entrance, showcasing their unforgettable dining experiences.

Suisha-en specializes in shabu-shabu, a popular Japanese hotpot dish featuring thinly sliced meat and vegetables boiled individually at the table and eaten with various dipping sauces.

Dipped slightly into boiling broth, the prime beef has a smooth fatty texture and rich flavor, according to Keiko Nomura, the restaurant owner.

Suisha-en uses Yamagatagyu, one of Japan’s most prestigious wagyu beef brands, for their dishes.

“The beef dishes at Suisha-en are excellent,” says Fritz Suga, Zama district manager of Stars and Stripes. “The eatery has continued serving its original homemade sesame sauce since they opened, and it goes along with the tasty meat.”

Sukiyaki (a slightly sweet and savory beef and veggie stew), another hotpot dish, is popular with a lot of Americans, according to Nomura.

You can enjoy these high-end dishes in a quiet, traditional setting, as all customers eat in their own private room - some with a view of the beautiful courtyard.

“You can enjoy a meal while appreciating the beauty of the garden,” Suga said. “They are even more beautiful in the evening when the garden is lit up.”

After finishing your meal, the second floor of the eatery has a collection of various armors, swords and old guns (Western and Japanese) on display for viewing.

Both shabu-shabu and sukiyaki sets are 5,500 yen ($55)

Reservations are a must, as all the guest rooms are assigned depending on the number of customers; the eatery can accommodate 150 customers.

Visit this popular Japanese restaurant and you will see what splurging really means. 


Open: Wed. – Mon., 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5-9:30 p.m.
Location: 2-22-9 Sagamidai, Minami-ku, Sagamihara City, Kanagawa Prefecture (7-minute walk from Sagamihara Station of Odakyu-Line)
Tel: 042-744-1430

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