Let me introduce the only Halal shabu-shabu restaurant in Tokyo. Over 1,000 Muslims dine at this restaurant every year! This authentic shabu-shabu restaurant, which uses real Wagyu (Japanese beef) from Miyazaki Prefecture, is located just a one minute walk from JR Shibuya Station. I interviewed Mr. Koyama, the manager of “Hanasaka Jiisan” which takes its name from the famous Japanese tale.
What inspired you to start serving Halal shabu-shabu?
About three years ago I received requests from customers who wanted to “entertain Muslim clients” at the restaurant. Although we still receive patrons who are entertaining their Muslim clients, we have also had a large number of tourists visit recently.
How do your Muslim customers find out about the restaurant?
It seems as though they search the Internet or are told about us by travel agents. The other day a large group of Muslim customers arrived by bus.
Do you have any distinctive flavoring?
We provide a richer flavor than most Japanese customers are accustomed to, however we are also conscious that many people don’t like a salty taste. We give our dishes a bit of spice by sprinkling them with chili.
What dishes are popular with your customers?
Of course our famous Wagyu shabu-shabu is popular. Many of our customers also like sashimi.
Did you have any troubles acquiring Halal certification?
Creating the menu. I devised the menu in consultation with an Halal certification organization.
What kind of requests do you receive from customers?
The most common request is to expand the menu. At present we primarily serve set meals, however customers have requested greater à la carte options.
To get to Hanasaka Jiisan, go left out the JR Shibuya Station south exit and cross the footbridge heading towards Sakuragaokacho. After crossing the bridge, the building photographed below will come into view ahead of a gentle downhill slope. You should be able to see the sign in front of the building.