Customer shops Camp Zama gift store
Cathy Bischof browses authentic Japanese items at Camp Zama's East Meets West gift shop, one of 10 U.S. Army Japan facilities that were voted "Best of the Pacific" in an online poll conducted annually by the Pacific edition of Stars and Stripes.

CAMP ZAMA, Japan, Oct. 24, 2011 -- Ten mainland U.S. Army Japan facilities were voted "Best of the Pacific" in an annual online poll conducted by the regional edition of the Stars and Stripes newspaper.

Included in the results, released as an insert with the publication on Sept. 30, were both repeat and first-time honorees from Camp Zama. Voters also selected their favorites in Okinawa, Korea and Guam.

A big winner was Camp Zama's Morale, Welfare and Recreation Division. Five facilities here won in their respective categories, including Best Golf Course, Bowling Alley, Fitness Center, Outdoor Recreation, and overall "Other" Facility.

The Camp Zama Golf Course received 50 percent of the votes in its category -- a tremendous showing of appreciation from the customers, said manager Dale Jorgenson.

"I've got a great staff and they work really hard, so it's nice that I can show them that the customers appreciate what we do," he said. "First and foremost, we strive to be customer friendly. All of our rules are designed to take care of the customer."

The 18 lanes at the Camp Zama Bowling Center, combined with a retro ambiance and "the best lumpia in town" helped to earn the facility the honor this year, said the food outlet manager there.

"My employees work very hard to provide the best service to our community," said Gemma Takeda. "The people in this community feel comfortable when they spend time with their families here. It's a big honor for us to be voted the best bowling facility in Japan."

Camp Zama's joint Exchange and shoppette both won in their respective small-division categories. This marks the second time in three years the shoppette has received the honor, and the Exchange has never lost in the history of the poll.

"To be voted as the best shoppette, especially on mainland Japan, was a big honor because we're such a small Exchange versus Yokota (Air base) and even Misawa (Air base)," said Camp Zama Exchange General Manager Shirley Huth. "We try to meet the customers' needs and listen to them, and I think this win is a reflection of that."

"Because we are a smaller store, it's very easy to interact with our customers than in a larger Exchange," added Huth. "With Camp Zama being such a small installation, there is a small community that makes it easy to talk to our customers. We're going to continue to improve."

The East Meets West and Oriental Bazaar here won in the Best Shop Category, a first for the former establishment. Run by members of the Zama Community Spouses Association, East Meets West offers a wide variety of authentic Japanese gifts and souvenirs at affordable prices.

"I felt extremely honored that the voters chose us as the best, because there are a lot of other options for vintage Japanese items out there," said manager Louise Clutter. "We just want our customers to have the option to get authentic Japanese gifts here on Zama, so they don't have to run all over Japan to find them."

ABOUT U.S. ARMY GARRISON JAPAN

The United States Army Garrison Japan and its 16 supported installation sites are located in the island of Honshu and Okinawa in Japan. The USAG Japan mission is to support the Headquarters, U.S. Army Japan / I Corps (Fwd) to ensure mission readiness and the quality of life of the Army community in a sustainable, transforming joint and combined environment.

The USAG-J area of responsibility spans 1,500 miles from north to south of Japan. Camp Zama, home for both HQ USARJ and USAG-J is located approximately 25 miles southwest of Tokyo in the cities of Zama and Sagamihara in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. The Camp Zama base cluster includes Sagamihara Housing Area and Sagami General Depot.

Akasaka Press Center is located in the center of Tokyo. The Akizuki/Kure area near Hiroshima is an ammunition depot. Yokohama North Dock is a port facility in the city of Yokohama, a major commerce port and a popular shopping area. USAG Torii Station is located 980 miles southwest of Camp Zama on the island of Okinawa.

We are the Army's home in Japan and the "Garrison of Choice" for Soldiers, Civilians and their Family members. We are committed in becoming the leader in the U.S. Army Installation Management Command by providing world-class installation services.

To learn more about USAG Japan, please visit:

Official Website - http://www.usagj.jp.pac.army.mil

Torii Online - http://www.torii.army.mil

Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/usagj

Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/usagj

YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/usagjapan

Vimeo - http://www.vimeo.com/usagj

Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/usagjapan

Slideshare - http://www.slideshare.net/usagjapan

USARJ This Week on YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/usarjthisweek

Page last updated Wed October 26th, 2011 at 08:23