Category Archives: MoriTown-area restaurants

Daruma Doll Festival-Haijimadaishi Temple

Looking for a fun New Year’s activity? Look no further than the Daruma Doll Festival, in nearby Akishima. A visit to a shrine, within the first few days of the new year, is  very important aspect of Japanese culture, known as hatsumode.
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The lines to get to the front of the shrine will be very long,  but we bypassed the line and had a great time wandering the festival. Daruma is a good luck doll for the upcoming year. You buy a new Daruma doll each year (there were many to choose from of all sizes), and color in one eye when you make your wish. If your wish comes true during the year, you color in the other eye.2015-01-02 13.57.15
You bring last year’s Daruma to throw in the fire, which is part of the Japanese approach to the new year, “out with the old, in with the new”.
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Also look for the kabura-ya, or arrow with a “turnip” shaped tip, for a fun souvenir. These are modeled after arrows that the samurai used, to attach messages to and shoot them into a fortress or other enclosure. Now, they are sold at Shinto shrines at the new year, as protection from evil spirits.
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Of course, as with all Japanese festivals, there will also be FOOD! There were many vendor stalls set up selling your favorite Japanese street food; yakisoba, yakiniku, takoyaki, etc.2015-01-02 13.50.28

The festival is held at the Haijima Daishi temple every year on January 2nd and 3rd. Parking is extremely limited. The website recommends taking the train, closest station is Akishima station (which is the Moritown station), then it is about a 20 minute walk from Akishima station. Jamie Cowan, December 2015

Website:http://haijimadaishi.com/daruma-ichi/
Hours: 0900-1600, January 2nd and 3rd.
GPS to the shrine: 35.7056997,139.3449119

MoriPark Outdoor Village

MoriParkNear Akishima Station, only a 5 minute drive out the East Gate, is a huge “Outdoor Village” where you will find shops, food, and outdoorsy activities. Take a right out the East Gate and head towards MoriTown Mall.

Shops include Jack Wolfskin, Columbia, Mont-Bell, The North Face, Solomon, Coleman, Mountain Hardware and more. Many of the shops have boutique restaurants serving coffee and lunch.

There’s a giant rock climbing wall and a small man-made pond where people were testing out kayaks. And there were tents set up everywhere, for people to crawl around in. When I was there on a Saturday, there was a giant “convention center”-like space that had an open market, with local vendors selling fruits and vegetables. There were children driving around miniature Segways.

MoriPark2The website for the outdoor village is: http://outdoorvillage.tokyo. The hours are 11:00-20:00 on weekdays and 10:00-20:00 on weekends. GPS: 35.716617, 139.361475. It’s right next to the Harley Davidson Shop. There was parking nearby, you may have to pay.

I wasn’t able to do a ton of research, but there was a place called Play (a part of the village), which has an indoor and outdoor climbing gym, and yoga studio. The phone number is 042-541-3223. Please share any information you might have in the comments below. Michelle Nexon, July 2015.

Sherlock Holmes: Steak Restaurant

SH8Sherlock Holmes is steak and hamburger-steak restaurant where the meat is initially prepared in the kitchen, then brought out on a very hot skillet. The cook places the skillet on a wood setting and continues to prepare it to your specification. Be sure to hold up a napkin to prevent the meat from splattering on your clothes.

SH6There is an English menu which lists several choices of meat and sauces. The lunch menu ranges from ¥1500 to ¥2000 and includes the entrée, potato and vegies, soup, rice or bread, and a drink. For dinner you can choose either hamburger-steak for ¥1980, or steak for ¥2480. The dinner includes the entrée, and an additional meat (salmon, chicken, lamb, wild duck, scallop, shrimp, etc.), potato and vegies, soup, salad, rice or bread, dessert and drink. All steaks and hamburger-steaks are charcoal grilled with a choice of sauces: brown, tomato, garlic brown, garlic soy, radish soy, ginger soy, soybean, spicy, and black pepper. The restaurant also serves a selection imported beers.

SH2Children are welcome as well. The children’s menu is ¥1200 for hamburger-steak and ¥1600 for a steak. The child’s dish includes soup, rice or bread, drink and ice cream. But be careful as the plates are very hot!

The restaurant is open every day. Weekdays: Lunch 11:30am – 3pm, Dinner: 5:30 – 10:30pm. Weekends: 11:30 – 10:30. Telephone: 042-531-7856. GPS: 35.730254, 139.364376. Michelle Nexon, 2013.


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Hamazushi: Conveyor Belt Sushi

My husband and I discovered Hamazushi during one of our adventures to the MoriTown Mall. We were craving sushi, so we decided to give it a try. It was the perfect sushi fix, and we’ve been back many times. In fact, Hamazushi is a chain restaurant with many locations throughout Japan.

HamazushiYou can park in the parking lot outside the restaurant. Once you enter, make sure you get a ticket with a number to be seated. You can choose to sit at a table or the bar. There is a television screen in the waiting area. When your number is displayed on the screen, take your ticket to the register where you will be handed a second number. This number corresponds to your seat. Once you find your seat, you are ready to eat.

It’s a conveyor belt sushi bar, so you simply grab what looks appealing (as long as the plate is not elevated on a tray, these are special requests from other tables). If you are feeling brave, you may use the touch screen to order specific foods, however, it’s in Japanese. When the food is on its way, the touch screen will beep to let you know the sushi (on an elevated tray) is on the belt near your table. Choose from a variety of sushi, desserts, and sides. Most plates are ¥105. Water is self-serve. Or you can make green tea at your table. You can order beer and other beverages through the waiter. To summon a waiter, press the yellow button on the right side of the touch screen. When you are finished push the button. A waiter will come, count your plates, and give you a ticket. Take the ticket to the register to pay.

The restaurant is open daily from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm. However, the last opportunity to be seated is at 10:30 pm. GPS 35.714612, 139.365307. Michelle Nexon, July 2013


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Restaurants near MoriTown

Inaba Tonkatsu Wakou

Tonkatsu (ton=pork + katsu=cutlet) or fried breaded pork cutlet dishes (better than it sounds) can be found throughout Japan as can this chain of restaurants using American pork. The Akishima branch with wax models outside and English menu inside is next to Kentucky Fried Chicken in the outdoor section of MoriTown leading to Akishima station. Smoking seemed to be prohibited.

The Pork Cutlet with Salad Special for ¥1,480 comes with shredded cabbage salad, miso soup, rice, pickles, a drink, and sherbet or ice cream. “Steamed egg hotch potch,” also known as chawan mushi or a custard appetizer is also available; salad dressings are a light Caesar or Perilla Leaf (the broad green shiso leaf sometimes in tempura).

The small set is ¥1,050 and if you don’t care for pork yourself, there is also a fried shrimp set for ¥1,350.  The twin variety set (for two) is ¥3,200.

DIRECTIONS: To get to MoriTown mall, turn right out the East Gate and drive about 3.3km. Turn right into the yellow MoriTown parking garage. When paying for your meal, be sure to get your parking card validated; if you come in a group, keep the cards separate, as each card is vehicle specific. Website: Although prices are not shown and the text is Japanese, you can check out pictures of the menu through www.r-wako.com/ by hitting the first brown tab on the left and scrolling downward. Hours: daily from 11am-9pm. Telephone: 042-544-0890

Buffet Grand China

Across the street from MoriTown proper, near the entrance to the Movix theatre, and accessible through a second floor walkover, is this restaurant consisting of a buffet layout including a ramen corner and dim sum station next to a salad and dessert section.

Lunch costs adults ¥1,449 and most children ¥840. Children under three are free anytime, while those from 3 to 5 years old are ¥525. The charge for the non-alcoholic drink bar with various teas and soft drinks is ¥210. The dinner buffet costs adults ¥1,780 and children ¥1,260. Alcoholic dinner drinks including the soft drink bar is ¥1,260 for men and ¥945 for women. Please note some of the dishes are spicy.

Directions: To get to MoriTown mall, turn right out the East Gate and drive about 3.3km. Turn right into the yellow MoriTown parking garage. When paying for your meal, be sure to get your parking card validated; if you come in a group, keep the cards separate, as each card is vehicle specific. Website: www.buffet.jp/china. Hours: Lunch 11am-4pm, Dinner 5:30-10:00pm. Telephone: 042-549-7750

Restaurant: Saizeriya

Saizeriya is a clean family-style sort of Italian restaurant with picture menus. It offers pizzas (small ¥380+), pastas (¥450+), risottos (¥480+), large salads (¥380+), and desserts (¥290+). This chain marks its locations with a green sign.

DIRECTIONS: The Espa branch of this chain is in a two-story gray concrete building on the far side of Espa from the parking lot in MoriTown mall. To get there, turn right out the East Gate and keep going straight. Just before the road narrows and makes a sharp turn to the left, you will turn right into the pay parking lot. Take a ticket from the machine; if you eat or buy over ¥2,000, parking is free for two hours. When you exit the lot, show the attendant your receipts. Hours? Telephone?

Jena Flowers, Teresa Negley, Directions updated: Brian Marriott 5/02