Category Archives: FUSSA & HAMURA

Fussa – 福生

Dohton Bori

Dohton Bori is not far from base and a great lunch or dinner spot. It’s open from 11am to midnight and offers a fun cooking experience. My husband and I went for lunch on a rainy afternoon. When we arrived we removed our shoes and placed them in a small locker. We then took the wooden key with us and waited to be seated.

Okonomiyaki is what they are known for but there are other things on the menu. I ordered a small okonomiyaki bowl and mushrooms on the side. My husband said the large bowl could feed two people. There are instructional sheets at the table that explain how to cook the okonomiyaki. The center of the table is a flat grill where you cook your food. You will also find many sauces at the table to make it your own. 

Grilling was very easy and didn’t take long at all. We brought our young daughter but thankfully she stayed asleep. I think our 4 year old could handle it and would know not to touch the grill but my 1.5 year old may not have done so well. 

The tables are Japanese style seating. There are two rooms with seats. One to the left of the shoes lockers and one to the right. Tables on the left are horigotatsu style with the hole under them for your legs, so if you have bad knees or don’t want to sit cross legged you may prefer that side. Tables to the right are tatami mat style. – Deena Brunson, 2019


Family-Friendly Hike from Mitake Station

If you’re comfortable with hiking 6-8 miles in a day with moderate elevation gain (1800-1900 feet), this is a pleasant hike that’s easily accessible from base. We initially found out about this hike from the following link, which has more details as well as information on other hikes in the area: https://ridgelineimages.com/hiking/mt-iwatakeishiyama/
As the hike starts and ends at Ome Line train stations (Mitake and Ikusabata), the logistics are fairly easy — no buses involved. To access the start of this hike, take the train from Fussa Station (Ome Line) to Mitake Station (towards Okutama). It may be necessary to transfer in Ome; as not all trains are direct — check Google Maps to confirm.

Once you get off the train in Mitake, stop by the Visitor Information Center (can’t miss it – its directly by the stairs leading down from the station exit) and pick up an “Ohtama” area map. If you ask, they’ll also be able to provide a map of this specific hike, and a paper showing directions to the trailhead.  I’ve attached these directions to this post as well, for reference.

The trailhead starts near a temple a few minutes away from the train station. Go down the stairs at the station exit, and turn left at the street. You’ll pass an ATM on your left (inside its own building), and will see a set of stairs on the left immediately after the ATM. Go up the stairs and cross the train tracks. Turn left, and then turn right into the temple entrance (you’ll see the temple). Once just inside the temple, go to the left, and you’ll see the trailhead marker.

As you go along the hike, you’ll see signposts with kanji, but also English in small labels below. At the start, you’ll want to follow the signs for “Mt. Iwatakeishiyama 岩茸石山”. Once you’ve reached Mt. Iwatakeishiyama, then follow the signs for “Ikusabata Station”, which is the finish point where you’ll catch a train back towards Fussa Station.

The hike starts with a fairly quick ascent; but (mostly) levels off after that point. There are two points where you have the option to either ascend to a peak for a better view, or keep going.  Recommend taking the climb up to Mt. Iwatakeishiyama for a view — you’ll likely also see a large number of Japanese hikers taking a snack break here. If you choose to ascend the fork to the peak, there is no backtracking required to get back to the main trail — the fork continues down the other side of the peak and rejoins the main trail.

Continuing on, you’ll come to a temple in the mountains, right along the trail. Its a nice spot to take a break and look around, and there are bathrooms here (did not check them out, but expecting squatting/pit style). Descending from here, you’ll enter a fairly exposed valley, and continue down past a stream. As you continue downward, you’ll come to a large manmade dam, and the trail becomes a stone stairway. Look out for snakes sunning themselves along the steps; they should be easy enough to spot.

As we reached the end of the stairway, we came to a Japanese shop that offers some drinks at picnic tables outdoors (beer, coffee, lemon sour, water) as well as cooked fish. My Japanese wasn’t great, but we were able to understand well enough the owner’s indicating that ‘everything is OK to eat’ on the fish, as its cleaned and cooked whole and ready to eat (skin and all), which might be unfamiliar to some folks. The owner was very friendly, and everything was pretty reasonable – we got two cooked fish and one coffee for under 1000 yen. Be sure to bring cash if you’re planning to stop here, as I don’t imagine this shop takes credit card.

After this shop, the ‘trail’ becomes a  road, keep going onward and it will merge into a slightly larger road. Bear right, and continue. Eventually, you’ll come to a point where there is a sign pointing towards Ikusabata Station up a small road on the right – take this road upwards, and you’ll cross train tracks. Turn right, and you’re at the station. Take the train back towards Fussa. This is all shown on the maps as well; and if you download offline maps on your phone before the hike, you can also ‘mark’ the location of the station if you’d like to be able to double-check along the way. – Joshua Milburn, April 2019

1/4 Karot – Hamura

I recently organized a lunch for the The Yokota Spouses’ Club Lunch Bunch group.  1/4 Karot in Hamura is a restaurant I had heard about but not yet tried so I thought this was a great chance to check it out.  They seemed to have an active Facebook page so I inquired on Facebook Messenger about making a reservation.  They responded within a day and we set up a day and time.  We weren’t sure how many would attend yet but they told me to just give them a final number by the day before.  The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and is a short 5-7 minute drive out the Fussa or Terminal gates.  They have 3 assigned parking spots just behind the restaurant.  The lunch menu included 5 meal set options ranging in price from Y800-Y1200.  Everyone raved about the mini vegetable soup and side salad.  Between the eight ladies that attended, we tried 4 different meal options.  Everyone was surprised how large the lunch portions were!  We all really enjoyed our meals and agreed we would come back again.  The restaurant is small so I would recommend making a reservation.  They also have a small bar with seating.  The dinner menu had many more food options so I look forward to going back! – Angela Vaillant, November 2018

Hours: Daily 11:3oam-2:30pm and 6:00pm-12:00am – Closed Wednesdays

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/14karat-120365548667443/

Web-site: http://q-karat.com/

Phone Number: 042-579-2347

Arrabbiata

Mushroom and Anchovy Genovese

Carbonara

Beef Curry Rice

3.14 Italian Restaurant – Fussa

I recently visited 3.14 Italian Restaurant in Fussa for lunch and dinner.  The restaurant is a short walk from the Seiyu Department Store if you have shopping to do and can get your parking validated.  There are also paid parking lots nearby.  My first visit was for lunch with a friend.  We did not have a reservation but after some google translating we were sat inside the smaller area of the restaurant with just a few small tables near the kitchen.  The menu was in Japanese so we went with the safe lunch set of margherita pizza.  It was only 1100 yen and came with a small salad and a drink.  This was probably my favorite margherita pizza I have had locally, and I’ve tried a lot.  Later in the week we had a last minute couples date night to say goodbye to friends.  We called just 30 minutes ahead for a table for 6 on a Saturday night and were able to get in.  We were seated in the larger dining room this visit.  The dinner menu was much more extensive and many of the options were more family style so we were able to share and sample each others dishes.  The waiter spoke some English and informed us the food would come out at different time intervals which was fine since we were able to share most dishes.  We started with a caprese salad, bruschetta (we never figured out what it was called on the menu but pointed to the table next to us) and a very large salad.  We sampled entree’s of spaghetti and linguine with crab, parmesan risotto and a few other Italian dishes.  We finished the night off with a giant slice of chocolate cake and tiramisu.  All of the food was delicious and reasonably priced and we would definitely go back again!  – Angela Vaillant, July 2018

Phone number – 047-530-0815

Hours – Lunch 11:00am-3:00pm, last order at 2:30pm,                                              Dinner 6:00pm-10:30pm, last order at 10:00pm.

Facebook –  3.14 Italian Restaurant

Baseball Batting and Pitching Cages – Hamura Dome and Murayama Sportsland

Taking my sons to the batting cages in Japan bring back great memories of going to batting cages with my dad.   I wish I had discovered the batting and pitching cages at the Hamura Dome sooner.  They are only a few minutes from the base and are a great place to blow some yen on a school night (it’s not super cheap). All the cages are operated by a ticket purchased from the machine and everything is really easy to figure out.  You have to buy pitching and batting tickets separately.  The workers at the desk can give you a kids bat, but other bats and helmets are inside the cages.  Choose your speed and hit away.  Though most of the customers are adults, I found it to be OK – the slowest pitch is 70 kph – for about ages seven and up.  My younger son likes the miniature golf hole.  There are lots of great family places to eat down the street when you make this a weeknight boys night out.

Parking: 200 Yen

Batting cages and pitching cages about 300Yen per session or cheaper if you buy a bundled ticket.  

Hamura Dome Batting Cage

Hamura Dome Mini Golf

Hamura Dome Pitching practice

On the East Side, check out the old-school batting cages at Murayama Sports Land just a few blocks east of Aeon Mall.  There are also cages that spit out soccer balls, ping pong balls, tennis balls and basketball.

Free parking. Most of the cages are 200 Yen.  Zeke Lyons – January 2018

Sportsland Soccer Cage

Seiyu Department Store – Fussa

Seiyu Department Store is located in downtown Fussa, right next to the Fussa train station. We flew in to Yokota on a Space A flight and spent a few days on Yokota. We did not have a car so foot and taxi were our means of travel. Seiyu department store is great because it has everything. A big grocery store on the first floor with mega selections of prepared food, bento, and sushi. A great way to eat cheap. On the top floor are sit down restaurants. There is a particularly good Japanese restaurant right next to the elevators. Unfortunately it does not have a English name.  – Sinclair Lai, November 2017

Japanese Restaurant in Seiyu

WORD Coffee

For the coffee lovers out there who might be craving something other than Starbucks or other chains, there’s a wonderful new coffee shop that has popped up in Fussa. The owners are a young Japanese couple who are passionate about both coffee and baking. There’s a host of yummy baked treats on offer daily too – when I visited there was carrot cake, banana bread, chocolate cubes and custard cubes.1f965e01-462e-4e3a-8528-955b615f8fd8
The atmosphere is very chic and minimalistic, but warm and welcoming too. The owners also speak perfect English and have an English menu available too, so don’t let not knowing Japanese deter you from visiting!
One of the other great things about this place is they open early. I’ve found many places off base don’t tend to open as early as WORD Coffee do, which is just another reason to love them!
I know there are plenty of people who enjoy supporting the “mom and pop” type stores and this cafe is one of those places. –Kim Bosack, May 2016
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DIRECTIONS: Getting there is easy – head out the Fussa gate as if you were going to Seiyu. Continue past the Seiyu, you’ll go past Mikes Tex Mex on your left and Fussa Hospital on the right. Word Coffee is just a short walk beyond there!

HOURS: M-F 6:00 am- 5:00pm, Saturday 6:00 am-1:00 pm, Sunday-closed
PHONE: 070.4163.8269
They also have a Facebook page and Instagram account!2590b4dc-7df3-432d-bfb8-493bf50a5254

Tokuju, soba restaurant

Tokuju– There is a great little Soba restaurant with lots of character right out the Fussa Gate. They have a great udon, nabe yaki and katsu meals, among other things. The owners speak almost no English, but they have a (mostly) translated English menu, and you can get by with pointing 😊.  It’s has six or seven tables, several with chairs and several with the traditional tatami seating.  Nice little family-run restaurant, good prices and great food!  I think it is only open for dinner.- Emma Stober, March 2016
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Directions:  It is a 15min walk straight out the Fussa gate passed the “Y” intersection on the left hand side, two doors before the German restaurant, Stuben Ohtama.

Fabric and Craft Stores

Craft Heart Tokai

Located near the Fussa Station, it is on the street level, below the Seiyu parking garage. This store offers a small variety of fabrics, beads, sewing notions, lace, ribbon, etc. For ¥540, you can purchase a membership card for one year. They will give you a form to fill out, and are very helpful with translating. This membership recently gave me %10 off my entire purchase, and I get flyers in the mail that highlight their sales. If you park in the Seiyu parking garage, you can validate your parking by taking your Craft Heart Tokai receipt and parking ticket to the bookstore next door and they will validate it for you.

There is another Craft Heart Tokai in The Mall. If you are headed north on Route 16 for any reason, you can easily stop in and check it out. It’s located on the second floor, towards the middle-back for the building. They have a similar selection of sewing and craft goods.

Yuzawaya, Shinjuku

Located near the Tachikawa Station, this craft/fabric store has a large variety of fabrics and sewing notions. The store is in the Bic Camera Building, the fabrics and sewing notions are on the 7th floor. Other crafts, to include beads, felt, craft paper, etc., are located on the 8th floor. You can purchase a membership card for one year and receive discounts on various fabrics cut from the bolt (¥540). Take the North exit from the Tachikawa Station and use the skywalk to cross traffic. The building has all kinds of electronics and phones for sale at street level. Simply enter the building and head left to the escalator. It will take you all the way up to Yuzawaya. Please see the map below.

Daiso

And let’s not forget the Daiso! It doesn’t have a huge selection of fabrics, but has various sewing notions and small craft items. I was able to find large pieces of felt for only ¥100. It also has beads, buttons, elastic, velco, etc. Often times, you can snag these items for much less at the Daiso than at a craft store.

Joyful Honda

I also wanted to mention that Joyful Honda has a HUGE selection of craft items, but is lacking in the fabric department. Looking for canvas, paint, leather working items, beads, scrabooking, etc, you’ll find it here. The prices are a little high, but you are likely to find what you are looking for.

The IKEA in Tachikawa also has fabric on the bolt, for some trendy home décor prints. Have a different fabric or craft store to share? Please share in the comments below! Michelle Nexon, October 2014.

Toraneko, Asian Jamaican Restaurant

ChickenToraneko Asian-Jamaican Fusion Restaurant in Fussa is located adjacent to Mike’s Tex-Mex, across from the Fussa Hospital, on the “Seiyu Road.” It has friendly staff, marvelous food and excellent prices, especially during lunchtime. Some of my favorites are the spring rolls, cilantro pickle, and the Jamaican jerk dishes, particularly the chicken with rice and beans. It is open Monday through Saturday, closed on Sunday. Lunch is from 11:30 to 15:00 (last order is 14:30); Dinner is 18:00 to 23:00 (last order is 22:30). Parking is free, but there are only three spaces, located just around the corner. The restaurant is small, seating 18 people. Smoking is allowed, but rarely seen.

SoupThere is a party menu and all you can drink for 120 minutes. It’s only available during dinner and requires a minimum of two people. The party menu includes a seven+ course meal and is ¥3,600 per person.

 

An interesting tidbit: the restaurant name is listed in Gurunavi, a Japanese language travel/restaurant guide, as “TABETABI TORANEKO” ( 無国籍料理店食旅トラネコ ), which is a clever play on the Japanese words Tabe (to eat) and Tabi (i.e., tabby cat). Toraneko is the Japanese word for tabby cat. Pamela Tubbs, October 2014.

Mike’s Tex-Mex Restaurant

Tex Mex3Mike’s Tex-Mex is a Tex-Mex joint just north of the Seiyu, serving burritos, chimichangas, tacos, enchiladas, margarita specials, and more. Many entrees come with rice and refried beans. Appetizers include chips and salsa, nachos, taquitos, or a cheese quesadilla with guacamole. Lunch and dinner menus are both in Japanese and English. The Margarita of the day is written on chalk board near the bar. My favorite was the peach margarita, delicious! ! The
restaurant also serves a variety of Mexican beer. Most entrees range from ¥900 to ¥1500. Children are welcome as well. In fact, there’s a shelf in the seating area full of toys to help keep the little ones occupied.

Tex Mex1There is parking at the hospital across the street. My friend and I recently parked there for approximately an hour and paid ¥100. The restaurant is open every day 11:30-14:30  and 17:30 to 22:00, unless otherwise posted. The last order is at 21:45. They ask that you call in advance during a Japanese holiday to make sure they are open. Telephone: 042-513-5210. If you search for Mike’s website through Google, click on “translate this page” and the page will appear in English. They also have a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/yokotaTEXMEX. GPS 35.746357, 139.326014. Michelle Nexon, August 2013.


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Outdoor Pools open during Summer

Here is a list of local outdoor pools open during the summer months – culled in 2012 by Shelby Hansen and passed along to Emily Parks who graciously shared it with us!  It would be wonderful to have full posts for each one of these.  If you go to one we haven’t already covered, please consider sending us a trip report.  Thank you!

Fussa Pool (first week July – first of Sept)  Open Daily. 9am-6pm. ¥200 for HS age and up, ¥100 for MS age and younger (2 hrs).  Free parking available.  Features: kid’s splash pool, simple water slides.

Hamura Pool (Mid July- first of Sept) Open Daily. 10am-6pm. ¥300 for HS+, ¥100 for MS – (2 hrs) (double for full day).  Parking available.  Features: kid’s splash pool, water slide, lazy river.  -For more information: Hamura Community Water Park

Rainbow Pool (Showa Park) (Mid July – first of Sept) Open Daily.  9:30am-6:30pm (only ’til 5:30pm weekdays in July, only ’til 6pm daily from 8/20 on). ¥2,200 for HS+, ¥1,200 for ES/MS, ¥300 yen ages 4-5, 3- free (¥500 maternity price) (full day price).  Parking available (¥800/day) (A free Park bus can take you to the pool from the Sunagawa or Tachikawa Park entrances). Features: multiple kid’s splash pools, lazy river, wave pool, water slides (for 120cm+; yellow one is for smaller kids), concessions.  Discounts on admission for paying by SUICA/PASMO (minus ¥400 for HS+), or smaller discount just for showing SUICA/PASMO (minus ¥200 for HS+).  For more information: Showa Kinen Park: Rainbow Pools.

Higashi Yamato Pool (Mid July – August 31). Open Daily 10am-6pm (only 1:30pm-6pm 7/17-20) ¥300 for HS+, ¥100 for MS, ¥50 for ES, free for 5 and under (2 hrs). No parking (though the Ito Yokado store next door has a free parking garage…and a Baskin Robins).  Features: kid’s splash pool, lazy river, water slides.

Driving directions to Higashi Yamato Pool: Go right out the east gate, turn LEFT on the 7 and go 6 km, at Imokubo Hwy turn LEFT (the large blue sign points to Imokubo, the street name is Sunagawa Nana-something), go through the tunnel under the train station and turn RIGHT at the light, come to a T intersection and turn LEFT. The pool will be on your right and they do have free parking!

Fuchuu Miyoshi Mizuasobi Hiroba (Splash Pad near Tama Hills) (late July – August 31) Open for three blocks each day 10am-12pm, 1pm-3pm, 3:30pm-5:30pm (some closures during open season) ¥160 for adults, ¥100 for HS, ¥40 for MS- (they may charge half this if they don’t ask if you’re a city resident). No parking.  Features: splash pool, simple water slides. Swim Diapers OK.

Fuchuu Kyodo no Mori Pool (near Tama Hills) (late July – August 31). Open Daily 10am-5pm. ¥300 for adults, ¥200 for HS, ¥100 for MS- (2 hrs) Parking available.  Features: kid’s splash pool with slides, lazy river, water slide (for older kids).

Inagi Pool (near Tama Hills) (mid July – August 31) Open Daily. 9:30am-5pm. ¥200 for adults, ¥50 yen for kids (2 hrs). No parking. Features: kid’s splash pool, simple water slides, lazy river.

Fujiya – all you can eat cake!

cake by meganAt Fujiya you can order meals or just dessert, one option being the cake buffet or “viking cake”.  Alone the buffet is ¥1380 per person or added to your meal it is an additional ¥980. Meals include Japanese cuisine or pasta dishes.  They allow 60 minutes for all you can eat cake and the slices are large. Children under five are allowed to share with an adult at no extra charge for the buffet. The menu is in Japanese only, but has pictures of everything and is easily understood. My family of five went around 4:30pm on a Sunday and were seated immediately,  We experienced quick and friendly service. GPS 35.733032, 139.325688.
DIRECTIONS: Fujiya is easily accessible by car about ten minutes from the supply gate and there is plenty of free parking. Head straight out the supply gate, cross two railroad tracks and continue down the hill. At the bottom, just before the road crosses the river, there is a raised blue pedestrian crosswalk.  The street name is Legal Affairs Bureau Road (written in English on the street sign). Turn right here. The restaurant will be on your right approximately one stop light up, You will notice the sign by it’s logo, a girls face with a hat.  The sign is written in English as well.  – Megan Miller, July 2013

Fussa Playground

New in 2013, there is a playground that can be seen from Route 16 before leaving Fussa.  It is a bit convoluted to get to, but it is very close to the base and well worth the trip.  There are tall, enclosed climbing structures that have imagination games written all over it. There is a zip line and a great tire swing.  Put kids in clothes that they can get dirty because the ground underneath is just hard packed dirt.  There are bathrooms and a water fountain where kids can clean up if needed.  Playground GPS Coordinates: 35.72393, 139.342065.  Parking lot GPS 35.722589, 139.343171.
Fussa Park Alex WinklerDIRECTIONS: Leaving Fussa Gate, turn left onto Route 16.  At the end of the Yokota fence line, where Route 16 curves right, exit toward Route 7 but don’t turn left onto Route 7.  Instead go straight through the first light toward Haijima Station.  There is a paid parking lot straight ahead.  Park and this metal barrier will raise to trap your car.  Pay at the kiosk to get out.  From this parking lot it is an easy walk under Route 16 to the playground. – Alexandra Winkler & Sarah Straus, June 2013.  Interested in another Fussa Playground?  Try the Fussa Roller Slide Park or the playground on the Tama River Trail.

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Shokudo – All Day Dining Cafeteria

The food at Shokudo, “all day dining cafeteria” is yummy “home-style” Japanese cuisine (no sushi).  It is a very family-friendly place; the prices are amazingly cheap for Japan, and there’s plentiful parking adjacent to the building. The first thing you’ll see upon entering the restaurant is a bento box counter for take-out.  Keep walking around the corner, past the huge rice steamers to pick up your meal tray. Slide your tray along to check out all the offerings, the first of which is a made-to-order omelet station (the three toppings offered are red diced ginger, shredded scallions and teenie white fish (not at all “fishy” tasting)–it’s the rectangular pan-style omelet–delicious! Next comes broiled whole fish or salmon steak, then the chill-bin with lots of little dishes of pickled this-and-that (everything’s good, but the eggplant is particularly so). If you like thick slices of sweet and tender stewed daikon, this is the place! Then you’ll see various fried meats like tonkatsu (pork cutlet) and chicken. There is donburi (meat strips stewed in sauce) and udon-noodle;  ramen; rice (a “chiisai” [small] bowl is plenty) and miso soup (with a variety of self-serve toppings) come with the dinner. The cashier is at the end of the line and you pay for each item on your tray. The dining room includes a lot of 2-person tables, a solo counter, bigger tables by the windows and tatami-on-the-floor. ENJOY! – Pam Tubbs, June 2013
DIRECTIONS: Shokudo is on the Seiyu road.  GPS coordinates: 35.747579, 139.325687. Here is the new restaurant’s website, with their main menu items: www.shokudo.jp/menu/ as well as their map link: http://www.fujiofood.com/shop_search/shokudo/shop_1462.php.


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Dohton Bori – Okonomiyaki

 Dohton Bori  - Kelly OMy new favorite Japanese meal is Okonomiyaki, a Japanese savory pancake containing a variety of ingredients. The name is derived from the word okonomi, meaning “what you like” or “what you want”, and yaki meaning “grilled” or “cooked.” Everything is delivered to you raw and you mix it up and cook it yourself at your table.   The batter is made of flour, grated nagaimo (a type of yam), water or dashi, eggs and shredded cabbage, and usually contains other ingredients of your choosing such as onion, meat shrimp, vegetables, kimchi, mochi or cheese. Okonomiyaki is sometimes compared to an omelet or a pancake and may be referred to as a “Japanese pizza.” Once it is cooked you can add a variety of different sauces to the top. It was delicious, fun and very filling!  – Kelly O’Donnell, May 2013.

dinner5There are two locations for Dohton Bori, one near Hamura and the other in Fussa. The Fussa location is much closer to the main gate. At this location there are two areas for seating. There is seating on lowered benches with a raised grill, and seating on the floor around the grill. Typically four adults can fit around one grill. English menus are available and the staff are generally willing to demonstrate how to cook and season your food. The restaurant is relatively kid friendly, but the heat from the grill could be a concern, even though the staff try to cover the edges of the grill with cloths. They have booster seats, but no buckles to strap kids in. The Fussa chain is open 11:30 – 24:00. Last Order for food is 23:00 and drink is 23:30Linda Bell, July 2014.

 Dohton Bori by Kelly OHAMURA DIRECTIONS:  Exit Passenger Terminal Gate, turn right onto Route 16.  Turn left onto Route 163 (as if you are going to the Hamura Zoo or Zonavoce).  Continue 2 kilometers.  The restaurant will be on your left. GPS:  35.758667,139.320281. 

dinner2FUSSA DIRECTIONS:  Turn left at the Fussa Gate and then turn right at the first set of lights. After going through one set of lights and over the train tracks, turn left at the next set of lights with Family Mart on your left. The restaurant will be just there on the left. There is a large brown ‘billboard’ with white writing and a Tanuki statue outside the restaurant (a raccoon/dog like animal). They have approximately 50 parking spaces located on either side of the restaurant. Their parking adjoins the Family Mart parking lot. GPS coordinates for the restaurant’s parking lot are N35.73826 E139.33266.

Fussa Recycle Center

rc-view4The Fussa Recycle Center is a small second hand store about 10 minutes from the East Gate. The building is an unassuming silver warehouse located down a quiet country road. There you’ll find a small display of dishes and decorative items, a number of bicycles, a few clothes, and a large selection of wardrobes, desks, and tables. The prices are excellent, with dishes in rc-view5the ¥50 range and most of the furniture ranging from ¥2500-¥7500. It isn’t the largest thrift store in the area, by far, but it’s a good place to look for bicycles and furniture, and — when I was there, at least — a lot of metal shelving perfect for use in the tower storage sheds.  Open daily (I think daily) 10am – 4pm.  GPS Coordinates: 35.736341,139.356959.
rc-recylce-center-buildingDIRECTIONS: To get there, take a right out of the East Gate, then take the first right, at the stoplight. Continue down that road until you are just about even with the base hospital on your right, when you’ll see a little country road on your left. Follow that road past some fields until you see a big gray building on your right; that’s the Recycle Center. Go through the little gate and park in the lot, there. (If you miss the final left turn, don’t worry; the road will curve to the left alongside the base, and the Recycle Center will be on your left instead of your right. Just follow the road around the building and take a left, then an immediate left into the parking lot.) When you arrive, you’ll be expected to switch out your shoes for a pair of slippers in the atrium. An elderly gentleman seems to run the place, so be sure to be on your best Japanese manners.  Scroll down for more photos.  – Roxanne Ready, May 2013.

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Yasaka Garden Center

photogarden kelly odonnellI call this place “mini Joyful Honda.” It’s a great garden and home improvement center that is even closer to base than Joyful Honda. I go here if I just need a few things and don’t want the hassle of the Joyful Honda parking and that whole overwhelming experience. This place is called Yasaka and it has a great garden center with lots of plants and flowers. They sell potting soil and pots and anything you would need for your summer garden. They even sell some outdoor furniture, grills, etc…pretty much anything you would find at a small home improvement store. You would never find it from the main road since it’s pretty hidden on a small side street. My Japanese friend showed me one day.
photogarden2 by kelly odonnellDIRECTIONS: It’s actually right near the Seiyu. Just go past the Seiyu parking lot (overpass) and continue for 4 street lights. You will see a blue P “parking” sign on the left. Take that left turn and then an immediate right onto a very narrow (blind spot with mirror) road and it is right there. There is ample free parking right across the street. GPS:  35.747497,139.324443.  – Kelly O’Donnell, May 2013.

Marufuji

This supermarket is located near the Higashi Fussa Station. It’s your closest choice for off-base groceries if you live on the North or West sides. Marufuji has a large selection of fresh vegetables and a big parking area. There is also a small McDonald’s, dry cleaners, and an Italian cafe in the building. Open 10-10pm, sometimes closed on third Mondays. Tel. 042-530-1551
DIRECTIONS: Turn right out the Fussa Gate, then left at the second light (Higashi Fussa Nishi, by Ushihama Garage). (If you exit the Terminal Gate, turn left, then turn right at the first light.) Cross the tracks and turn left at the first light (Higashi Fussa Station North), then into the parking lot. – updated Sarah Straus, May 2013.
Comments by Alison Hackbarth, March 2013 – There are discounted prices on produce on Saturday mornings outside the doors starting at 9AM.

Tama River Trail

If you are looking for a place to bike or run, consider the paved trail that follows the Tama River.  It starts in Hamura and continues 48 kilometers.  It runs close enough to Tama Hills Recreation area that it can be used as a path to run or bike there, though you’ll need to navigate some city streets to reach this destination.  During the spring, the cherry trees bloom over the trail in Fussa, as seen in the photos above and below.  Also in Fussa, the trail passes a baseball field, tennis courts, a playground and an obstacle course park.  The trail goes under each of the bridges that cross the river, allowing for continuous riding/running.  There is a free parking lot near the ball field and playground at GPS coordinates:35.719771, 139.331241.   In the spring use this parking lot for the Fussa Cherry Blossom Festival which takes place along the trail just north of the parking lot.  – Sarah Straus; top photo by Alex Sparks, March 2013
Running/Biking DIRECTIONS: Head straight out of the Fussa Gate toward the Fussa Train Station on Route 165.  You’ll take Route 165 all the way to the river and trail.  Be sure to stay right at the fork in the road, pass over the train tracks and continue down Route 165 after the Fussa Train Station.  The trail picks up in both directions just before you cross the river.  Turn right on the trail towards Hamura for the short section of the trail (just a few kilometers).  Turn left on the trail for the longer section.

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DIRECTIONS to parking lot:  Turn left out of the Fussa Gate onto Route 16.  Continue on Route 16 as it curves right.  Turn Right onto Route 7.  (Note: I’m not sure how clear this right hand turn onto Route 7 is… if anyone finds a clear marker for this turn, let us know).  Turn left into the parking lot area just before Route 7 crosses Tama River.

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