Category Archives: Just beyond the fence

Hanno Ganno Kiln

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A short 30 minute drive north of Yokota is the Hanno Ganno Kiln in the town of Hanno.  They make traditional Japanese pottery. Don’t think typical blue and white…think green and white and turquoise and tan with patterns and textures.

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There are two showrooms.  The main showroom is directly in front of you when you park in their small parking lot.  It has two rooms with decorative and everyday use pieces. The pieces are food safe but in most cases not dishwasher safe (bases or undersides of pieces aren’t completely sealed with glaze).  Prices range from 300-3000 yen per piece, depending in size and intricacy.

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The second showroom is slightly to the right and down the hill from the main showroom building. Here the potter displays his expensive and exhibition pieces. Many pieces are for sale in this room, but prices usually start at 7500 yen and go up quickly from there.

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On my last visit, there were some pieces for sale under 3000 yen in this room though.  Even if you don’t want to spend that much, it is worth looking in the second showroom since the exhibit pieces there are beautiful. Be sure to take off your shoes before you go in this showroom; slippers are provided if you want them. Sometimes the potter is there too, so if he is, the ladies who work at the kiln will be happy to introduce you. Everyone’s English is limited, but we’ve always been able to have good simple conversation. Also, be sure to enjoy the view off the deck on the back of the first showroom building.  This is one of my favorite things about this location.  You would never guess that you are only 30 minutes from the hustle and bustle of Fussa!

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Small parking lot is available, so carpooling is recommended. If your items are a gift, they will gift wrap them for you at no charge. Cash only.  Katie Campbell June 2016

 

Phone: 042-973-9099
Hours: Sun-Thu 9:00am-5:00pm
GPS to parking area: 35.844044,139.279154

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.

Blue Little Butterfly, Steakhouse

IMG_4109We went to Blue Little Butterfly for a date night. The atmosphere is really nice. The menu is all in English including the drink menu. We ordered the steak and the lamb chops, you have to order your sides separate. I would recommend ordering three sides and sharing them between two people (they have a huge assortment of potato salads). The steak was amazing, a thick cut, cooked perfectly, and delicious. The prices are very good for steak in Japan. We had a bottle of wine, six sides (you really only need three) and two main dishes for ¥10,000. Everything was very good and perfectly cooked. They also have a variety of seafood dishes on the menu and some delicious sounding pancakes on the dessert menu. I highly recommend this for a date, or if you just feel like a really good steak. Phone: 042-530-0160. Michaela Nelson-Kelley, May 2015.
IMG_1356DIRECTIONS:
Go out the main gate, it will be on your immediate left, just before 7-11.

 

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

Hoops: Bagels & More

I LOVE this place! It has fresh food and great variety: Pizza, bagel sandwiches, numerous types of bagels, even tofu cream cheese. They also have a little shop selling all different types of foods, including local produce. (Hoops was carved out of space that used to be Cupid’s garden shop. The plant section is now much smaller but still there.) The prices are decent and they take dollars. They have tables and a kids’ play place.
DIRECTIONS: Turn left out of the Fussa Gate. Hoops is about halfway to the Supply Gate, on the right side of Route 16, next to Blue Seal ice cream. Both have enormous signs, so you can’t miss them. It’s an easy walk or bike ride. They also have a few parking spots. Sierra Kennedy, 2012.

Comment and photos by Kelly O’Donnell, 2013 – I had no idea that there was this great play area upstairs inside the Hoop bagel place. I had gone there 4 or 5 times and had never gone upstairs. There is lots of seating for the parents up there and the waitress will bring your lunch up while the kids play.

Comment by Suzie Qu from Facebook, April 2013: During lunch hours you can NOT use the upstairs without reservations anymore.  They will try to accommodate you if they can, but i know as of about last week, they even put up a sign stating that between certain hours, no seating upstairs unless call ahead.

The Wok Restaurant

The Wok Restaurant is a quaint Chinese restaurant right outside the East Gate. They offer a variety of Chinese dishes and the service is excellent. They have a lunch special which includes salad, soup, pickle, entree of your choice with rice, and dessert. Entrees include, but are not limited to fish and fried rice, sweet and sour chicken, and stir fry pork. The lunch special including a drink is approximately ¥1500.Wok Restaurant

They are open 11:00-14:30 and 17:30 to 22:00. However, they are closed every Wednesday and the first and third Tuesday of each month. Their telephone number is 042-531-8028.

DIRECTIONS: Turn left out the East Gate. Drive past the Seven Eleven, and through the first light. The restaurant will be on your left. There is a large Heineken beer bottle sign next to the restaurant, you can’t miss it. Just past the
Heineken sign, you can turn left into their parking lot. Parking is behind the building. Michelle Arostegui, 2002, updates & photo Michelle Nexon, July 2013

Stuben Ohtama

The atmosphere is quaint and the service exceptional. English picture menus are available. The menu features authentic German food and drink, with an extensive supply of German wines and beer. There is a German Deli on the premises as well, selling freshly made sausages, smoked ham and other German specialties.
DIRECTIONS: Go straight out Fussa Gate toward Fussa Station, bearing right at the “Y”. It’s before the second light, across from Tai Sei Hospital.
Hours: 11:30am-2:30pm and 5:30pm-10:30 weekdays. 11:30am-3:30pm and 5pm-10:30pm weekends and holidays. Restaurant is closed Tuesdays but shop on first floor is open 10am-4:30pm. Telephone: 042-551-1325 . Available for event use for up to 80 people. http://www.otama.co.jp/stuben/english-stuben.html Kyoko Bissell, 2010

 

Great Taj Mahal

An Indian restaurant about 10 minutes walk from the Fussa Gate is the Great Taj Mahal, near Sushi Santa and across from the small post office by Higashi Fussa station.  Lunch sets served 11am-2:30pm Monday-Saturday start at ¥670 (vegetable curry with salad, rice or a large piece of nan). Tandoori Chicken and other dishes from the English menu are also available. Pick your spiciness level, from a mild 1 to the scorching 5. Dinner is served 5-9:30pm. Call 042-569-8949 for takeout.
DIRECTIONS: Turn right out the Fussa Gate, then left at the next light (Higashi Fussa Stn). Cross the tracks. The Great Taj Mahal is on the right just after the next light. Three parking spaces (3,4, and 5) are available in the dirt lot across the street.  35.7447, 139.3339. Teresa Negley 2010

Zuccoto & Heaven

Just outside the Fussa Gate is a little restaurant named Heaven with an attached cafe called Zuccoto (featuring different menus.) Heaven serves  American-style food including pizza in a friendly atmosphere at very reasonable prices. Heaven comes the closest to authentic American food of any American-style restaurant we’ve been to off-base.
DIRECTIONS: Balk straight out Fussa Gate, stay on the right-hand side of the road and you’ll see the restaurant on the right before the 1st set of railroad tracks. Hours: 11:30am-11pm. Heaven opens for dinner 5-11pm. Telephone  042-551-5851 for both Zuccoto and  Heaven. B & K Marriott, Kyoko Bissell, 2010.

 

Ramen Fukumi / Tatanmeni Fukumi

One of my favorite restaurants is located across the street from the Fussa Gate and is called  Fukumi’s for short. Here you will find delicious food at inexpensive prices. The kitchen is clean and you can watch your meal being prepared. The menu is not extensive but includes several types of homemade ramen, usually served with a lot of vegetables: regular, negi-ramen (leek), shio-ramen (salt), miso-ramen (bean paste), and tantanmen (spicy noodle). Scrumptious gyoza is available, as is staminadon (rice with vegetables, onions, and seaweed), chahan (fried rice) and gohan (white rice).  Prices range from ¥100 for a half-order of white rice to ¥800 for a set of ramen and a half-order of chahan. Coke and orange soda cost ¥150 and beer is ¥550. Customers are welcome to use the self-serve water cooler next to the door.
DIRECTIONS: There are three restaurants. The first is across the street from the base, on Route 16 between the Fussa and Supply Gates. The second is near the Fussa Post Office, and the third is on the town side of Fussa Train Station. To get to the closest one, turn right out the Supply Gate. Go about a 1/2 block and the restaurant is on the left-hand side. It is a two-story building with a porch and clearly visible hanging yellow lanterns. The building is located under the blue highway sign: “Omiya 41km and Kawagoe 27km.” Or, turn left out the Fussa Gate. Fukumi’s is two blocks past Cupid’s Florist on the right side. Hours: daily (including Japanese holidays) 11am-6am. Telephone:  042-553-9699. Karen Ozment, Kyoko Bissell, 2010

Nicola Pizza House

nicolas by kelly odonnellA nice Italian restaurant outside the Fussa Gate specializing in pizza, Nicola’s offers 50 combinations from cheese and tomato to anchovy and tomato. Prices range from ¥800-2400; ¥1,400 for Plain Regular (10.6” Gouda cheese and tomato sauce). Also available are minestrone soup (¥500) and salads (¥1,300 large antipasto). There are four dinner specials: steak (¥4,000-4,800), chicken (¥2,000), barbecued pork spare ribs (¥2,300) and sole (¥2000). Meat plates range from ¥1800-2000. The dinner menu may seem pricey, but it is reasonable for the amount of food served. The delicious manicotti, cannelloni and lasagna range from ¥l,500-l,800. The restaurant can seat approximately 80 people and has 16 parking spots in front. Most of the wait staff speaks English and the menus are in English with pictures too. Reservations for parties can be made by calling one week in advance and again on the day before the function.
DIRECTIONS: Turn left out the Fussa Gate. Nicola’s is halfway between the Fussa and Supply Gates, right before the second stoplight. It has a large red, white and green sign located in front. Hours: 11am-midnight. Closed New Year’s Day.  Telephone: 0425-51-0707. Website: www.pizza-nicola.com. Karen Ozment. Updated 2007, photo by Kelly O’Donnell, May 2013.

 

Niramanju Chinese Restaurant

Niramanju1Extremely close and surprisingly good. While the specialty is shrimp and dumplings, the fried noodle and rice dishes are also popular. They have great lunch and dinner specials. The Combination Plate includes one entrée, white rice or fried rice, chive dumplings and deep-fried dumplings, for ¥1680. Entrees include sweet and sour chicken, chicken and broccoli, beef and broccoli, chili shrimp, shrimp and broccoli, etc. Beverages include beer, Chinese liquor, plum wine, Chinese tea, and soft drinks. Water is self-serve and is located by the kitchen.

Niramanju2My favorite thing about the atmosphere is the music. Very relaxing and hip. Niramanju is kid friendly and provides high chairs for the little ones. Open weekdays 11:30am-2:30pm for lunch and 5:00-10:30pm for dinner with orders taken 45 minutes before closing. Open weekends 11:30 to 10:30, with orders taken 45 minutes before closing. If you don’t feel like dining out, Niramanju offers a take-out menu. Simply call 042-553-0177 to order.

Niramanju3DIRECTIONS: To get there, simply walk out the front gate, cross the street and continue to walk. You will see the restaurant on your right across from the 7/11. My husband and I prefer to park at the bank parking lot and walk out the front gate and across the street. However, there is a parking lot just east of the 7/11 (across from Niramanju) where you can park for free if you are dining at Niramanju. Teresa Negley, 2009, updates & photos Michelle Nexon, October 2013.

Café du Jardin

cafe du jardin by kelly odonnellThis pastry shop serves warm fresh scones with cream cheese or marmalade jam for ¥525 (two biscuit size in plain, cheese and herb, sesame or tea flavors) at the small tables in the back or outside. Allow 15 minutes to warm order and prepare hot or iced drinks for ¥472 (¥50 off if served with baked goods). Organic muffins are also available.
DIRECTIONS: Walk out Fussa Gate and turn left onto Route 16. It’s on the right, about halfway to the Supply Gate. (While there is no dedicated parking, cafe au jardin kelly odonnellthree vehicles can be parked on the side street curb next to Nicola’s restaurant parking.) Open 10am -7:30pm. Closed Mondays and second and fourth Tuesdays (plus after Japanese holidays). Tel.: 042-553-2225. – updated with photos by Kelly O’Donnell, May 2013

 

cafe ju by kelly o

 

Blue Seal Ice Cream Shop

This place is on Route 16, between the Fussa and Supply Gates next to Hoops Bagels, and is  popular with young Japanese people. It is also known as the Okinawan Ice Cream Place due to some flavors and its origins during the long American occupation of Okinawa (some may recognize the Foremost dairy logo). Soft vanilla ice cream available in your choice of sugar, waffle or a couple other flavored cones is ¥231, while a Blue Seal Sundae is ¥367, plus tax. Note the Big Dip ice cream cone sign above the shop; there are two parking spaces shared with Cupid’s Flower shop.
DIRECTIONS: Go out the Fussa Gate and turn left. The ice cream shop will be on the right hand-side of the road, before you reach the Supply Gate. It’s a nice stroll, or there are a couple of parking places. Hours: 11am-11pm. Telephone: 042-551-0539. Teresa Negley, 2007.

Un Quinto

This quaint Italian restaurant is right outside of the Fussa gate in what appears to be former military housing. It offers delicious Italian food at reasonable prices.  Diners can enjoy a well-prepared meal easily during their lunch hour thanks to the limited lunch menu and attentive staff.  However, going early is recommended as it does fill up fast and seating is limited due to the restaurant’s small size.
un quinto by kelly odonnellThe lunch menu includes two sets. Course A consists of pasta with your choice of sauce, slice of garlic bread and a drink for ¥1,000; Course B includes a salad, pasta, garlic bread, drink and dessert for ¥1,470. A much larger menu is available for dinner and includes a wider selection of appetizers, pastas and entrees ranging from ¥1,300 to ¥1,800.  The Un Quinto salad is highly recommended as are the desserts.  Full English menus are available for both lunch and dinner. A small parking area is located behind the restaurant. Lunch:  11:30am-2pm. Dinner:  5pm-10pm (last order at 9:30pm) Telephone:  042-552-6052
DIRECTIONS: From the Fussa Gate, cross Route 16 and make a left.  The restaurant will be located on your right after an approximate 1 minute walk. Aggie Pabst and Kate Boyer 2008

Ofukuroya – a.k.a the Japanese Chow Hall


This one is actually ON base. The restaurant, in Building 994 near the Supply Gate, is popular among Yokota residents as well as on-base Japanese workers. Since seats may be difficult to find during peak lunch time hours (11:45am-12:15pm), you may want to go early or late. A wide variety of Japanese dishes including yakisoba, chahan (fried rice), curry rice, katsudon, oyakodon, gyoza, miso soup and every kind of noodle you could imagine are offered. The two daily lunch specials include a main dish, rice, miso soup and pickles. A large selection of drinks (sodas, teas, juices) as well as free self-service Japanese tea and water are available. Smoking is allowed in the room, so the atmosphere is not always appetizing. Prices are reasonable, ranging from ¥400-1000, with specials averaging ¥550. (Dollars are accepted as well as yen.) Employees or those with SOFA IDs get 10% off when an ID is shown.

DIRECTIONS: Look for the building in the parking lot just to the left of the Supply Gate (when exiting or driving toward the high school or vet). Hours: 10:30am-2pm lunch, 4-6pm dinner Monday-Friday; 10:30am-2pm Saturdays. Telephone: 225-8073

Viki Lyn Paulson-Cody, Teresa Negley, and Alexis Roberts 01/07