I went to a new yakiniku restaurant DON-DON over the weekend. It is a Yakiniku buffet with salad bar and dessert bar, about a 10 min drive
from the East gate. It is housed in a 2-story structure with the restaurant on top and parking on the bottom. The buffet comes with 85 items to order from plus the salad bar, dessert bar and cotton candy- all you can eat for 100 minutes. It costs ¥2480 plus tax. Grade schoolers cost ¥1240 plus tax while kids under 6 eat for free! There is also a menu to order from where items are ¥1980 plus tax, but this doesn’t include the salad-dessert bars. The drinks are a separate charge, all you can drink soda is ¥200yen/person. All you can drink alcohol is ¥1200/person. All parties at the same table have to order the same menu and all additional orders are placed via a tablet on the table. I think the tablet menu came with pictures (my friend did all the ordering). The first plate of meats comes with the initial order and then you can start ordering from the tablet. It is that is non-smoking in the general restaurant. There is an enclosed room for smokers. Open M-F 1700-2400, weekends and holidays 1130-2400. GPS 35.750761, 139.390193.
DIRECTIONS: Exit left out the East gate. Turn right at the Seven-Eleven. Turn left on Route 59 towards the AEON mall. Turn right on Route 5. It will be on the left side across from a Seven-Eleven past the “Sanbonenoki” light. – Hiromi Arita, July 2013.
At 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
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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Summer is coming up and I’m trying to watch my carbs. I checked out Mos Burger today and I was pleased to see that they offer burgers wrapped in crispy lettuce and onions instead of buns. It reminded me of In-N-Out burger in California. The sauce was really good on the burger and it came with a small side salad and a drink. They do offer burgers on buns if you prefer and they also have chicken or even crispy shrimp burgers. There were lots of vegetarian options too.
DIRECTIONS: It’s really close to base, just around the corner from the Fussa train station. It’s a chain restaurant and I’ve seen them around other locations as well. Here is the GPS to the near us 35.741720,139.326341. If you exit the Daiso (¥100 shop) then just walk around to the other side of that building, away from the Fussa train station, and it’s right on that corner. – Kelly O’Donnell, May 2013
Just outside the East Gate is Châteraisé Desserts, a small storefront boasting more types of ice cream desserts than I’ve ever seen in one place, as well as an adorable bakery. Very few signs are in English, but you’ll see a number of ice cream sandwiches, ice cream bars, and various other ice cream confections in the outdoor area. It is a great place to go on a hot afternoon if you are hungry for something sweet and feeling adventurous. The ice creams range from ¥100-¥300. Meanwhile, inside is a veritable wonderland of puddings, pastries, crackers, cakes, and tarts. Many of their items are available individually or in gift sets, ranging anywhere from ¥105 for a pudding, to ¥300-¥800 for a cookie or pastry, to ¥1000-¥4000 for a gift set. They also sell three types of wine to add on if you’re purchasing a gift. Open daily 9am – 9pm.
DIRECTIONS: Turn right out of the East Gate. Châteraisé will be on your left after the first light. – Roxanne Ready, May 2013
If you are looking for a another great Italian restaurant, then look no further. Just on the other side of Itsukaiichi, in the Hinohara Village (Mura), right behind the Tofu Donut Shoppe, is the “Villa Delpino” La Cucina Italiana. The main chef speaks English and he provides English menus. Lunch is ¥1000 +tax, and served between 1100-1700. The Chef serves two special lunches, which come with salad, bread, coffee or tea and main course. Dinner is by reservation only, price varies, and served between 1800-2200, though the Chef will serve earlier if requested and for more than two people. The restaurant seats 14 people max. They have a great selection of wine. Phone number: 042-598-1054. Closed: Wednesdays and Thursdays. GPS: 35.729805,139.143459.
DIRECTIONS: Take Route 7 West towards Itsukaiichi, go to the end where the Musahi-Itsukaiichi Station is directly in front, turn left on Route 33. Drive until you reach Route 33 and Route 205 “T” intersection, turn right, drive for about 1.5 km. – Fran Sil, April 2013.
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We went to an all-you-can-eat, organic,
locally grown, Japanese buffet in Hamura today. It was clean, fresh, and tasty and is owned by the same people as ZonaVoce
. There was yakisoba, tempura, curry, three kinds of rice, pickled dishes, and salad. I particularly enjoyed the stewed and fried fish dishes and desserts including sweet beans, tangerines, and sugar toast. Hours: lunch 11:30am-2:30pm, dinner: 5:30pm-9:30pm. Lunch price is ¥1200 for adults and ¥600 ages 5 to 11. Validated parking available at the hotel.
Directions: Shikisai Buffet is located inside the Plaza Inn in Hamura, just outside the Hamura train station. To drive there, go straight out the Fussa Gate onto Route 165. At the fork in the road stay to the right, as if you were driving to Fussa Train Station. Turn right onto the road with Seiyu. Pass the main Seiyu building on your left. Continue 2.3 km. Turn left one light past Route 163 at the street with a McDonalds on the far, right corner. The Plaza Inn is one block down on the left. GPS coordinates: 35.75905, 139.316719. -Anna Quan- Schmoldt, February, 2013, photos S. Straus 2013.
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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.
This cute little family run restaurant serves up some awesome tonkatsu (breaded fried pork) sets andsoba/udon sets to many city workers during the week (City Hall is just around the corner) and starving families on the weekends. Open for lunch and dinner. They make their own noodles there. After lunch, go through the swinging doors to their attached grocery store which serves up just made tempura, bento boxes and homemade Mochi. They also have produce and fresh meats on hand.
TIP: I learned the hard way that you have to come as close to 11:30 (when they open for lunch) as possible when coming for lunch. The city workers around the corner pack the place at noon.
TIP 2: If you have babies, they will suggest you sit in the room with the Chabudais (low dining tables) and tatami mats. This room fills up with smokers so position yourself near one of the windows and you’re golden.
TIP 3: This is NOT a Non-Smoking restaurant. Please keep that in mind when you try and find a place to sit (provided you have a choice when you get there).
TIP 4: Since all items are not pre-made (this isn’t Burger King), it does take at least 20-25 minutes for your food to be prepared. Well worth it, in my opinion. GPS: 35.75567, 139.38652. Anna Schmoldt, 2012.
DIRECTIONS: Set your odometer to zero as you exit the East Gate and turn left. Turn right at the first light (0.2km) by the 7-11. Continue straight down this narrow road to the four-way intersection at 1.3km. Turn left here, onto a major road, which is marked 59 on maps. Keep driving, past the Aeon Mall on your right and across Shin Ome Kaido (sometimes called Route 5) until about 3km. When you get to Ome Kaido, signposted Route 5, turn right. Black Pork is about 50 meters down, on the left. It has a brown wood facade, which is nearly obscured by a tree. We’re not sure of the phone number, but the number of the business immediately to the left of the restaurant is 042-561-1631.
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The exterior is so unassuming you’d hardly know this eatery exists. But once you walk up the stairs you’ll be greeted by a display showing the lunch specials of the day. The menu is entirely in Japanese, but the display shows you all you need to know. Choose from set A, B, or C, then walk into the surprisingly sunny restaurant. It definitely has a lunchroom feel, but the service staff wear a sharp-looking outfit, the place serves beer and it is even open for dinner. Take a seat and a server will come by to take your order. When I went, both servers spoke great English. Prices hover around ¥500 for a lunch set that includes rice, a small salad, a wee plate of pickles and a main dish. There’s also self-service miso soup to ladle out. Payment is in yen only, but a sign says they take American Express. (Perhaps someone can verify.) The other items on the menu include:
Ginger pork meal ¥580
Eggs over rice ¥400
Pork Katsu over rice ¥500
Pork Katsu Curry ¥630
Chicken Katsu meal ¥580
Soy sauce ramen ¥380
Plain soba or udon ¥280
Soba or Udon with Tempura ¥350 Onigiri (salmon or sour plum) ¥100.
Hours: Lunch 11-2pm. Dinner:5-10pm
Directions: If you’re going south on Airlift Avenue, you’ll pass the gym (Samurai Fitness Center) on your left, and then an open area with outdoor volleyball courts. The next building, still on the left side of the road, is the Contracting Squadron, clearly labeled. Then there’s a parking lot. Turn into the parking lot. At the far end you’ll see a building with an external concrete stairwell. Walk up the stairs. The restaurant is right there on the second floor.
You know this place is special the moment you walk in. Zonavoce is a beautiful restaurant that has a warm brick and wood interior. With its high ceilings, it feels airier and more tranquil than most places near here. The menu is limited but everything is fresh and wholesome. Lunch sets start from about ¥1,000 for mushroom pasta or minestrone, with all-you-can-eat tossed salad, plus self-serve tea or coffee. Wood oven-fired pizzas come in a rotating variety of flavors, usually including Basil Margarita for ¥1,100. Add ¥380 for a set with self-service salad, bread and drinks. The set is great, because the salad bar has nice fresh greens and the bread is delicious. (Did I mention the place is also a bakery?) The restaurant is half a block from Fukushimaya Supermarket, a related store that promotes organic and natural food. Added bonus: It’s near the Hamura Zoo! Store hours: 9am-9pm. Zonavoce: 11:30am-3pm (last order 2pm). www.fukushimaya.net/shopinfo/shop_market.html. If you like this restaurant, you may also like another restaurant by the same owner: Shikisai Buffet. Tel. 042-570-0744. GPS: 35.7624, 139.3209.
DIRECTIONS: Turn right out Fussa Gate, or left out the Terminal Gate (0km). Turn at the “T” the intersection signposted “Shorin Dori Ent.”, 0.6km from either gate. (This is the intersection where George’s used car dealership is, near Ushihama Garage.) Cross the tracks. Drive through two lights. Turn right onto a four-lane divided road at 1.2km. (Marked 249 on Google Maps. Metal Black Cat shipping depot will be on your right.) Go straight on this major road until the intersection signposted “Hamura Sta.” at 3.3km. (“Eagle Best Car Shop” on your right.) Turn left at this traffic light. The restaurant is ahead, on your left (3.4km), with a small parking lot adjacent to the building, just before it. For the Fukushimaya supermarket, continue down the same street about a block, toward Hamura station. The store, a large pinkish building with a sign in English over the awning, will be on your right. Teresa Negley and Julie Hudson, 2010. Directions updated 2012.
Fussa Gate to Zonavoce
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This place, right nearby in Fussa, has good Indian food with an English menu. The lunch set is ¥1000. The restaurant is downstairs. It has two large tables and several small tables. It’s barely half a mile from Fussa gate, so close enough to walk or bike.
DIRECTIONS: Go out the Fussa Gate and turn right onto Rt. 16. Turn left at the next light. Cross the tracks and go straight through two lights (the road bends left at the second.)Pass the yellow-striped pachinko building. KC’s is next to the pink-trimmed Foxy bar, which is on the corner with Bar Row. There’s pay parking at the corner. You can also park in the lot across from the pachinko parlor. Tel. 042-553-7708. GPS: 35.74371, 139.3311. Ace Tubbs, 2011
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Sato is modern Japanese restaurant with traditional aspects. It offers a variety of Japanese food to please everyone, from kids to sumo wrestlers. You can dine either in the booths (in the front of the restaurant) or in one of the many tatami mat rooms. For the latter, you exchange your shoes for slippers (placing your shoes in a provided locker, locked with a wooden key). The slippers are then worn everywhere except on the tatami mats themselves. Each room is equipped with one table which fits up to six comfortably, but the sliding doors can be opened to accommodate a larger party. The extensive menu is written in katakana, but the pictures make ordering easy. Samples include: three types of udon (Japanese noodles range from ¥380-580), sushi (¥480-880), sashimi (¥680), tempura set (¥680), tonkatsu (pork cutlet, ¥680), fried chicken (¥580), and mushroom hamburger (¥580). Side sets of rice, chawan mushi, miso soup, pickles (¥380), gyoza (6 pieces, ¥250) or edamame (soy beans, ¥180) are available to go along with entrees. Kid’s meals offer hamburgers, curry rice, or sushi (¥480). For those with a “yen” for what sumo wrestlers eat, the chanko nabe is a must. It is a high calorie, nutritious stew of pork, chicken, fish with carrots, bean curd, and onions simmered in a rich soy or sugar sauce (¥1680). Green tea is complimentary. Sake, whiskey, beer, and soda are ¥350-600, and separate desserts are ¥200-450. It’s a wonderful place for a couple or a squadron group.
DIRECTIONS: Turn left out of East Gate. Turn right at the first light. At the second light (T-intersection) turn left. Go past Diamond City Mall. The restaurant will be through 5 lights on the left at the Shin Ome Kaido intersection.
Hours: 11am – 12:30 am. Telephone: 0425-53-6060
Nina Carr, 2007
NOTE: THE BRANCH THE DIRECTIONS LEAD TO RECENTLY CHANGED ITS NAME FROM VIKING TO NEO. STILL ALL YOU CAN EAT YAKINIKU AND SUSHI. 2012
This is a chain of all-you-can-eat restaurants where you cook your own food. When you enter, pay about ¥2500 (cheaper for children) per person and get a receipt. You will then be escorted to a table and your grill will be started. Put oil on the grill and head for the plates. There is a selection of sushi near the soda dispensers and rice, soup, and curry in large pots on both sides of the case where the plates are located. Go to the open refrigerated display cases and select as much of whatever food you want. There is a wide choice of meat, vegetables, gyoza, salads, fruit, and noodles. Take the plates to your table and grill your discoveries. For dessert, try cream puffs, chocolate pie, or ice cream. The ice cream is located in a separate case near the drink dispensers. One word of warning: Because many people are cooking, the room gets VERY smoky. Do not wear good clothes! I also take my contact lenses out. If you are tall, be careful not to hit your knees on the bottom of the grill because it is very hot! Try to go before the rush which is usually 6-7pm. Not only is the restaurant less crowded but so is the highway.
DIRECTIONS: Set your Odometer to zero and exit right out the East Gate and turn left at the first light (Inadaira Koen Minami intersection). At the next light (5 way intersection, 0.7 km.) Make a right hand turn (not a sharp right, but angled right towards Daiei). At 1.9 km bear right at the intersection, where this road merges with another (Family Mart on right Corner, Toyota dealer on left corner). Turn left at the second light onto Itsukaichi-Kaido Road (2.0 km, Tennobashi Intersection, just after you go under the tracks). Stay on this road until the light with Edo-Ichi Yakiniku all-you-can-eat Restaurant on the far right corner (3.5 km). The red sign reads “Sushi & Yakiniku Vikings.” Hours? Telephone?
Karen Ozmen. Liz Ruskin verified directions Sept. 2011
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.
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
We like this chain of ramen restaurants because they’re good, consistent, cheap and have a great kid’s meal. Did I mention cheap?
The picture menu makes ordering a snap. A huge steaming bowl of noodle goodness, with veggies and meat, comes to less than ¥500. The menu shows dishes under three categories, based on broth flavor:
みそ味 – Miso
塩味 – Salty
醤油味 – Soy
A meal set — noodles with gyoza (Chinese moon-shaped dumplings), fried rice or a small vegetable plate — costs a few coins more. You can also get a combo that is a plate of gyoza and a half portion of ramen.
Best of all is the kids menu. For ¥300 I can buy my son a lunch of ramen, fried rice, a drink and a candy. It even comes with a special coin he can put in the vending machine by the door to get a small toy.
At our closest branch, there was a small lunch rush at 11:45. Just add your name to the list at the podium. We wrote it in English, gave the number in our party and circled テーブル (“Taberu” for “table”.) The other choice is カウンタ (“Countah” or counter.) We were seated within five minutes.
Another nice thing about this chain is that they’re everywhere in Japan, so wherever you are you’ll be within reach of a good cheap restaurant that suits adults as well as kids.
DIRECTIONS to branch nearest the East Gate: Set your odometer to zero as you exit the East Gate and turn left. Turn right at the first light (0.2km) by the 7-11. Continue straight down this narrow road to the four-way intersection at 1.3km. Turn left and drive to the next light. Kourakuen is immediately past the light, on the left. It’s a black building, across the road from the Aeon Mall, with a sign that has large black Kanji in the middle, sandwiched by lines of smaller red characters above and below. Hours: 11am-2am. Tel.: 042-520-7144. GPS: 35.74532, 139.38265. Christina De Los Santos, 2011
On 7 July 2012 the restaurant was closed. It was early in the morning, but a sign taped to the door made me wonder whether this was more than a routine closure. — Liz.
Only a 20-minute drive from Yokota’s East Gate is a quaint, Italian-style restaurant called The Blueberry, nestled in the bamboo forest surrounding Lake Tama. The woodsy setting is probably the best reason to go. The menu on our last visit, in 2011, was not in English nor did it have pictures, so it’s helpful to have someone who can read Katakana. We made do by asking the waitress “Pizza?” and she read the different kinds of pizza, which we recognized as “Margherita,” Neapolitan” and “capricciosa.” Capricciosa mean capricious, and in this case it was an unexpected mix of salami, shrimp and mushrooms topped with an egg. The crust was thin and had a pleasing hand-formed appearance. The tomato sauce on the Margherita seemed to be straight-up tomato paste but it was the prettiest dish, with fresh basil on top. There was also a “pizza salad” on the menu that we wished we’d tried.
For pasta, we had “pepperocino,” which was garnished with red pepper and a dramatic tuft of saffron-like threads, and also a pasta meat sauce, which came with a soft-boiled egg on top.
Other categories on the menu: soup, salad and ice cream. There might have been a lot more, but we don’t read Japanese so we wouldn’t know. We did notice a salad bar. Upon entering The Blueberry, we noticed a well-stocked dessert case with European-style cakes. They are said to be as delicious as they look, but we were pretty full. The food portions seemed to be Western-sized at The Blueberry. The personal pizza on the lunch menu, larger than an average dinner plate, could feed two, especially if they ordered a salad also. The pizza cost about ¥900. Pasta was about ¥800. Lunch sets were in the ¥1400 to ¥2000 range. Hours: daily, except Monday, 11-2pm (lunch), 2-5pm (tea), 5-9pm (dinner). Tel. 04-2924-7180.
DIRECTIONS: Reset your trip meter to 0km as you exit the East Gate to the left. Turn right at the first light (0.2km) by the 7-11. Continue straight down this narrow road to the four-way intersection at 1.3km. Turn left. Keep going, past Diamond City Mall on the right and past Yamada on the left. Continue across Shin Ome Kaido. (It is signposted Route 5, but so is old Ome Kaido, which you’ll also soon cross.) Stay on this road through 5 lights. The road winds and climbs a hill. You’ll pass a large onsen on the left at 3.7km. Keep going. At the top of the hill you will see a blue sign for Lake Saimyo. The restaurant (6.5km) is just past this sign on the left. It is bright yellow and has several parking spaces in front. The Chinese Dragon Pagoda park is next door. Liz Ruskin, Suzie Nardozzi, 2011.
It is called “Screaming Sushi” among Yokotans because the sushi chefs boisterously welcome customers and sometimes make loud announcements of special dishes. It is the most popular place to go for revolving-belt sushi in Fussa. If seats are not available upon arrival, sign up at the new-fangled monitor for a table or counter seating (“countah” in Japanglish). Generous portions are priced between ¥126 and ¥577 per plate, plus miso soup refills are free at lunch. Chopsticks are in the oblong box and pickled ginger “gari” is in the square box. There are two types of powdered tea, brown hoji-cha and green matcha; put two spoonfuls in a cup and add hot water from the push lever spigot. Besides sushi (including California rolls, seared salmon, shrimp and avocado), there is fried chicken, rice paper spring rolls with shrimp and lettuce, shrimp tempura, fresh fruit, crepes and more. Orders from the menu (English with pictures) may also be placed with the chefs or waitresses. If a bell rings, a chef may be offering something special such as seared scallops, fresh tempura, or fresh fish to be fileted. Returning customers may ask for a point card eventually good for ¥600 off a meal.
DIRECTIONS: Go straight out the Fussa Gate (0km), veer right at the “Y” and turn right onto Yanagi Dori, aka the Seiyu street (0.7km, Fussa Sta. E. Ent. No.2 intersection). Keep straight (through approx. nine traffic lights) and the restaurant will be located on your right (2km), across from a Shell station. Hours: 11am-11pm, 042-539-1418. GPS: 35.75204, 139.3231 August, 2011.
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This charming restaurant/brewery (sometimes referred to as the Mayor’s House) has been in the Ishikawa family for more than 300 years. The family began making sake 135 years ago, using rice grown in the immediate area. A few years later, their great great-grandfather began making beer but it was before its time and did not go over well. Lucky for us, the trend eventually caught on.Once inside, the courtyard and building have an old German flavor. There are two massive 400-year old Zelkova trees standing sentry. In a small store behind the trees, there is a presentation on how sake is made. Ask questions. They have people who can speak English well if you want to know more. After leaving the store, there is a Karu (old storage building) to the right, and an old metal sake pot. The soba restaurant to the left as you wonder through the courtyard has hosted many generals and VIPs as evidenced by many photos. Further into the courtyard is a pavilion housing an antique cooker/pot for making beer. The walls and ceilings depict the making of beer 100 years ago. Just outside the pavilion is a tree more than 600 years old. Across from the pavilion is the beer brewery and lots of tables to eat outside when weather permits. There are two restaurants, Italian and Japanese. Both are inventive, borrowing from West and East.
The Italian side (Fussa no Birugoya) has pizza, pasta, risotto and larger entrees, along with a seasonal menu. They roll their own pasta, and the pizzas often include fresh herbs. Entrees include roasted tuna, sauteed veal and baked freshwater shrimp. The main dishes run about ¥1,400. The appetizer list is extensive.
The Japanese side, Zougura, specializes in buckwheat noodles (soba), served every which way: garnished with duck, with mountain yam, with seaweed, hot, cold or in soup. The menu has a long list of small plates, some of which Americans might eat on a dare: Salted squid guts, fish guts and dried mackerel. But there are plenty, too that would appeal to an American palette, such as braised pork, beef, seafood and many European dishes. And of course, lots of beer. The business gives tours of both the sake factory and the beer brewery. Please arrange ahead of time for English speaking tours. The owner’s two sons (Taro and Yoshiro Ishikawa) speak English. You can call them for more information at 042-553-0100 or Fax 042-553-2008. Hours: 11:30am-10pm (last orders of the evening at 8:30pm).
DIRECTIONS: Take a left out the Fussa Gate. Stay on 16 as it becomes a bridge over the train tracks. Turn right at the traffic light after the bridge. Go straight through three lights. Now begin to watch for a cement block wall (not more than 20 feet long) on your left (there is a Temple directly across the street.) Take the next left turn just after the wall ends (a very narrow street), then take an immediate left (about the length of a car), follow along the street paralleling the brewery/sake complex (white buildings). Take the first right hand turn. Go past one building on the left and park in the lot behind it. Additional parking is past the first parking lot. Continue on to the next street, make a left and look for a “P” parking sign on the left. Telephone: 042-553-0171. GPS: 35.71907, 139.33297. Doreen Garten 2010
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In the mood for fast and cheap? Try Yoshinoya, the Japanese answer to fast food. It basically serves one dish, “gyudon,” translated as beef bowl. It is a hearty bowl of rice with thinly-sliced beef and onions. The regular size is only ¥280! It is served with complimentary tea. Sides such as miso soup, potato salad, and salad are also available. There are two close to base, but we think the best way to experience Yoshinoya is when you’re walking through Tokyo, hungry and looking for a quick bite to eat. Once you notice one of these orange and black signs, you will start seeing them all over Japan. The chain of restaurants is open 24 hours a day for a fast, tasty meal at all times of day or night.
DIRECTIONS: One of the nearest is south on Route 16 where it intersects with Route 29 (on the way to Hachioji Bypass). Set your odometer to zero and drive straight out the Fussa Gate. Cross the train tracks. At the first light (0.4km) bear left at the “Y” intersection. At the second light past the next set of tracks (Fussa City Office Intersection, 1.1km) turn left onto Shin Okutama Kaido. Continue straight until your odometer reads 4.2 km. Yoshinoya will be on your left, at the corner of Route 16 and Route 29. Hours? Telephone? Brian & Kristen Marriott 08/02