Need a meeting spot in Tokyo or just a place to grab a drink and a snack? Commune 2nd is an open air “restaurant” surrounded by beer and food trucks. You can walk in and grab a seat at one of the long tables or on a small bench with table for 2. It was a rainy night when my husband and I checked it out so we sat in the tent area under cover. We only tried some Gyoza but there were many other food options including ribbon fries. There were more seating options outside so I’d definitely go back on a nicer night. The night we went they also had a DJ, a wine tasting vendor, and an artist painting foxes on a large canvas. Visit their facebook page to see what is coming up as far as events. If you plan to go, go early, as they close at 10:00 pm. Take the train to Ometesando Station, take the A3 exit and its about a 10 minute walk from there to Commune 2nd. It was only a 15 minute walk to our dinner reservation in Shibuya (Trunk Kitchen) and a similar distance to Harajuku (Baird Beer), so you can easily walk to some other cool spots from here. – Angela Vaillant, January 2019
Hours: Daily 11:00am-10:00pm
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/commune2nd/
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/
Phone Number: 042-579-2347
Mushroom and Anchovy Genovese
Beef Curry Rice
If you love cheese, then Shibuya Cheese Stand is a must visit spot for lunch or dinner. I recently stopped in for a solo lunch since a friend had told me how good it was. I trained from Akishima station to Shibuya station (Hachiko exit) and walked about 15 minutes using google maps to the restaurant. I arrived right before opening and stood in a short line. They opened 15 minutes late after the cheese arrived on a refrigerator bike. At least you know it is fresh! I decided to order one of the cheese plates (fresh tomato, Burrata, oregano, and dill) and the mozzarella, tomato, basil and arugula sandwich. It was a little more than I could eat alone but I wanted to try at least two cheeses. The cheese plate was beautiful with a Buratta cheese bow. The majority of the Burrata was super soft but the bow was a little firmer. The tomatoes were really fresh and paired well with the the oil and herbs. I also really enjoyed the sandwich. The cheese plate was a little pricey at ¥1680 but the sandwich was only ¥500. The lunch menu also included pizza and dessert. Bring yen as they did not take credit card. Definitely a spot I will recommend to friends! – Angela Vaillant, October 2018
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11:30am-11:00pm, Sunday 11:30am-10:00pm, Closed Mondays
I have visited Yamachan restaurant in Hachioji three times now. We trained from Fussa, Higashi Fussa, and Akishima and all routes took about 35 minutes to get to Hachioji station once on the train. The restaurant is then a short walk from Hachioji station. I am picky about my chicken so I had low expectations on my first visit. I ordered the edamame and another appetizer and decided I would try just one of the wings. That quickly turned into ordering more for the table. The wings are a little spicy with a hint of sweetness and you cannot eat just one. With each visit I ate a little more and everyone who came agreed they were the best they’ve had in Japan. The wings are sold in servings of 5 for Y450. We easily finished 5 servings (25 wings) split between two people. The menu is large so you can find something for everyone, including kids. We took our 5 and 9 year old on our last visit and they enjoyed wings, french fries, fried rice, and chicken nuggets. We have never made a reservation but we did wait over an hour on a Friday night without one. Reservations on-line must be made at least one week out. On a weeknight we were able to walk in around 6:00pm. The only negative is it is a smoking establishment. The later you stay, the smokier it gets so try to go early if you want to take the kids. There is also a large multi-level Don Q with a Daiso on top nearby if you want to do a little shopping while you are in the area. – Angela Vaillant, October 2018
Hours: Daily 5:00pm-12:15am on-line reservations available if more than one week out
Yamachan is located on the 2nd floor. Stairs located just to the right of the gyoza restaurant.
Seating area – tables
Seating area – large booths (seat up to 6) – be prepared to take your shoes off before sitting
The wings! 2 servings = 10 wings
If you are looking for conveyor belt sushi close to base, Uobei Genki Sushi is a great family friendly spot to check out. About a 10 minute drive out the East Gate, it is located right next to Joyful Honda. Upon entry there is a computer stand where you enter the amount in your party (English option available) and receive a number to wait for your table. We went at 6:00pm on a weeknight and had no wait. Our number showed up on the television and directed us to a table number. Once seated you can review the menu next to the table or on the ipad provided at the table. When ready to order you make your selections on the pad. A short time later dishes will be delivered via bullet train or race car which the kids loved. My husband enjoyed a variety of sushi, while the kids and I stuck with the chicken and french fries. I did try some shrimp tempura rolls which were my favorite so far of any sushi spots we have checked out. The kids finished dinner off with blue icecream on top of corn flakes. Once you are done with dinner you make a selection on the pad then take your table marker to the front to check out. All sushi dishes are ¥100. We are a family of 4 and spent about ¥3500 for dinner. Uobei Genki Sushi is a chain but of all the conveyor belt sushi locations we have tried I found I liked the atmosphere of this one the best. This would also be a great spot to take visiting friends and family for a sushi experience. – Angela Vaillant, September 2018
You can access the sushi and autumn fair menu on their web-site.
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
My husband and I recently tried out a Spanish Tapas restaurant in Tachikawa called Tempranillo Tapas & Wines. We called for a reservation about 5 days out and had no problem booking a table for two. They did let us know it was a special night with Flamenco dancers and a set menu. The restaurant has recently re-located to a red brick building a short walk from Tachikawa station, in the basement (level B1 off the elevator.) We were the first to arrive and the owner greeted us and again let us know that is was Flamenco night and the set up of seats was different from a normal night. They started us with 2 glasses of champagne, prosciutto, and a Spanish tapas platter. Little did I know the pig leg was sitting nearby on the bar being shaved for the dish. We were also served mussels before the main dish of Paella came out. The performance started at 7:30 and food service seemed to stop for about 45 minutes. We were at a distance from the show but Jose asked us if we wanted to move closer at the end of the bar for the second set. We moved and shared a bottle of wine finished off with a dessert of churros covered in chocolate sauce. We really enjoyed the food and Flamenco performance! The second set finished by 9:30 and we were full and happy. We asked Jose how often they do Flamenco night and he said it happens once a month. The set menu price was 5500-6000 yen per person. The regular tapas menu has a lot of variety and we look forward to going back to try more dishes. You can check their website for upcoming events. If you are looking to escape your typical Japanese experience, this is the place! Jose gave us his card which includes his restaurant philosophy….”We are real people, we make mistakes, we say sorry, we give second chances, we have funny moments, we give hugs, we ask forgiveness, we make noise, we are patient and grateful, and especially we love each other and we love you a lot.” – Angela Vaillant, July 2018
Hours: Mon-Sat 5:00pm-11:30pm, closed Sundays
While getting my hair done in Shibuya, my hairdresser recommended a nearby Italian restaurant for lunch after. Goo Italiano is a cute little Italian restaurant on a corner not far from Shibuya crossing. I have been twice now for lunch and enjoyed their Paccheri Tomato Sauce dish on both visits. Their sets range for 1000yen to 1500yen for lunch and include focaccia bread, salad, pasta choice and a drink. Their iced peach tea is worth a try! My husband also enjoyed the pasta of the day special. Their dinner menu has a lot more variety and includes family style meals. The dinner grand menu includes pizzas, pastas, salads, lasagna, and Italian appetizers. They also offer carry out. – Angela Vaillant, April 2018
HOURS: Weekdays 11:30am-3pm, 5pm-12am and Weekends 11:30am-12am
Nanadaru Chaya – Kawazu, Shizuoka Prefecture
I’m calling this little delicious cafe, “Wild Boar pot and FANTASTIC strawberry dessert cafe!” It’s just a 200m walkfrom the start (away) of the 1km Seven Waterfalls Hike in the Izu Peninsula next to the Kawazu corkscrew bridge!
The food was some of the best I’ve had in Japan! My sons liked the strawberry sets for around $11 for a lunch of champions! My husband very much enjoyed the wild boar hot pot! There’s a very small parking lot at this cafe as well! – Julie O’Leary, March 2018