Category Archives: Garden

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.

Cainz Home Center

Cainz 1Cainz 4Cainz 5Cainz is a big-box store that sells hardware, housewares, garden supplies, automotive accessories, sporting goods, even puppies. Some say it’s cheaper than Joyful Honda, but it seems to be a matter of personal preference. It has a tiny food court at the north end of the building. GPS: 35.7178, 139.3667.
DIRECTIONS: Turn right out of the East Gate (0km). Keep going straight, past a Family Mart on the right, across a set of train tracks (1.7km), past a golf course (2.1km), until you reach a used Toyota dealer and a traffic light at 2.6km. You’ll see Cainz on the far left corner. Turn left at the light and then right into the parking lot. Liz Ruskin, 2012. Photos Michelle Nexon, March 2014.

Joyful Honda

I find this place endlessly fascinating. It’s a giant home center with lots of parking, so it’s somewhat reminiscent of shopping in suburban America, yet it’s very Japanese. Joyful has a huge garden section, lumber and hardware, plants, a bike shop, homewares, kitchen gear, curtains, rugs, liquor and groceries. And that’s just the first floor. Upstairs is where the real fun begins. There’s a pet store with amazingly expensive dogs and cats for sale. I’ve seen kittens with price tags of $1,200 and more. Customers are welcome to bring their own pets, so you see lots of people pushing shopping carts around the mall with barking poodles and Akitas inside. Next to the pet section is a vast hobby department with a frame shop, amazing washi paper, sewing stuff, woodworking materials and tools, beads, an astonishing variety of pens and so much more. Also on the second floor is a food court. Our sponsors brought us here on our first day in Japan and it was perfect. Those who don’t want to try exotic food can head for the McDonald’s or KFC counter. My favorite place is the one right by the entrance that sells goldfish-shaped waffles and takoyaki, aka octopus balls. (Yes, smart alecks, I know that octopus don’t really have balls.) My husband always goes for the Korean place that sells bibimbap. (If you shop with your dog, you should know that you can’t bring Fido to the food court.)
What you won’t find for sale is Hondas, except maybe in the generator and farm tools section. I can’t explain the strange name, but I know it has nothing to do with the Honda car company. Hours: 9-7:30 (pet store 10-8). Tel.: 042-568-2311. GPS: 35.76260, 139.35840. Liz Ruskin, 2012
DIRECTIONS: You can get here easily from the East Gate or the Terminal Gate. From the Terminal Gate, turn right onto Route 16 and stay left (0.9km) to avoid going under the underpass. This puts you on 166, which follows the Yokota fence line to its northern-most tip. At the the light (2.1km) turn right onto Route 5, a major multi-lane road (not a sharp right onto the minor road that hugs the Yokota perimeter.) Stay on this road and you’ll see, on the right, a big billboard for Joyful Honda. Turn right at the Lawsons (3.3km). Make the very first left and look for the parking lot entrance. (3.4km). Parking is free.


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Komeri Garden Store

Komeri is a garden store close to base that has a fair number of plants, pots and yard tools.
DIRECTIONS: Reset your odometer as you turn left out the East Gate. At the second light (0.6km), a “Y” intersection, stay left. When the road ends, turn left. You will pass a large Dorama store and a baby clothing store with the bunny on the sign, both on the right. Turn right at the next light, at 1.5km (Shiritsu Susho Minami Intersection.) Komeri will be a a few blocks up on the left. The sign is only in Katakana, but you can recognize it by the big red rooster on the sign. GPS: 35.7558, 139.3668 Brian Marriott, 2001. Directions updated 2011.