Category Archives: Shopping

Daiei: Grocery Store, Indoor Playground, and More

photo-93A great resource only 1km out the east gate is the Daiei. It is a store very comparable to Walmart in that you can buy groceries as well as clothes, household goods, toys, and more. The first floor houses a few fast food restaurants, a shoe store, the grocery section, and all the household goods such as dishes, towels, sporting goods, makeup, and many other items.

 

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On the second floor you will find a sit down restaurant, a ¥100 section, an arcade that includes games and small rides for little ones, clothes for men/women/children, restrooms, and even a small indoor play land.

 

The play area is called Kid’s Us Land.  It is open from 10am-8pm and is located at the very back of the store. The first time you go you will have to buy a membership card for yourself and any child over the age of two. photo-88The membership card is ¥300.The price to play is ¥105 for each 15 minutes you play and you pay this fee at the end. When you enter they will give you a necklace with a paper inside which shows your arrival time. Just show this to the cashier when you are ready to leave and pay for the amount of time you stayed. The area has tables and vending machines with drinks and ice cream and it seems acceptable to bring in snacks. There are video and arcade games that are all free. Kids can jump on a trampoline or run around in the play area that has tunnels, slides, and a ball pit. photo-91The best part about this place is the free massage chairs for the parents to lounge in while children play. There is a very small gold fish pond where your kids can actually buy bait and go fishing.  There is an additional fee for this activity so be sure to ask the cashier for details.  Visit the stores website if you would like more information. Note that the site is in Japanese.  GPS:35.73557, 139.378889.

DIRECTIONS: Go out the east gate and turn right. Turn left at the first light. At the first stoplight make the far right hand turn, not the immediate right. (See map for clarification)  Continue on this road and the store will be on the left.  Alternative Directions: Go out the east gate and turn right. Turn left at the first light. Continue on this road. Just pass the first stoplight you will see the entrance to the parking lot on the right hand side.  –Renée Booe July 2013

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Hard Off: A Chain Second Hand Store

photo-83If you like thrift stores then you will love Hard Off. Located in various locations around Japan, Hard Off is a chain second hand store that sells a variety of gently used items. You will be amazed at all the treasures you can find at these stores such as furniture, clothes, electronics, toys, baby gear, dishes, sporting goods, purses, jewelry and much much more.  Need a surf board or shelves for your storage unit? Dying to have a designer purse? Then visit Hard Off  to see if you can find one for a discounted price and still in great condition.

The nearest Hard Off is out the east gate and about a 8-10 minute drive depending on traffic. It is open daily from 10:30 am-7:30pm and has ample parking space. photo-86 They do accept credit cards and yen.  There is an area to try clothes on.  Just remember to take off your shoes. If you find a piece of furniture that won’t fit in your car they will hold it for you for a few days. Thus allowing you time to borrow your friend’s van to come back and get it. However, you will have to pay for it before they will hold it. They will write you a receipt which you will show upon pick up.

Note that this second hard store is actually three stores in one; Hard Off, Hobby Off, and Off House.  Purchases must be made at the appropriate cash register depending on what “store” or section you found your item. If you aren’t exactly sure which cashier to use the workers will direct you. To purchase an item from upstairs use the checkout located on the second floor.

photo-84Have items you want to get rid of? Bring them to the Hard Off and make a little bit of money. After inspecting your items they will offer you an amount for what you have brought in.  If you agree with that offer you will be required to sign a piece of paper and then they will give you the money for your items. Some have said they were not offered a lot, but it is worth a try.  GPS: 35.72987,139.360812

photo-85DIRECTIONS: Turn right out the east gate. Drive on this road and then turn right at the fifth stoplight, which is Route 7.  Continue on Route 7 for .5 km thru one stoplight. The Hard Off will be on the right. -Renée Booe July 2013

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Kappabashi Street – Kitchen Town Tokyo

kappabashi 1 sarah strausKappabashi Street in downtown Tokyo between Ueno Park and Asakusa is a great place to go if you are looking for dishes, kitchen utensils, pots and pans, or even restaurant supplies.  You can find things you might want… amazing pieces of pottery, dish sets, tea sets, cookware, aprons and red lanterns.  You can also find things you may not want… podiums for the front of a restaurant, display cases, full chef apparel, expensive shaved ice machines and neon signs.  Here several storefronts are dedicated to fake food – every kind of food you might eat in Japan.  There is a coffee roasters, selling coffee beans but unfortunately no cups of coffee.  There is also a store that sells a huge variety of coffee making machines.  This is such a fun place to browse.  With its covered sidewalks Kappabashi is a good outing even in the rain.  This would be a hard place to bring small children… the stores are bursting with all thing breakable and most of the stores are not stroller friendly – you have to squeeze through narrow isles to see everything.
kappabashi 2 sarah strausDIRECTIONS:  The start of Kappabashi street is located between subway stations Inaricho (G17) and Tawaramachi(G18) on the Ginza line.  The map below shows the length of Kappabashi.  It is also possible to walk here from either Ueno Park or Asakusa.  GPS coordinates for the south end of Kappabashi Street: 35.710489, 139.788224.   – Sarah Straus, July 2013

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Châteraisé Desserts

cbakery-1Just 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

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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.

Kiva – Organic Produce Market

KIVA is located around the corner from the Kabe train station which is three stops from Fussa station towards Ome. They have a good selection of organic produce – apples, carrots, potatoes, onions, lettuce, cucumbers, daikon, etc. They also have rice, beans, noodles, crackers, honey, aisles of organic items. In addition there are bath products. Website: www.e-pod.jp/kiva/  Opening Hours 10:00 to 19:30 TEL 0428-24-6089.   If you are going to Kabe, also check out TOKYU which has a large supermarket.  They have a small section of organic produce in addition to a very large selection of non-organic. We found things like fresh Yuzu, and western mushrooms.  TOKYU is located next to Kabe station. –Alison Hackbarth, March 2013.
Directions: GPS: 35.783824, 139.287025.  To take the train start at Fussa station and go three stops toward Ome.  Get off at Kabe station.  See the map below or click on “view larger map” for driving directions:

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Kasumi Market in Ome

Located near Central Ome, this cooperative center sells a wide variety of seasonal produce. Certain sections are reserved for certified Organic produce, so watch for a table or two of selective produce off to the side with the organic Kanji above it. Two separate parking lots accommodate the many patrons of this bustling market. In front of the building, to one side, is a large greenhouse with vegetation for sale.  Open daily 9:00am-5:00pm.  Phone number: 428-31-1115.  Website for this market: http://www.ja-nishitokyo.or.jp/update/kasumi/_.html
DIRECTIONS: Exit Fussa gate and turn right onto Route 16 .  Turn left onto Route 5.  Drive straight for 3.7 kilometers and then turn right at the intersection with a Yakut store on the right hand side.  The farmer’s market is on the right hand side after the first stop light. There is an additional parking lot across the road from the market.  GPS Coordinates: 35.791039, 139.298764. – Meg Martin, February 2013.


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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.

The Mall

“The Mall” is less that a 15-minute drive from the base. Similar to the Aeon Mall on a much smaller scale, this mall is great if you want to make make a quick shopping trip from the North or West sides of base.  There is a large food court on the first floor, with several dine-in specialty restaurants, including one with an extensive dessert menu.  There is also a rather large grocery store in the “Livin” part of the mall. The Mall is home to specialty stores, including ones with baby clothes, strollers, and massage chairs. There are various clothing stores, and a store that is kind of like Pier One Imports. There is a fairly large selection in the “liquor store” and in the fresh coffee beans store on the first floor, inside the grocery store.  Also on the first floor near Starbucks is a small, brightly lit nail salon.
DIRECTIONS: Turn right out the Terminal Gate, and follow signs for Route 16. The Mall will be on the left at approximately 6.5 km. There is a large green sign on top of the building that says “The Mall.” Parking is free and is either on the street level, or up above the mall via ramps on either side of the mall. Michelle Arostegui, 2002, updated Deborah Silverman, 2012.

Fresh House

Fresh House is a farmer’s market in the town of Mizuho, off the north end of the runway. This market sells seasonal vegetables and fruits. There are also cut flowers, some plants and bonsai trees for sale. Go very early for the best selection.
DIRECTIONS: Zero your odometer and turn right out the Terminal Gate onto Route 16, moving into the left lane toward central Mizuho by 0.9km. (Do not take the underpass.) This puts you on 166. Stay on 166 and go straight across Shin Ome Kaido at the intersection nearest the northern tip of the base. You’ll pass a train station, Hakonegasaki, on your left. Turn left onto Ome Kaido at 2.6km. The intersection has a blue “Ome Kaido” sign on the far left corner. Cross the train tracks and take the next right angled away, Iwakura Kaido. Look for Fresh House on the right. It is housed in three brown onion-shaped “mini barns.” Vertical banners on the road (3.2km) mark the parking area, just before the green house. Hours: 9-5 daily. (January through March open until 4pm). Telephone: 0425-57-4564 (in Japanese only). GPS: 35.7768, 139.3429.
Chieko Brumley, Julie Irwin, Teresa Negley, Keiko Hansen. Directions updated 2012. Note: Market was closed for several days around New Year’s.


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Akigawa Farmers Market

This is a cooperative where different people bring produce every morning. The entrance is in the middle, with the produce section on the left. You’ll find several bins of whatever is in season along with local produce, pickles, radishes, scallions and sweets. Behind the building is a nursery of plants and trees. There are also small barbecue huts behind the building. GPS: 35.72896,139.3075.
DIRECTIONS: Go left out the Fussa Gate onto Route 16.  At the first light, turn right at Tamabashidori Ent.   This road becomes Route 7. Just stay on this road for 3.5 kilometers over two train tracks, three bridges and through the s-curve.  The Akigawa Farmers Center will be on your left.  It is in a long building with multiple peaked roof line located amidst fields. Hours: 9am-5pm (produce section). Telephone: 042-559-1600. Teresa Negley, 1996. Directions updated 2012.

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Kasi Kosh

Kasi Kosh aka “Pink Box” is a three story second hand store worth checking out.  They carry such a wide range of items that shopping there is quite an experience. On the first floor find dishes, packaged tea sets, cooking supplies, fondue sets, kimono, clothes, purses and jewelry.  On the second floor find appliances, vases, bikes, guitars, outdoor supplies, tools and other odds and ends.  On the third floor find furniture, including sofa’s, tables and chairs, dressers, and hutches.  Kasi Kosh is open daily 11am-8pm.  They accept cash and credit.  Phone 0428-32-6591.  There is free parking behind the store.  GPS  35.78736, 139.3034.  http://www.kasikosh.com/
DIRECTIONS: Turn right out of the Fussa gate heading North on Route 16.  Turn left onto Route 5.  Kasi Kosh is 3.3 kilometers down on the right.  For parking, turn right just after Kasi Kosh and right again into the parking lot.  – Sarah Straus, October 2012

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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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Daiso ¥100 Store, East Gate

Past the Aeon Mall is another Daiso store with ultra-cheap housewares, etc. In the same building is a market with fruits, vegetables, wine and other grocery items at good prices.  The Daiso is open 10am-8pm 042-520-3273; http://www.daiso-sangyo.co.jp/english/
DIRECTIONS:  Turn left out the East Gate, then right at the first light onto a narrow road. At the second light (1.2K), turn left and drive past the Aeon Mall (1.9K). After the next light, turn right (2.2K) into the parking lot (opposite a 7/11).   Teresa Negley, Fran McDaniel, 2010.

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.

Baby Mam/Baby “Bunny” Store (children’s clothes & stuff)

Baby Mam/Baby “Bunny” Store
This is a baby clothes store about a mile from the East Gate. It has a larger selection than the BX at a reasonable price. You can find cute clothing that makes good gifts for babies back in the States as well as baby showers at Yokota. They also carry a wide selection of strollers and car seats. The back wall is full of shoes and socks. You can also buy Japanese diapers and general baby and child gear, like training chopsticks. The selection of girls’ tights is also very good.
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 on the right just before the Baby Mam store at 1.4km, also on the right. The Bunny store is easily identified by the large rabbit on the sign. 5-130-1 Musashimurayama-shi. GPS: 35.7521, 139.3659. Brian & Kristen Marriott, 2002.  Alexis Roberts, 2007. Directions updated 2011.

East Gate Vegetable markets

There is a conglomeration of markets nearby in Murayama, about 15 minutes or 5km away. These markets are closed on Thursdays. A bit of advice: do not buy at the first vegetable market on the corner – browse through several stores to make your selections.
DIRECTIONS: Turn left out the East Gate. Stay in the right lane at the second light, proceeding through the “Y” intersection to the “T” intersection. Turn right and continue to another “T” intersection (Jomo gas station on the right). Turn right at the “T”, then left at the first traffic signal (bookstore on the left corner). Go to the next “T” (overhead sign says Tokeidai Higashi) and turn right. Take the first left onto Gakuen Dori. Follow the road to the Inageya Supermarket sign and park in the supermarket lot on the left. Stores are across the street, through the alley, and around on the next larger street.
DIRECTIONS HOME: Turn right out of the parking lot, proceed to the “T” intersection, turn right. Take the first left and go to the next “T” intersection. Turn right at the intersection and take the first left (gas station on the left). Stay on this road and you will pass the D-Store on your left. Just after the first light (Yamaha dealer on your right) turn left onto Heiwa Dori. Continue straight and look ahead for the East Gate on your right. Geri Yasuhara, Delores Street, Teresa Negley, 1996

Shimoda’s Mitsugi Market
On Tuesdays and Fridays, you can shop for fresh produce at Shimoda’s Mitsugi Market, ten minutes from the East Gate.
DIRECTIONS: Go left out the East Gate. Proceed to the fork in the road where you bear left. Stay straight and make a left when you reach the “T” intersection. Make a right turn at the third signal light, onto Yakushi Dori. The first large intersection (Shiritsu Jusho Minami), will be at Shin Ome Kaido with McDonalds on the corner. Go straight through the intersection until you come to a “T”. Turn right on Ome Kaido and proceed 0.3km until you see the market on the left. Parking is in the back; turn left just past the market building (down the alley between the two buildings). Hours: 10-5pm. Telephone: 042-560-0487

Aeon Mall (Diamond City)

aeon mall sarah strausThis huge American-style mall is just two kilometers from the East Gate. Shops include H&M, Gap, Gap Kids, Eddie Bauer, L.L. Bean, Uniqlo and Zara. It is anchored by a large department store with a big supermarket on the first floor.  Also there is a fabulous indoor playground called BorneLund on the first floor.  At the opposite end, on the second floor, is a large store called Victoria that has outdoor equipment and golf supplies. On the second floor is an Aveda Salon aeon mall sarah straus(042-562-5168) where enough English is spoken to achieve a haircut. The Mall also houses a movie theater. (To find out what’s playing: https://cinema.aeoncinema.com/wm/musashino/.) Parking is plentiful and free. Hours: 10am-10pm, open 9am during the Christmas season. Address: 1-3,Enoki 1-chome,Musashimurayama-shi,Tokyo.
DIRECTIONS: Turn left out of the East Gate. Go 300 meters to the 7/11 and turn right on a narrow road. Go straight for 1 kilometer.  Turn left onto Route 59. The corner of the mall will be on your right at the next light.  Turn right here and left into the parking area.

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