Tag Archives: Fussa

1/4 Karot – Hamura

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/

Web-site: http://q-karat.com/

Phone Number: 042-579-2347

Arrabbiata

Mushroom and Anchovy Genovese

Carbonara

Beef Curry Rice

3.14 Italian Restaurant – Fussa

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

Seiyu Department Store – Fussa

Seiyu Department Store is located in downtown Fussa, right next to the Fussa train station. We flew in to Yokota on a Space A flight and spent a few days on Yokota. We did not have a car so foot and taxi were our means of travel. Seiyu department store is great because it has everything. A big grocery store on the first floor with mega selections of prepared food, bento, and sushi. A great way to eat cheap. On the top floor are sit down restaurants. There is a particularly good Japanese restaurant right next to the elevators. Unfortunately it does not have a English name.  – Sinclair Lai, November 2017

Japanese Restaurant in Seiyu

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.

 

Toraneko, Asian Jamaican Restaurant

ChickenToraneko Asian-Jamaican Fusion Restaurant in Fussa is located adjacent to Mike’s Tex-Mex, across from the Fussa Hospital, on the “Seiyu Road.” It has friendly staff, marvelous food and excellent prices, especially during lunchtime. Some of my favorites are the spring rolls, cilantro pickle, and the Jamaican jerk dishes, particularly the chicken with rice and beans. It is open Monday through Saturday, closed on Sunday. Lunch is from 11:30 to 15:00 (last order is 14:30); Dinner is 18:00 to 23:00 (last order is 22:30). Parking is free, but there are only three spaces, located just around the corner. The restaurant is small, seating 18 people. Smoking is allowed, but rarely seen.

SoupThere is a party menu and all you can drink for 120 minutes. It’s only available during dinner and requires a minimum of two people. The party menu includes a seven+ course meal and is ¥3,600 per person.

 

An interesting tidbit: the restaurant name is listed in Gurunavi, a Japanese language travel/restaurant guide, as “TABETABI TORANEKO” ( 無国籍料理店食旅トラネコ ), which is a clever play on the Japanese words Tabe (to eat) and Tabi (i.e., tabby cat). Toraneko is the Japanese word for tabby cat. Pamela Tubbs, October 2014.

Outdoor Pools open during Summer

Here is a list of local outdoor pools open during the summer months – culled in 2012 by Shelby Hansen and passed along to Emily Parks who graciously shared it with us!  It would be wonderful to have full posts for each one of these.  If you go to one we haven’t already covered, please consider sending us a trip report.  Thank you!

Fussa Pool (first week July – first of Sept)  Open Daily. 9am-6pm. ¥200 for HS age and up, ¥100 for MS age and younger (2 hrs).  Free parking available.  Features: kid’s splash pool, simple water slides.

Hamura Pool (Mid July- first of Sept) Open Daily. 10am-6pm. ¥300 for HS+, ¥100 for MS – (2 hrs) (double for full day).  Parking available.  Features: kid’s splash pool, water slide, lazy river.  -For more information: Hamura Community Water Park

Rainbow Pool (Showa Park) (Mid July – first of Sept) Open Daily.  9:30am-6:30pm (only ’til 5:30pm weekdays in July, only ’til 6pm daily from 8/20 on). ¥2,200 for HS+, ¥1,200 for ES/MS, ¥300 yen ages 4-5, 3- free (¥500 maternity price) (full day price).  Parking available (¥800/day) (A free Park bus can take you to the pool from the Sunagawa or Tachikawa Park entrances). Features: multiple kid’s splash pools, lazy river, wave pool, water slides (for 120cm+; yellow one is for smaller kids), concessions.  Discounts on admission for paying by SUICA/PASMO (minus ¥400 for HS+), or smaller discount just for showing SUICA/PASMO (minus ¥200 for HS+).  For more information: Showa Kinen Park: Rainbow Pools.

Higashi Yamato Pool (Mid July – August 31). Open Daily 10am-6pm (only 1:30pm-6pm 7/17-20) ¥300 for HS+, ¥100 for MS, ¥50 for ES, free for 5 and under (2 hrs). No parking (though the Ito Yokado store next door has a free parking garage…and a Baskin Robins).  Features: kid’s splash pool, lazy river, water slides.

Driving directions to Higashi Yamato Pool: Go right out the east gate, turn LEFT on the 7 and go 6 km, at Imokubo Hwy turn LEFT (the large blue sign points to Imokubo, the street name is Sunagawa Nana-something), go through the tunnel under the train station and turn RIGHT at the light, come to a T intersection and turn LEFT. The pool will be on your right and they do have free parking!

Fuchuu Miyoshi Mizuasobi Hiroba (Splash Pad near Tama Hills) (late July – August 31) Open for three blocks each day 10am-12pm, 1pm-3pm, 3:30pm-5:30pm (some closures during open season) ¥160 for adults, ¥100 for HS, ¥40 for MS- (they may charge half this if they don’t ask if you’re a city resident). No parking.  Features: splash pool, simple water slides. Swim Diapers OK.

Fuchuu Kyodo no Mori Pool (near Tama Hills) (late July – August 31). Open Daily 10am-5pm. ¥300 for adults, ¥200 for HS, ¥100 for MS- (2 hrs) Parking available.  Features: kid’s splash pool with slides, lazy river, water slide (for older kids).

Inagi Pool (near Tama Hills) (mid July – August 31) Open Daily. 9:30am-5pm. ¥200 for adults, ¥50 yen for kids (2 hrs). No parking. Features: kid’s splash pool, simple water slides, lazy river.

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

Fussa Playground

New in 2013, there is a playground that can be seen from Route 16 before leaving Fussa.  It is a bit convoluted to get to, but it is very close to the base and well worth the trip.  There are tall, enclosed climbing structures that have imagination games written all over it. There is a zip line and a great tire swing.  Put kids in clothes that they can get dirty because the ground underneath is just hard packed dirt.  There are bathrooms and a water fountain where kids can clean up if needed.  Playground GPS Coordinates: 35.72393, 139.342065.  Parking lot GPS 35.722589, 139.343171.
Fussa Park Alex WinklerDIRECTIONS: Leaving Fussa Gate, turn left onto Route 16.  At the end of the Yokota fence line, where Route 16 curves right, exit toward Route 7 but don’t turn left onto Route 7.  Instead go straight through the first light toward Haijima Station.  There is a paid parking lot straight ahead.  Park and this metal barrier will raise to trap your car.  Pay at the kiosk to get out.  From this parking lot it is an easy walk under Route 16 to the playground. – Alexandra Winkler & Sarah Straus, June 2013.  Interested in another Fussa Playground?  Try the Fussa Roller Slide Park or the playground on the Tama River Trail.

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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.

Discovering hidden Fussa: Two walking tours

Fussa – 福生

Let’s be frank: Fussa is not what you’d call “quaint.” It appears, like many communities in Tokyo’s orbit, to be a product of necessity, of unromantic economics and rapid development.
But you’ll see it in a new light if you take the time to poke around. First, you’ll find it’s an utterly fantastic asset to have just outside the gate. Fussa is a walkable city and a bike-friendly place. Its train station, a mere 12-minute walk from Fussa Gate, connects you to the national rail system, to Tokyo, and to the whole of Japan. The Tama River, on the city’s western flank, provides a quick nature fix and has endless trails for walking, running and biking. Its stores and restaurants are good training grounds for you to trot out new Japanese phrases as you learn them and get used to commerce in Japan. Don’t be shy. You think you’re the first clueless American they’ve seen in these parts?
Just when you think Fussa is merely utilitarian you’ll start uncovering its secrets: Temples tucked away in neighborhoods. A little pastry shop. A watering hole where you feel you could become a regular. A sudden view of snow-covered Mt. Fuji. A clutch of older homes that, if you squint, gives you a peek at a previous century.
How do you find these hidden places? Read on, my friends. That’s what we’re here for.

Discovering hidden Fussa: Two walking tours

Fussa Restaurants

1. The West Route

This route will show you some of the Fussa gems that are concealed in plain sight. It’s about 3 miles long, if you take every side trail. It can easily be cut short – just make for Fussa Station and back to Fussa Gate. See the route map here. I’ve also posted it below. This makes an excellent bike tour, also.


View Fussa Walking Tour No. 1 in a larger map

Into the center
Start by walking out the Fussa Gate and cross the first set of tracks. Stay left at the “Y.” In 300 feet, pause to window-shop the tiny antique store on the right side of the street, right on the corner. It specializes in old electric sewing machines and post-War “Made in Japan” porcelain. Now continue down the street as you were. Cross the second set of tracks and go two more blocks. You’ve now gone 1km from Fussa gate and you’re at an intersection, with the main Fussa Post Office on your right and the Fussa City offices on your left. (GPS position: 35.739264, 139.326756)

To Shinmeisha Shrine
Turn right, onto Shin Okutama-Kaido and continue past the post office. Half a kilometer (a third of a mile) past the post office – having gone through five intersections, one with a traffic light – you will see a concrete elementary school on the right side of the street. (GPS: 35.74265, 139.32479). There’s a cute coffee shop on the left, with lots of mugs in the window. Stop in for a cuppa and continue down the street. You’ll see Skylark, and a noodle restaurant called Kama-Age, next to a fire station on the right side of the road. On the left is a cemetery. Next to the cemetery is the entrance to Shinmeisha Shrine. Note this location and ask yourself if you’re hungry. If so, grab a bite at the  one of restaurants next to the fire station, or continue down the road, past Sega, to a most inviting sandwich shop, Cheese and Olive. Once you’re done, go back to Shinmeisha Shrine. Walk through the Torii Gate and you will see smaller shrines spaced on the left side.
If you continue through to the Torii Gate on the opposite side and down a set of stairs, you will find a small park on the right side of the stairway. Go down the steps to the street, and turn left to look at the sculptures depicting the Buddhist god Jizo, the patron of travelers and deceased children. They are dressed in red caps and, on one recent visit, fleece Winnie the Pooh jackets.

A leafy respite
Now do a U-turn. Go past the stairs you came down to the end of the block. Make a left at the corner and walk three small blocks to the end of the street. There will be a blue pedestrian overpass. If you look behind the house on the corner, you will see a very old temple, Kannondou Temple, down a small alleyway. Cross the pedestrian overpass and the small bridge. Now, remember this spot because we’re coming back here.
After the bridge, you can turn right and walk along the side of a small canal to Kanizaka Park (toilet and water fountain available). This canal is what remains of the Tamagawa Waterway, built in 1653 to supply water for Edo. The road becomes a path as it follows the canal past a small residential area to a small leafy park. This peaceful area is laced with paths up and around a small embankment dotted with picnic tables and benches. Climb up. There’s a nice view of the Tama River far below. Does the lumpy topography seem out of place? This park was built on the fill dug up 350 years ago to build the canal.

Choutokuji Temple & Tamura Brewery

Now follow your breadcrumbs back to the bridge. If you face away from the bridge and go straight, down the hill, you will see a grandly rebuilt temple, Choutokuji Temple, and across the street the picturesque Tamura sake brewery. Continue past the temple; the road will begin to curve to the left (you’ll see the Tama River). There is a small park with benches and a small shrine just as the road curves. The next intersection will be Fujiami Street. Turn left here. If you continue straight, you will come to Fussa Station.  Walk through the station, down to street level and past McDonald’s to the corner. Turn right, then take the first left. It’s a straight shot from there to the Fussa Gate.

Seiganin Temple, Est. 1394
If you want to see one more cool temple, make the left onto Fujiami Street and walk two blocks to Naka Fussa Street. There’s no sign, but if you get to the bridge over the canal you’ve gone to far. Turn right down this street and go halfway down the block. (GPS: 35.737853, 139.323693) You will see a small alley to the left. Turn here. About 300 yards up this alley is one of the most ornate temples in the area, the Seiganin Temple. This temple, orignally built in 1394, is home to Buddhist monks.
Now you can backtrack to Fujimi Street or you can continue past the temple to the next intersection, take a left, and follow the curve of the road (left), back to Fujimi Street and then a right back to Fussa Station and the Fussa Gate. Michele Kreuziger, Emily Pishnotte, Liz Ruskin, 2010.

2. The Tama River Tour

This route is about 6km. It’s good for walkers or bicyclists. Bring a snack as there are several nice parks to take a break in, or plan on getting lunch at the Ishikawa Brewery.


View

The Tea House
Start at the Supply Gate and walk straight across Route 16. Keep going straight, along Itsukaichi Kaido Avenue, Route 7. The entrance to the first site on our tour, the City Tea House, will appear in 400 meters, after you cross the first set of railroad track, on the left side of the street. You are looking for a small wooded area with a stone path. (The woods are across Itsukaichi Kaido from the Civic Center , a large red brick auditorium. If you reach the blue pedestrian overpass you’ve gone too far.) Follow the stone path to see a bamboo fenced area, where you’ll find the City Tea House. (The Tea House, built for tea ceremonies and other cultured events, is available for rent but you must make reservations months in advance.) Walk around and up the hill past the Tea House, turning right at the top, taking you to the rear of the Fussa Library. The entrance is around the building to the right, directly behind the Tea House. (The library is open 10am -8pm Tuesday-Friday, 10am – 5pm Sat-Sun, closed Mondays, or Tuesdays if Monday is a Japanese holiday. www.city.fussa.tokyo.jp/englishguide/88vtda000000fzsq-att/88vtda000000fzuc.pdf) Next, follow the stone path back to the main street or look next to the Tea House and the library for the cute little bridge and waterfall. Whether you exit through the parking lot or take the stone path, walk back to the main road, Itsukaichi Kaido.

Firefly Park (Hotaru Park)
Turn left on Itsukaichi Kaido, going downhill, away from the base. Your first chance to stop for a snack is past the library at the Jonathan’s Restaurant on the left.
Stay straight and cross a bridge decorated with artwork tiles of fireflies. Continue walking straight. Turn left onto Okutama Kaido, and move to the right side of the road. You should see a sign in Japanese for the steps down to Firefly Park (Hotaru Park). The entrance to this path is across from Gray Shining Hills apartments and a bright yellow building.  Or continue further down Okutama Kaido and take the bike path. This park has bathrooms, a stream, a fountain and a greenhouse where firefly larva are grown. Come here around 8pm in mid-June to see the glow bugs. Fussa holds an annual firefly festival around this time to celebrate the magic.
To continue your walk, pass the greenhouse, exit onto the street and turn left. Go under the the elevated railroad tracks. You’ll see a small playground on the right just beyond the tracks. But ahead on the left is a cuter park with fish ponds that might be make for a nice rest.

The River Path
When you’re ready to continue, backtrack to the playground and cut through it to reach a small road that parallels the railroad tracks. Walk along this road until it dead-ends at the river.  Now climb up the small embankment and turn left. You’ll see you’re walking on a bike path built on the levee of the Tama River. The path is lined with cherry trees and is stunningly gorgeous when the trees bloom in early April.  In fact, Fussa has a festival for that, too, and the main venue is just ahead on your left, Myojinshita Park (GPS: 35.7236,139.3305, halfway between the railroad tracks behind you and the next bridge.) Walk on, keeping the Tama River on your right, for about a kilometer. Here the path ducks under the Mutsumi Bashi bridge. If you go under the bridge you will be at a large picnic area called Minami Park. If you wish to barbecue or play tennis here, get a permit from the log cabin park office by the entrance.

The Brewery
To continue, turn left at the traffic circle and go uphill to exit the park. Turn right on the main street, Mutsumi-bashi Dori. Stay on the right side of the road, and bear right along the sidewalk, flanking a stone retaining wall. At the top of the small hill is a billboard advertising the Ishikawa Brewery, which is just ahead. Go there now if you’re losing energy and in need of refreshment.
Otherwise, take the scenic route: Make a sharp right and follow the road as it winds its way past beautiful homes and the Senjuin Temple.
At the intersection with Kumagawa Dori (there’s no sign, but trust us on this one), about 80 meters past the temple, there is an old stone monument on the far left corner. (What does it say? Is it a historical marker? An ancient road sign? If you find out, leave a comment below.) Turn left here. On the left, there is a well-tended property with black walls and a series of old white buildings. This is the Sake Brewery Tama-Jiman, also known as the Ishikawa Brewery. It has a little museum and two nice restaurants, which you can read about here. Stop in to check it out

Kumagawa Shrine
Once you leave the brewery, go back to Kumagawa Dori and continue in the same direction you were headed, northeast. Immediately past the bewery you’ll come to a “T” intersection. (Look left and you might be able to see the billboard you were standing at minutes ago, before you opted for the scenic route.)  Turn right at the “T” and then a quick left onto the continuation of Kumagawa Dori, a tiny street, no wider than an alley. This will take you back to the big street, Mutusumi-bashi Dori, which is, like Itsukaichi Doir, labeled Rt. 7 on maps. Cross this road and continue along Kumagawa Dori. Keep going straight until you reach a four-way intersection of streets no bigger than the one you’re on. Turn left, so that you’re walking down the alley that has a metal fence running along the right-hand side.  You will soon reach Kumagawa Shrine, a unique animal temple. The day we were there, they had live raccoons, a goat, cranes, a dog, and a large cage full of parakeets. There are signs that say “Don’t Touch the Animals.” This is also the site of a very nice shrine sale, held on the second Sunday of every month.

Back to Base
Tired? OK, let’s get you home. Exit the temple grounds and continue going north on the road you came in on. When it ends, turn right and cross Shin Okutama Kaido. Keep going along this small residential street until you come to a 4-way intersection with a light. Turn left here. Follow this road as it crosses a set of track, curves to the right and then crosses another set of tracks. Stay on it, across a third set of tracks until you reach Route 16 and the Yokota fence. Turn left to get to the Supply Gate. Michele Kreuziger 2007. Directions updated 2012.

I followed and updated directions in late 2010. No animals at the temple on my visit, perhaps due to the cold. Liz Ruskin