Tag Archives: Japanese cuisine

Screaming Sushi (Totoya Michi)

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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Ishikawa Brewery / Beer House of Fussa

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. Ishikawa Brewery 3The 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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Yoshinoya “Beef Bowl”

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

Unasen Tempura

Unasen, a Fussa eel and tempura restaurant, serves a wonderful, crisp, tempura dish of shrimp, pepper, eggplant, Japanese mushrooms, squid and fish. If you order a tempura set, you also get a good miso soup, rice and pickles. The decor is traditional with tatami mats, shoji window screens and walls of white pine. Although the menu is in Japanese, there is a window of plastic food for menu selection when your language skill has reached the limit. Unasen has three private rooms plus two booths in the front. Price on the tempura set is ¥l,500.
DIRECTIONS: Go straight out the Fussa Gate, bear left at the “Y” intersection, Honcho Dori. Go across the railroad tracks and through the first light (intersection of Ginza Dori). The restaurant is on the left, across from Jesse James. Hours: 11am-l0pm, six days a week, closed Saturdays. Telephone: 51-6465. Diane C. Lyell, 1992

Tony’s Tonkatsu House

tonys by kelly 4This little hole-in-the-wall is tucked away in the heart of Fussa City. Tony’s Tonkatsu is run by the chef, Mr. Yoshio (Tony) Torikoshi. Tonkatsu (deep fried breaded pork cutlet) is their specialty. It’s not all pork. You can also get dishes featuring cheese or vegetables. The catch is, they’re wrapped in pork and deep-fried, too! The prawn dish is an exception. It’s breaded and fried, but without the pork. Every dish is worth trying! All dishes are served with Japanese pickles, a little appetizer plate, miso soup, rice and salad. Prices range from ¥800-1950. The menus are in English and Romaji (romanized Japanese). Although reservations are not required for 6 or less, you should make one on weekend evenings. The restaurant is small, with low tables on tatami mats and bar stools at the counter. There is also a party room, accommodating 20. Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 11am-2pm and 5-8pm. Telephone: 042-552-0419.
tonys by kelly 3DIRECTIONS: Go straight out the Supply Gate. Cross two sets of railroad tracks. After crossing the second set of tracks, continue straight through four traffic lights. Shortly after the fourth light, you will start to go downhill. There will be a traffic light at the bottom of the hill, with a blue pedestrian bridge overhead. Take a left here and go straight until the third light. Take a left at this light (Marufuji Supermarket on left). Tony’s Tonkatsu House is across the street from the parking lot.  GPS: 35.7253, 139.3343.  Jean Kuramoto, Delores Street, 2010, photos by Kelly O’Donnell July 2013.
Tonys by Kelly O
May 2012, Pamela Tubbs: Hubby and I enjoyed a super tonkatsu set meal…for just ¥1200, Torikoshi-san and his wife served us a huge feast (by Japanese standards!), including a chunk of pre-cut super-sweet pineapple for dessert (no charge!). This is a sweet little “mom-n-pop” (family lives above their restaurant) place on the corner. Sit at the counter to get a detailed view of all the military and U.S.-themed kitsch stuck on nearly every vertical surface! Note: ash trays on the tables meant one thing–we were lucky to be there with only one other customer, who wasn’t smoking! Tips to avoid the crowd (particularly smokers): go during the week (don’t forget–closed on Mondays), and get there early– they open at 5:00 p.m. There’s plenty of free parking in Marufuji’s parking lot (behind Marufuji, beside Tony’s). Enjoy!

Family Steakhouse & Shabu-Shabu Don Tei

Two restaurants frequented by Yokota meat-eaters during lunch are Family Steakhouse Don and Shabu-Shabu Dontei. Sets at both places are ¥1000-¥2000, according to the picture menus. Shabu-shabu consists of boiling meat in broth in a table-top pan and then dipping it in sauce (sort of a Japanese fondue). Some say that you are supposed to cook the meat only as long as it takes you to say “shabu-shabu.” Thinly sliced pork is offered in addition to beef, along with a plate of vegetables and large noodles to be cooked at the end. Sets come with rice, salad bar is extra. Both restaurants open 11am-midnight.
DIRECTIONS: Drive straight out the Supply Gate (Itsukaichi Kaido) and across two sets of train tracks. Continue a few more blocks. The more western-style Steakhouse Don is on the near right corner of the next large intersection (at ShinOkutama Kaido) opposite the small Ushihama Post Office (before the road goes downhill)., 042-530-6866, 43-1 Ushihama. For the shabu-shabu restaurant, turn left at this intersection, then left past the brown apartment building into the parking lot (take off and put your shoes into the black lockers, then remove the wooden key). 042-551-7866, 986-1 Kumagawa. www.steak-don.co.jp/e/ Teresa Negley, Alexis Roberts 2009

SushiRo

SushiRo1SushiRo5Added to Yokota Travel in 2002, this “conveyor belt” sushi restaurant is still quite popular for its low cost and variety. If you go, you may have to wait in line for a seat. If there is a line, you will need to get a number from the machine next to the host/hostess. It’s in Japanese, but somebody will be happy to help you.

SushiRo2SushiRo3Once seated, you can grab sushi from the conveyor belt, or you may special order. Each table has its own ordering screen, which the staff will kindly switch to English for you. Special orders arrive via the conveyor belt on an elevated red tray that it color coded for your table. The special order screen will play a brief tune a moment before your order arrives. The price is determined by the plate color. There’s a handy chart at each table. Yellow and white are only ¥105, one is with wasabi and one is without (not sure which one). Black square plates are special and a little more expensive, but usually delicious.

Water is self-serve and located on the entrance side of the restaurant. There are two water stations. Additionally, each table has a hot water spigot and a bowl of matcha (green powder) for making green tea. Other drinks are offered through the special order screen. When you are finished, call a waiter using the button with a bell printed on it; they’ll count your plates and give you a card to take to the register.

SushiRo is open from 11am to 11pm. However, the last opportunity to be seated is at 10:30 pm. GPS: 35.718544, 139.335772. Brian Marriott, August 2002, confirmed Chris Kopp, May 2013, updated Roxanne Ready, July 2013, photos Michelle Nexon, July 2013.


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Ramen Shops on Bar Row

Ramen noodles are a delicious and quick meal. They’re nothing like the dried kind you get in supermarkets. There are many ramen shops around Japan. The two closest ones to base are easy walks.

DIRECTIONS: the first one is on “Bar Row.” Go straight out Fussa Gate, bear left at “Y” intersection (1st light), take a right at next light. The restaurant is immediately to the left as you turn onto it. It has English menus and a wide variety of ramen soupflavors. To reach the second restaurant, continue down Bar Row and take a left at the next intersection. You will see another smaller ramen shop a couple buildings down on the right. Hours? Telephone? Name of shops? Brian & Kristen Marriott, date

Kubota’s Tempura Restaurant

If you’re looking for the best traditional Japanese food, including tempura, broiled eel (sounds weird, but it’s yummy!) and fresh fish that’s been broiled on a skewer, Kubota’s is the place. The staff is very warm and welcoming, and there’s an English menu with lots of pictures. The set dinners are a great deal. Credit cards are welcome. The tempura lunch sets, including soup, rice and fruit are only¥1000. Remove your shoes if you get a table in the tatami dining room, which has low tables and is next to a small garden. Western-style seating is also available Hours: 11:30am-2pm and 5-9pm. Closed Mondays. GPS: 35.7456, 139.3288
DIRECTIONS: Turn right out Fussa Gate (0km), left at the light where George’s used car dealership is, near Ushihama Garage. (Signposted “Shorin Dori Ent.” 0.6km.) Cross the tracks. Continue straight and downhill through three more lights. At 1.5km, turn into the dirt parking lot on the right. The restaurant is across the street. Telephone: 042-551-0545. Ace & Pamela Tubbs, 2011

Katsura

This is a unique (kappo ryori) establishment where the chef’s specialty is fresh seafood (including raw). Cooked meat (beef and pork) or vegetables are also available by advance request for meal partners. Meals may run ¥ 5,000 or more. Discuss budget when making reservations. The specifics are up to the chef and depend on ingredients available. 5% tax applied. Beer costs ¥700 and sake ¥1,000.
DIRECTIONS: Drive out Fussa Gate, stay right at the “Y” and turn right on Yanagi Dori past the Seiyu. Stay on it for about 3.7km, past KFC and McDonald’s. Turn left at the second light after Denny’s. Turn right into the parking lot before the tracks, and park on the right hand side in spaces marked かつら. The reservations-only restaurant is across the street in a narrow two-story building. 042-555-5900, 1-1-3 Midorigaoka, Hamura. GPS: 35.723381,139.296684 . Teresa Negley 2010

Jonathan’s

This chain of Japanese restaurants seems like the Japanese-food version of Dennys. They typically have at least picture menus and the food is pretty good. Most of them have all-you-can-drink soft drinks. There are Jonathan’s everywhere, and the one closest to the Fussa Gate is near Fussa Station. They are generally open late, which is nice if you are getting back to base late and need a meal.
DIRECTIONS #1: Go straight out the Supply Gate and cross two railroad tracks.  Jonathan’s will be past the 2nd railroad tracks on the left. Hours: 10am – 2am. 042-539-7216
DIRECTIONS #2:  Go right out of East Gate. At the first light turn left. Jonathan’s will be on the left at the next light.  Open 24 hours. 042-520-7009 Kyoko Bissell, 2010

Ippatsu “Screaming Ramen”

Great for a hot bowl of “Chinese” noodle soup on a cold evening. Match the dish numbers on the English menu to the numbers on the machine by the door. Put yen in the machine and push the button for your choice. To get any change, twist the lever at the top. Give your ticket to the cook behind the counter. Pour your own glasses of water from the water stand near the ticket machine. This ramen stand is unusual for using “tororo” Japanese “mountain yam” also called “yamakake” when grated in several of its dishes. To spice up your selection, sprinkle black pepper or add grated garlic on top. Prices vary from ¥700 -1,200.
DIRECTIONS: Make a left out the Terminal Gate (zero odometer), then turn right at the next light onto Homukyoku Dori. Cross the railroad tracks and turn right at the intersection near Marufuji’s, 1.1K Higashi Fussa N. Turn left at the second light, Musashino Dai, 1.5K by the 7/11. Make a right at FussaRokusho Mae past the ramen stand on the corner and turn left into the green fenced parking lot behind it at 2.1K off Nichu Dori.  Park in front of a yellow parking marker numbered 21-22-23 or 25-26, then walk back to the ramen stand. The red and yellow “noren” curtain with ラーメン (ramen in katakana) shows the stand is open. Julie Hudson, Teresa Negley

Hamazen (“Torches” )

Hamazen Japanese Restaurant


Made a same-day reservation at this restaurant in Fussa on a Wednesday night. Three of us sat at Japanese-style seating around the aquarium.  Sushi, Sashimi, and traditional Japanese seafood menu options, a la carte and sets. Active fish dishes are also available.
The food quality was exceptional and beautifully presented.
Service was excellent, and very quick. We had Sawanoi sake from Ome brewery (as special drink) and plum wine.

You can catch your own fish. It doesn’t get any fresher than this.
I highly recommend this restaurant for the food and experience. The prices are very affordable, I think cheaper prices compared to the quality you get in the food and presentation. Honestly, conveyor belt sushi cannot compare. Also it is kid-friendly. English menu available. Robin Kidder, May 2017

Other comments:
This traditional Japanese restaurant, also known as Torches, is a close but unique culinary adventure for guests who are seated at either the tables or a broad counter surrounding an indoor fish pond. Guests can fish from the table surrounding the pond.  If you catch a fish you have to purchase it and can have it cooked for your evening meal. Weekday lunch specials are about ¥1000, while dinners are higher with the tempura set about ¥1500 and monthly specials ¥3500+. Sashimi is available in great variety (even fish on the bone while still breathing). They have an abbreviated menu available in English (no pictures). Private party rooms may be reserved in advance.  Teresa Negley, Kyoko Bissell, 2010.

Hamazenwww.kourakuen.com
Hours: 11:00am -10:00pm. Lunch is served until 3pm.
Telephone: 042-551-0035.
DIRECTIONS: Drive straight out the Supply Gate, cross both sets of train tracks and continue straight. Turn left on Okutama Kaido. Turn left after about 1km into the walled parking lot for Korakuen Hotel and Hamazen Restaurant. During the evening, torches burn at the entrance to the restaurant.

Ramen Fukumi / Tatanmeni Fukumi

One of my favorite restaurants is located across the street from the Fussa Gate and is called  Fukumi’s for short. Here you will find delicious food at inexpensive prices. The kitchen is clean and you can watch your meal being prepared. The menu is not extensive but includes several types of homemade ramen, usually served with a lot of vegetables: regular, negi-ramen (leek), shio-ramen (salt), miso-ramen (bean paste), and tantanmen (spicy noodle). Scrumptious gyoza is available, as is staminadon (rice with vegetables, onions, and seaweed), chahan (fried rice) and gohan (white rice).  Prices range from ¥100 for a half-order of white rice to ¥800 for a set of ramen and a half-order of chahan. Coke and orange soda cost ¥150 and beer is ¥550. Customers are welcome to use the self-serve water cooler next to the door.
DIRECTIONS: There are three restaurants. The first is across the street from the base, on Route 16 between the Fussa and Supply Gates. The second is near the Fussa Post Office, and the third is on the town side of Fussa Train Station. To get to the closest one, turn right out the Supply Gate. Go about a 1/2 block and the restaurant is on the left-hand side. It is a two-story building with a porch and clearly visible hanging yellow lanterns. The building is located under the blue highway sign: “Omiya 41km and Kawagoe 27km.” Or, turn left out the Fussa Gate. Fukumi’s is two blocks past Cupid’s Florist on the right side. Hours: daily (including Japanese holidays) 11am-6am. Telephone:  042-553-9699. Karen Ozment, Kyoko Bissell, 2010

Akishima Restaurant: Aiya

Sounds like a great place, but I wish I knew more. Been there lately? What kinds of dishes do they serve? — Liz

This is the place for the TRUE Japanese food lover! There are many traditional dishes to suit every palate. Although very modern, the atmosphere and decor are typically Japanese. Upon entering, you are required to remove your shoes and place them in lockers. The lockers come with a large wooden key with Japanese numbers and alphabets. The menus are in Japanese. There are a few pictures that go along with their specialty dishes. I suggest that you go with someone who can read and speak the language on your first visit. The prices are quite reasonable, with most dishes within the ¥2,000 range. There are two Aiya restaurants near Yokota. One out of East Gate and one out of Fussa Gate

DIRECTIONS, Akishima Location: Turn right out of East Gate.  At the fifth light, Route 7, turn right.  You will continue on this road veering left and going through 4 lights.  You will pass Off House on your right.  At the fourth light you will turn left.  You will see the South end of base to your right.  After you turn left, you will follow this road through three lights and under an underpass.  You will  pass the Fish Onsen on your right and a Family Mart on your right.  After the underpass, you will come to a light where the road T’s.  Turn left. The  restaurant will be up a couple of blocks on your right.    You will see the tall, square blue sign with two Kanji on it for the restaurant.  It is just past a Ringer Hut. Hours? Telephone?

DIRECTIONS to the Hamura Location: This is on Yanagi Dori. To get there, go straight out the Fussa Gate and across one set of tracks. Go right at the “Y” intersection. Turn right at the second light and go straight for 15 lights. Look for the “Welcome” sign after passing McDonalds on the right. Jean Kuramoto, 1997.  Nina Carr verified 2007.