Tag Archives: Restaurants

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

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.

Ramen Square, Tachikawa

Ramen Square is a collection of seven ramen shops, combined on the third floor of a building in Tachikawa. When you step into the square, you feel like you are entering the streets of Manhattan. Each shop has a specialty ramen dish. Prices range from ¥500 to ¥1200. It’s open 11:00 to 24:00, last order is 23:30. Phone: 042-521-7111. Website: http://ramen-square.com/.

The Square is located south of the Tachikawa Station, near the Tachikawaminami Station. It’s on the third floor of the Arearea 2 building. It will be marked with green NYC style road signs. GPS: 35.6961514, 139.4128046. Michelle Nexon, July 2014.

Villa Delpino – La Cucina Italiana

If you are looking for a another great Italian restaurant, then look no further. Just on the other side of Itsukaiichi, in the Hinohara Village (Mura), right behind the Tofu Donut Shoppe, is the “Villa Delpino” La Cucina Italiana. The main chef speaks English and he provides English menus.  Lunch is ¥1000 +tax, and served between 1100-1700. The Chef serves two special lunches, which come with salad, bread, coffee or tea and main course. Dinner is by reservation only, price varies, and served between 1800-2200, though the Chef will serve earlier if requested and for more than two people.  The restaurant seats 14 people max. They have a great selection of wine.  Phone number: 042-598-1054.  Closed: Wednesdays and Thursdays.  GPS: 35.729805,139.143459.
DIRECTIONS: Take Route 7 West towards Itsukaiichi, go to the end where the Musahi-Itsukaiichi Station is directly in front, turn left on Route 33. Drive until you reach Route 33 and Route 205 “T” intersection, turn right, drive for about 1.5 km. – Fran Sil, April 2013.

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Black Pork Restaurant and Grocery

This cute little family run restaurant serves up some awesome tonkatsu (breaded fried pork) sets andsoba/udon sets to many city workers during the week (City Hall is just around the corner) and starving families on the weekends. Open for lunch and dinner. They make their own noodles there.   After lunch, go through the swinging doors to their attached grocery store which serves up just made tempura, bento boxes and homemade Mochi. They also have produce and fresh meats on hand. 
TIP: I learned the hard way that you have to come as close to 11:30 (when they open for lunch) as possible when coming for lunch. The city workers around the corner pack the place at noon.
TIP 2: If you have babies, they will suggest you sit in the room with the Chabudais (low dining tables) and tatami mats. This room fills up with smokers so position yourself near one of the windows and you’re golden.
TIP 3: This is NOT a Non-Smoking restaurant. Please keep that in mind when you try and find a place to sit (provided you have a choice when you get there).
TIP 4: Since all items are not pre-made (this isn’t Burger King), it does take at least 20-25 minutes for your food to be prepared. Well worth it, in my opinion. GPS: 35.75567, 139.38652.  Anna Schmoldt, 2012.
DIRECTIONS: Set your odometer to zero as you exit the East Gate and turn left. Turn right at the first light (0.2km) by the 7-11. Continue straight down this narrow road to the four-way intersection  at 1.3km. Turn left here, onto a major road, which is marked 59 on maps. Keep driving, past the Aeon Mall on your right and across Shin Ome Kaido (sometimes called Route 5) until about 3km. When you get to Ome Kaido, signposted Route 5, turn right. Black Pork is about 50 meters down, on the left. It has a brown wood facade, which is nearly obscured by a tree. We’re not sure of the phone number, but the number of the business immediately to the left of the restaurant is 042-561-1631.

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Kappa Sushi

*This place had a renovation and its system got changed. There is no longer an English menu and the model bullet train that delivers your order.  
Kappa Sushi is a chain, conveyor belt sushi restaurant that is fun and kid-friendly. There is booth seating along the conveyor belt but you can also order using a touch screen menu at each table. Orders are brought out by a model bullet train. The menu includes sushi and sashimi of course, but also udon, juice boxes, french fries and a variety of desserts. Most plates cost ¥105. There is ample parking in the back. I went for lunch on a Wednesday and it was busy but not crowded. I saw lots of small kids and nobody seemed to mind the squeals of delight coming from my 2-year-old as she watched the bullet train deliver her Hello Kitty juice box. The location I went to is on Highway 5 heading toward Ome. Its a few blocks before Kasi Kosh (aka the Pink Box, a fun second-hand store) and on the same side of the street. GPS: 35.78522, 139.31084. www.kappa-create.co.jp/en/.

DIRECTIONS: Exit Fussa gate and turn right onto Rt. 16. Stay straight to take the underpass, then turn left onto Rt. 5, toward Ome. The restaurant is on your right, before road 181. Address: 7-1-7 Shinmachi Oume-shi, Tōkyō-to, Japan. Phone: 0428-30-1036.  Hours: 10am-11pm daily-Sarah Straus, 2012.

Savini Italian Restaurant

After a day of shopping in Tachikawa, go to Savini for lunch or, better yet, for their “Imagination Cake.” This dessert is a light-tasting sponge cake with a generous amount of whipping cream, with small slices of kiwi, cantaloupe, and strawberries. It’s a delicious treat at ¥600 per hefty slice. Other desserts sounded equally scrumptious—baked pudding, chocolate mousse, homemade Italian ice cream, ricotta cheese cake, and fresh fruit (¥500-¥700). Lunch entrees include sirloin garlic steak, grilled lamb (¥1900-¥3500), goulash, veal or grilled chicken (¥1200). Sixteen choices of salad are available for ¥850 to ¥1250: spinach, seafood, tomato, green, octopus, bacon and shimeji, zucchini and eggplant, and crabmeat. Pizza in all combinations are offered: vegetarian, anchovy, shrimp, shorizo, pear, bacon, salmon, seafood, and seppie (squid ink). Pizzas with 19 or less items cost ¥1200 to ¥3900, depending on size. There is also a large selection of drinks. Open since 1968, this 30-seat restaurant fills up fast at lunch time with business women as well as women with bags filled with shopping bargains. There are English menus.

DIRECTIONS: Savini is located on the second floor of the Inoue Building. Take the train from Fussa to Tachikawa. Exit the station, walking past Lumine Dept Store, using the stairs on the left. Cross the street and go down the alley next to the Klimt Coffee Shop (pink awnings). Continue straight on this road and you’ll see the Savini sign. Hours: daily 11:00 am – 12:00 am. –Karen Ozment


Japanese restaurant on base: Hana no Mai

The exterior is so unassuming you’d hardly know this eatery exists. But once you walk up the stairs you’ll be greeted by a display showing the lunch specials of the day. The menu is entirely in Japanese, but the display shows you all you need to know. Choose from set A, B, or C, then walk into the surprisingly sunny restaurant. It definitely has a lunchroom feel, but the service staff wear a sharp-looking outfit, the place serves beer and it is even open for dinner. Take a seat and a server will come by to take your order. When I went, both servers spoke great English. Prices hover around ¥500 for a lunch set that includes rice, a small salad, a wee plate of pickles and a main dish. There’s also self-service miso soup to ladle out. Payment is in yen only, but a sign says they take American Express. (Perhaps someone can verify.)  The other items on the menu include:
Ginger pork meal ¥580  
Eggs over rice ¥400
Pork Katsu over rice ¥500
Pork Katsu Curry ¥630
Curry ¥430
Chicken Katsu meal ¥580
Soy sauce ramen ¥380
Plain soba or udon ¥280
Soba or Udon with Tempura ¥350 Onigiri (salmon or sour plum) ¥100.
Hours: Lunch 11-2pm. Dinner:5-10pm
Directions: If you’re going south on Airlift Avenue, you’ll pass the gym (Samurai Fitness Center) on your left, and then an open area with outdoor volleyball courts. The next building, still on the left side of the road, is the Contracting Squadron, clearly labeled. Then there’s a parking lot. Turn into the parking lot. At the far end you’ll see a building with an external concrete stairwell. Walk up the stairs. The restaurant is right there on the second floor.

Zonavoce, an Italian lunch spot

You know this place is special the moment you walk in. Zonavoce is a beautiful restaurant that has a warm brick and wood interior. With its high ceilings, it feels airier and more tranquil than most places near here. The menu is limited but everything is fresh and wholesome. Lunch sets start from about ¥1,000 for mushroom pasta  or minestrone, with all-you-can-eat tossed salad, plus self-serve tea or coffee. Wood oven-fired pizzas come in a rotating variety of flavors, usually including Basil Margarita for ¥1,100. Add ¥380 for a set with self-service salad, bread and drinks.  The set is great, because the salad bar has nice fresh greens and the bread is delicious. (Did I mention the place is also a bakery?) The restaurant is half a block from Fukushimaya Supermarket, a related store that promotes organic and natural food. Added bonus: It’s near the Hamura Zoo! Store hours: 9am-9pm. Zonavoce: 11:30am-3pm (last order 2pm). www.fukushimaya.net/shopinfo/shop_market.html. If you like this restaurant, you may also like another restaurant by the same owner: Shikisai Buffet.  Tel. 042-570-0744. GPS: 35.7624, 139.3209.
DIRECTIONS:  Turn right out Fussa Gate, or left out the Terminal Gate (0km). Turn at the “T” the intersection signposted  “Shorin Dori Ent.”, 0.6km from either gate. (This is the intersection where George’s used car dealership is, near Ushihama Garage.)  Cross the tracks. Drive through two lights. Turn right onto a four-lane divided road at 1.2km. (Marked 249 on Google Maps. Metal Black Cat shipping depot will be on your right.) Go straight on this major road until the intersection signposted “Hamura Sta.” at 3.3km. (“Eagle Best Car Shop” on your right.) Turn left at this traffic light. The restaurant is ahead, on your left (3.4km), with a small parking lot adjacent to the building, just before it. For the Fukushimaya supermarket, continue down the same street about a block, toward Hamura station. The store, a large pinkish building with a sign in English over the awning, will be on your right. Teresa Negley and Julie Hudson, 2010. Directions updated 2012.

Fussa Gate to Zonavoce

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KC’s Dining

This place, right nearby in Fussa, has good Indian food with an English menu.  The lunch set is ¥1000.  The restaurant is downstairs.  It has two large tables and several small tables. It’s barely half a mile from Fussa gate, so close enough to walk or bike.
DIRECTIONS: Go out the Fussa Gate and turn right onto Rt. 16. Turn left at the next light. Cross the tracks and go straight through two lights (the road bends left at the second.)Pass the yellow-striped pachinko building. KC’s is next to the pink-trimmed Foxy bar, which is on the corner with Bar Row.  There’s pay parking at the corner.  You can also park in the lot across from the pachinko parlor. Tel. 042-553-7708. GPS: 35.74371, 139.3311. Ace Tubbs, 2011

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Ome Museums

Ome Railroad Museum: See separate entry.

 Ome Municipal Museum & Ome Art Museum
A pleasant afternoon can be spent in Ome visiting the Ome Art Museum and the Ome Municipal Museum. When we visited, the Ome Art Museum had a small display of pieces in a variety of style from ink to watercolor, mostly from the 1930’s through the present. On the first floor was a room with artwork done by school children in a nearby park. It costs ¥200, and is closed Mondays. After going to the art museum, we walked across the Tama River, through a wooded park beside the river, and visited the Ome Municipal Museum. Everything is in Japanese, but you can look at a variety of artifacts from arrowheads to farming equipment. They have a 250 year old farmhouse that you can go inside and look at the way people lived. This museum is free.
TRAIN DIRECTIONS: Take the Ome line from the Fussa Station away from Tokyo and get off at Ome (14 minutes). Walk straight out of the station to the first light (“Ome Sta” intersection) an turn right. Go to the second light (411, Ome Shinimkaika Int) and turn left. At the next light (Ome Civic Hall S. intersection), cross the street and turn left onto Ome Kaido Road. The art museum is a two story white brick building a short way down on the right. The name is in kanji (above) on the wall. After going to the art museum, go back to Ome Civic Hall S. intersection and turn left (away from the station.) The first small street past the next light takes a very sharp turn down a hill. Go down the hill to a parking lot. Cross the pedestrian path over the river. Wander downstream and you will see the Ome Municipal museum short way past the next pedestrian bridge.
DRIVING DIRECTONS: At the Terminal Gate, set your odometer to zero and turn right and go under the overpass. Turn left onto Ome Kaido Ave, (Hakonegasakinishi Intersection, the 4th light after the underpass, appx 2.8 km from Terminal Gate. McDonalds is on far left corner.) You will wind along Ome Kaido all the way to the lake. At 8.3km, take the left fork at the “Y” intersection. Follow the signs for Okutama. Just before 10.6 km you will pass the Ome Art Museum on the left. At 10.6km, the road ends (Ome Civic Hall S. intersection). Turn left. At the first tiny street past the next light take a very sharp (almost u-turn) left, down a hill, there is a free parking lot at the bottom of the hill along the river. From here you can walk to both museums.

Kourakuen – Ramen for a Song

 We like this chain of ramen restaurants because they’re good, consistent, cheap and have a great kid’s meal. Did I mention cheap?
The picture menu makes ordering a snap. A huge steaming bowl of noodle goodness, with veggies and meat, comes to less than ¥500. The menu shows dishes under three categories, based on broth flavor:
みそ味 – Miso
塩味 – Salty
醤油味 – Soy
A meal set — noodles with gyoza (Chinese moon-shaped dumplings), fried rice or a small vegetable plate — costs a few coins more. You can also get a combo that is a plate of gyoza and a half portion of ramen.
Best of all is the kids menu. For ¥300 I can buy my son a lunch of ramen, fried rice, a drink and a candy. It even comes with a special coin he can put in the vending machine by the door to get a small toy.
At our closest branch, there was a small lunch rush at 11:45. Just add your name to the list at the podium. We wrote it in English, gave the number in our party and circled テーブル (“Taberu” for “table”.) The other choice is カウンタ (“Countah” or counter.) We were seated within five minutes.
Another nice thing about this chain is that they’re everywhere in Japan, so wherever you are you’ll be within reach of a good cheap restaurant that suits adults as well as kids.
DIRECTIONS to branch nearest the East Gate: Set your odometer to zero as you exit the East Gate and turn left. Turn right at the first light (0.2km) by the 7-11. Continue straight down this narrow road to the four-way intersection  at 1.3km. Turn left and drive to the next light. Kourakuen is immediately past the light, on the left. It’s a black building, across the road from the Aeon Mall, with a sign that has large black Kanji in the middle, sandwiched by lines of smaller red characters above and below. Hours: 11am-2am. Tel.: 042-520-7144. GPS: 35.74532, 139.38265. Christina De Los Santos, 2011

The Blueberry Restaurant

On 7 July 2012 the restaurant was closed. It was early in the morning, but a sign taped to the door made me wonder whether this was more than a routine closure. — Liz.

Only a 20-minute drive from Yokota’s East Gate is a quaint, Italian-style restaurant called The Blueberry, nestled in the bamboo forest surrounding Lake Tama. The woodsy setting is probably the best reason to go. The menu on our last visit, in 2011, was not in English nor did it have pictures, so it’s helpful to have someone who can read Katakana. We made do by asking the waitress “Pizza?” and she read the different kinds of pizza, which we recognized as “Margherita,” Neapolitan” and  “capricciosa.” Capricciosa mean capricious, and in this case it was an unexpected mix of salami, shrimp and mushrooms topped with an egg. The crust was thin and had a pleasing hand-formed appearance. The tomato sauce on the Margherita seemed to be straight-up tomato paste but it was the prettiest dish, with fresh basil on top. There was also a “pizza salad” on the menu that we wished we’d tried.
For pasta, we had “pepperocino,” which was garnished with red pepper and a dramatic tuft of saffron-like threads, and also a pasta meat sauce, which came with a soft-boiled egg on top.
Other categories on the menu: soup, salad and ice cream. There might have been a lot more, but we don’t read Japanese so we wouldn’t know. We did notice a salad bar. Upon entering The Blueberry, we noticed a well-stocked dessert case with European-style cakes. They are said to be as delicious as they look, but we were pretty full. The food portions seemed to be Western-sized at The Blueberry. The personal pizza on the lunch menu, larger than an average dinner plate, could feed two, especially if they ordered a salad also. The pizza cost about ¥900. Pasta was about ¥800. Lunch sets were in the ¥1400 to ¥2000 range. Hours: daily, except Monday, 11-2pm (lunch), 2-5pm (tea), 5-9pm (dinner). Tel. 04-2924-7180.
DIRECTIONS: Reset your trip meter to 0km as you exit the East Gate to the left. Turn right at the first light (0.2km) by the 7-11. Continue straight down this narrow road to the four-way intersection  at 1.3km. Turn left. Keep going, past Diamond City Mall on the right and past Yamada on the left. Continue across Shin Ome Kaido. (It is signposted Route 5, but so is old Ome Kaido, which you’ll also soon cross.) Stay on this road through 5 lights. The road winds and climbs a hill. You’ll pass a large onsen on the left at 3.7km. Keep going. At the top of the hill you will see a blue sign for Lake Saimyo. The restaurant (6.5km) is just past this sign on the left. It is bright yellow and has several parking spaces in front. The Chinese Dragon Pagoda park is next door. Liz Ruskin, Suzie Nardozzi, 2011.


This district is a favorite among night-clubbers and the younger foreign crowd, and it’s not far from the New Sanno Hotel. Here you will find coffee shops, bars, discos and restaurants for people of all cultural backgrounds and tastes. Trendy people come out to liven up the area on the weekends. Yet Roppongi is not only for the party-goers. It also provides an atmosphere for people interested in culture, theater and museums. Shopping is expensive, but there are some shops that are reasonable in Roppongi. Many of the clothing store prices are based on the latest fashion trends. Most people go to Roppongi for the countless bars and restaurants that line its streets. It’s also home to American favorites such as Hard Rock Café, Tony Roma’s Ribs and Johnny Rockets.
GENERAL DIRECTIONS: It takes about 1-1.5 hours to get to Roppongi from Yokota. Take the Ome Line to Tachikawa or Tokyo. Switch, if necessary, at Tachikawa for the Chuo (orange line) for Tokyo. Get off at Yotsuya, one stop after Shinjuku. Change to the Marunouchi Line and get off at Roppongi. It’s just a 30 minute walk from the New Sanno (less if you use the subway) and 10 minutes from Hardy Barracks.
Or, if you’re leaving in the morning, catch the daily shuttle to the New Sanno Hotel. It leaves the Kanto Lodge at 9:30am and costs $8.


Tokyo Tower – see separate entry


Aoyama Bookstore
One of the several book stores with English books is found in the Roppongi area. Aoyama Bookstore is near Almond’s and the main Roppongi intersection under the highway.
Brian Marriott 2002

Jane’s Pearls
The Wally Yonamine Pearl Company, affectionately known as Jane’s Pearls, is located on one corner of Roppongi Crossing outside Roppongi station on the Hibiya (exit 4A) and Oedo Subway Lines or about a 25 minute walk from the New Sanno Hotel (ask for a map). Jane’s carries  a selection of jewelry, with $ prices depending on the yen rate and cost of gold, ranging from inexpensive freshwater pearl bracelets to valuable larger diameter cultured pearl necklaces. If you don’t know much about pearls, Jane’s can give a detailed introduction on the different types and sources.
The popular t-shirt necklace of seed pearls, often given to young women, can be worn all year long and dressed up with a pendant, while the so-called Jodie Foster necklaces in white or yellow gold with red, blue, or green enamel spacers cost three times more due the increase in gold price. Jane’s also has opera length strands of different colored fresh water pearls which can be combined into an elegant twisted necklace.
Open 9:30am-5:30pm Monday-Saturday, closed Sundays and Japanese holidays. Look for the blue and white “pearls” sign in the entrance of the Arts Shop building, and take the small elevator to the 5th floor. Credit cards OK, janespearl.com; Tel. 033-402-4001 or 033-403-4687.

Amit Trading
While Amit has a branch at the New Sanno, their main store is on the 5th Floor of the ISO Building, next to the Softbank shop on the corner of Roppongi Crossing opposite Jane’s Pearls. While Jane’s seems to carry a larger array of designs, Amit’s is known for good prices in custom gem jewelry and traditional cultured pearl strands as well. If you know what you want or have a specific design in mind (whether for a necklace, earrings, bracelet or other accessory), check with Amit.
Open 9:30am-5:30pm weekdays, www.pearls.jp; 033-3404-3853.

Asahi Pearls
Noted in Frommer’s guides, Asahi (Shoten) Jewelry has stores within the Imperial Hotel arcade and 1st Floor of the Yurakucho Building outside Exit A-3 of the Hibiya Subway Station. While not as popular with the base crowd, Asahi also carries a selection of moderately priced pearl and gem jewelry. Open weekdays 10am-7pm, 10am-6:30pm weekends and holidays. 03-3271-6260.

Roppongi Roi Building Flea Market
The Roppongi Roi Building (near the Hard Rock Café and Spago’s) houses a flea market on the fourth Thursday and Friday of each month. It has more than 30 dealers, and the prices are said to be good. Hours?
TRAIN DIRECTIONS: From Fussa Station, take the Ome Line to Tachikawa. Change to the Chuo Line to Shinjuku. Transfer to the Yamanote Line to Ebisu. There, change to the Hibiya Line and go two stops to Roppongi. Exit the ticket turnstile and turn right. Go upstairs and turn left. On the corner across the street, you will see the Almond Cafe (large pink sign). Cross the street to the cafe, turn right at the corner and go one and one-half block. The next big corner will be the Roi Building. For more information call the Kottoichi Company at 03-3980-8228.

Author, date?

Uchida Is this store still around? It’d be nice to have an update, and an address or GPS coordinates.
For a unique shop/gallery with a wide array of art and artifacts from all over the world, visit Uchida, located in Azabu. They carry Indonesian baskets, Japanese lacquerware, clay figures, textiles from all over the world, and more. Uchida provides a showcase for a collection of art and gallery space for artists to show their work.
DIRECTIONS: Exit the Roppongi Subway Station using the Roppongi Crossing Exit. Turn down the side street to your right. Follow this street past the Swedish Center and Homeworks. Turn right at the gas station, and at the second corner, turn right again. It is only about a block from the Blue and White Store (under the New Sanno section). Hours: open daily until 7pm, except Tuesdays and the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays. Also open on holidays. Melody Hostetler, date?


This is the restaurant Quentin Tarantino used as inspiration for the Crazy 88s fight scene in the movie “Kill Bill”. It’s located in Roppongi, 1.5km from the New Sanno Hotel. This place has a beautiful modern Japanese atmosphere, good food with a variety of Japanese dishes (tempura, yakitori, soba, etc.) as well as Gonpachi’s specialties, such as house pizza, tuna tartare and Camembert/avocado tempura. Prices are reasonable.  Their website is www.gonpachi.jp/en/nishi_azabu/home/location. Reservations are taken online, via the website. The restaurant has branches in Ginza, Odaiba and Shibuya. Tel. for the Roppongi location: 03-5771-0170. Address: 1-13-11 Nishiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0031. GPS: 35.6600, 139.7234
DIRECTIONS: Take the train from Fussa Station to Ebisu, then take the Tokyo Metro to the Roppongi Station. Exit the station onto Roppongi Dori (crossing under the street) and turn left. Walk about 850 meters to the intersection of Roppongi Dori and Gaien-Nishi Dori (second major intersection). The restaurant is on the corner to your right. It is across Gaien-Nishi Dori from Zest, and diagonally across Roppongi Dori from a Hobson’s ice cream shop. Kevin Green, 2012.

Pizzakaya Roppongi
This small groovy eatery has California-style pizzas with excellent options for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. The name is a contraction of “pizza” and “izikaya,” a casual Japanese pub. The atmosphere is relaxed and retro, and the selection of American craft beers is excellent. You’ll fee like you’re in Santa Cruz again, though the prices (¥2100 for a medium 10-inch pizza) will remind you that this is still Tokyo. The two-person set for ¥4725 seems like a good deal. The menu includes big salads and pasta. It’s convenient to the New Sanno, and they do deliver. English menu and English-speaking staff. Hours: Lunch: Mon-Sat, 11:30am-2:00pm (Except Japanese national holidays). Dinner: 5-10:30pm (-9:30pm Sundays) Address: Dai-ichi Koyama Building 2F, 3-1-19 Nishi Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0031. Tel: 03-3479-8383. GPS: 35.6605, 139.7266.
Directions from Roppongi Station: Take Exit 1C (Hibiya Line, Oedo Line), turn left and walk away from the Roppongi Intersection, towards Roppongi Hills. After Roppongi Hills you will come to the intersection of Roppongi and TV Asahi streets. Cross the street and keep going about 100 meters toward the Nishi Azabu Intersection until you reach a restaurant called “Charleston Cafe Oriental.” Pizzakaya is on the second floor of the next building. There’s a sign out on the street. It is about a seven-minute walk.
Directions from New Sanno Hotel: It’s a 1.8km walk. Turn right out of the hotel and right again at the next major road, which has a pedestrian bridge overhead. Walk up hill, passing the Hiroo Metro stop. Keep going along this road until you get to Roppongi Dori, which has an elevated expressway down the middle. Turn right on Roppongi Dori and go about 300 meters, until you see the blue-trimmed Papasu Pharmacy. Pizzakaya is in the next building, on the second floor. If you get to a dark building with the sign “Charleston Cafe Oriental” you’ve gone a few steps too far. Liz Ruskin, 2012.

New Sanno to Pizzakaya, on foot

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Hard Rock Café

The Hard Rock Café in Tokyo is like any other Hard Rock. Americans and others fill the place, listening to classic rock and viewing paraphernalia donated by some of America’s best music artists. Food selections are also the same. Starters range from homemade soup (¥600) to pizza (¥1400)). Salad and sandwich choices include chef, chicken, and fruit/avocado salads, HRC Sandwich, BLT, and the awesome California Club (¥1,300-1,600). Last, but not least, for the “American palate,” there is the charbroiled burger, cheeseburger, bacon cheeseburger, and Mt. Fuji Double Burger (¥l,400-2,000). Desserts are plentiful: Apple pie, devil’s food cake, brownies, Key lime pie, N.Y. Cheesecake, etc. The servers speak English, and there is no dress code. Address: 5-4-20 Roppongi MinatoKu, Tokyo 106.
TRAIN DIRECTIONS: Pay parking is available, but it is easy to go by train. From Fussa Station, take the train toward Tokyo. Change trains at Shinjuku Station and get on the Yamanote line (lime green) to Ebisu (four stops). Exit and to the right will be the subway station. Take the Hibiya line two stops to Roppongi and exit from Exit 3. Turn left out of the station and cross the street to your right. Turn left. Turn right after the Almond Restaurant (pink and white canopy-also on the right). You should see Tokyo Tower straight ahead. Follow this road until you see a McDonalds on your right. Turn right directly past it and Hard Rock Café /Tony Roma’s is ahead of you. If you get lost, ask. Hard Rock is well known. Hours: 11:30 am – 2:00 am (Monday-Thursday), 4:00 am (Friday-Saturday), and 11:30 pm (Sundays and holidays). Tel: 03-3408-7018 Karen Ozment, Delores Street, date?

Tony Roma’s
Located in the bottom half of the Hard Rock Café building, this one is also an international classic. It attracts a more business-like crowd so most people are dressed in work attire (as in no shorts). Specializing in ribs, Tony Roma’s charcoal broils them and adds barbecue sauce to make them as tender as anything Memphis has to offer. Order the onion rings for ¥780. They are absolutely mouthwatering and feed 3-5 people. Other appetizers include fried cheese, shrimp tail fingers, cold fresh asparagus and country pork sausage with dijon mustard, all for ¥980. Salads include seafood, Mesa Verde, garden, Cobb, and Santa Fe, ranging from ¥650-1,450. Tony Roma’s original barbecued baby ribs come in regular (¥2,750) and large (¥3,980) sizes. Combination plates with barbecued chicken, grilled swordfish, steamed lobster, steamed lobster tail, grilled lamb, grilled steak or grilled scallop brochette are also available, ranging from ¥2,080-2,980. Seafood entrees include lobster, Spanish shrimp, swordfish, salmon, rainbow trout, and a combination platter. Meat selections include charbroiled N.Y. cut sirloin steak (¥2,880), barbecued chicken (¥1,780), grilled lamb chops (¥2,080), London broil (¥2,180), and Roma burger (starts at ¥l,380).
DIRECTIONS: follow the directions to Hard Rock Café (above). Tony Roma’s is on the first floor of the same building. Hours: 5-11:00pm, last order at 10:30pm. Telephone: 03-3408-2748 Karen Ozment, date?



Takiyama Park

This park, about 30 minutes from Yokota, is an inexpensive getaway. The park has picnic tables and an area large enough for softball. The size of the park is fantastic. It has monuments, a shrine, bridges and a pavilion. There is a soda machine if you get thirsty while trekking through the woods. It is a perfect place to reflect on nature. The park used to be the grounds of a castle.

DIRECTIONS: Go straight out the Supply Gate. Cross two sets of tracks. At the third light after the second set of tracks turn left (Ushihama Post Office Intersection, Steak House on right). Continue straight on this road for about 1.5km, through four lights. You will pass a Saizeriya and Bamiyan on the left, and a Family Mart and Denny’s on the right. At the 5th light turn right (onto Mutsumi-bashi Dori at the Uchide Koban Intersection). Cross the Tama River on the 4-lane bridge. Continue to the 4th light (counting the light at the end of the bridge) and turn left on a 2-lane road with a bicycle shop on the corner (Ogawa Intersection). Stay on this road for 3km as it crosses a small river and travels along the base of the hills for awhile. Follow the road over a hill and through the woods into the next valley. At the first signal after going over the hill, turn left (Tangimachi 3 Intersection—This road is 411, although it is not marked as such at this intersection). Take the very first left off of this road onto a VERY small road that looks like a driveway less than 100 meters (0.1 km) after you get onto it. It is just past the gas station that sits on the far right corner of the intersection. It will wind up a steep and narrow road into the park. If you come to another signal you have gone too far. Melody Hostetler, Brian Marriott 12/01


Hachioji Station Shopping: SOGO Department Store, Virgin CD, Body Shop, Disney Store, Tokyu Square (smaller mall), Tower Records, Crabtree & Evelyn, Crazy Shirts, Nature Trail, Mister Donuts, McDonalds and Subway Sandwiches

Don’t miss the shopping in Hachioji, just 24 minutes and ¥230 yen from Higashi-Fussa station. As you turn right out of the Hachioji Station, you will see the department store SOGO. Go downstairs or use the escalator, turn left and straight ahead is the department store OIOI (MARUI) with a big sign on it saying VIRGIN CD which is located in the basement of the department store. Once you enter the store towards your left you will see the Body Shop on the first floor. Tokyu Square is located directly across from the JR Hachioji Train Station and you will see an advertisement on the front of the building of the Disney Store located on the 3rd floor. Tokyu Square is a very nice, “small mall” type in itself. As you enter Tokyu Square, immediately on your left is Crabtree & Evelyn – Body Shop (personal products shop). Proceed up the escalator and on the second floor is Nature Trail (clothing), and on the third floor two stores away from the Disney Store is Crazy Shirts from Hawaii (mostly T-shirts, sweatshirts, handkerchiefs, golf items; all a bit more expensive than their catalog which you can request and place on-line orders at www.crazyshirts.com). Directly past Tokyu Square or behind it, you will find Tower Records on the 5th floor, where CDs range from ¥1800 yen-¥2300, with the latest single CDs available ranging from ¥600-1000.

TRAIN DIRECTIONS: Take the train from the Higashi-Fussa station and go four stops to Hachioji Station. At Hachioji Station, get off the train and proceed up the steps towards the exit and turn right out of the train station. Kathleen A. Vactor


Hachioji Station Eating

If the shopping at the Hachioji Station wears you out, there are several American-style restaurants to choose from. In Tokyu Station, right across from Nagasakiya is Subway Sandwiches, open 10am-10pm. Several shops down is Mister Donuts open 7am-10pm. McDonalds is also in Hachioji.
TRAIN DIRECTIONS: Take the train from the Higashi-Fussa station and go four stops to the Hachioji Station. At Hachioji Station, get off the train and proceed up the steps towards the exit and turn right out of the train station. To continue to Tokyu Square, exit the department store and go across the street (look for the sign on the outside of the Disney Store). Kathleen A. Vactor

Baghdad Café
Baghdad Cafe is located close to the Hachioji train station. Its décor is somewhat dark and “cozy”—not too large, with tables and chairs scattered in interesting niches around the room and some lights along the walkways under grate-type flooring—with a definite foreign mystique about the place. There were a few gaming tables (roulette, poker, blackjack) but none were used while we were there. The luncheon menu – a.k.a the placemat – had nine entrees with pork, chicken, hamburger, or spaghetti. The ample portions had a slightly spicy flavor, but not overdone. All luncheons were ¥780 and included hot vegetables, salad bar, and either cola, tea or coffee (a refill is ¥300). Beer, wine, and cocktails were ¥380 per glass. The salad bar had a dozen bowls containing fresh fruit, vegetables, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, sauces, and dressings.The dinner menu has an entertaining long narrow black cover, filled with white pages and sketches in black. There is a long list of cocktails, “hors d’oeurves froid”, salads, side dishes, pizza, seafood and pasta. The last two pages showed a picture of a roulette wheel with an explanation of the game along with some poker hands and black jack odds. I imagine dinner time is for adults but the lunch could be a family outing.
TRAIN DIRECTIONS: Go to the Hachioji Station. Exit towards Central Hachioji and turn left, going around the square toward the pedestrian street walkway. Baghdad Cafe is 4 or 5 blocks down on the left. Hours: Lunch 11am-5pm, Dinner starts at 5:30pm. Telephone? Judith McKay, date?

Shibuya: Sightseeing, Shopping, Restaurants

Shibuya is shoppers’ heaven. All the big department stores are here, and entire vertical malls are filled with trendy teens. But there’s more to the area. Read on.


Shibuya Station can be a little disorienting. I found it difficult to determine where I was coming out of the exits. I came up with the following to try to help. When you come out of the station, look around:
• If you see Tokyu Plaza straight across the street, you came out the west half of the South Entrance. Turn right (north) and follow the street under the Subway tracks to get to Hachiko Plaza. (Hachiko Plaza honors the dog Hachiko who used to wait there every evening for his master, even after the master’s death. The area around the statue is a popular rendezvous spot for dates.)
• If, as you face the street, the elevated subway is to your left, and the elevated highway to your right, and you see the Kenwood sign across the street, and the dome of the planetarium to it’s left, you are on the east side of the station. Turn left (north), go under the subway, and you will be at the corner of Meiji Dori (Ave.) and Miyamasuzaka Street.
• If, as you look out with the station behind you, there is a Triangular ASAHI sign on the building in front of you, and you can see up the street in front of you and see a sign to Nomura and Pola, you are on the North East side of the station, at the corner of Meiji Dori (Ave.) and Miyamasuzaka Street. If you went under the JR tracks to your right, you would be at Hachiko Plaza.
• If, as you look out you see three televisions, and an elevated JR track to the right, you are in Hachiko Plaza. If you went under the JR track to your right, you would be heading East up Miyamasuzaka Street towards its intersection with Meiji Dori (Ave.). Brian Marriott 11/01

Shibuya Sightseeing

NHK Studio Park
This is a fun place to spend an hour or so during a day of shopping and dining in busy Shibuya. And it gives the non-shoppers a break from department-store overload! The tour gives visitors a look at the latest developments in the media, including various program production technologies. The interactive displays are fun for both children and adults. Displays include a 3D Hi-Vision theater, a dubbing studio where you can read the voices for animations and dramas, and a try-it-yourself studio where you can give the weather forecast or be a program presenter. Admission is ¥250 for adults and ¥150 for junior/ senior high school students, elementary school and younger are free.
TRAIN DIRECTIONS: Take the JR train to Shibuya Station and go out the Hachiko Plaza Exit. From Hachiko Plaza, walk up the street and you see the Seibu and OIONE signs on (between the 1st & 2nd TV counting from the right). At the second light the road will branch into a “Y” with an OIOI store in the middle of the branch. Bear to the left here. Follow this road straight to the end. The NHK Broadcasting Center is a complex of three buildings across the street straight ahead and to the left. Hours: 10am-6pm (enter before 5:30pm). Closed third Monday of each month (Tuesday, if Monday is a national holiday). Also closed December 25-31. Open every day in August. Telephone? Kristen Marriott 12/01

NHK Broadcast Museum

You know the Newseum in Washington, D.C.? This is the Japanese version. It has three floors of exhibits ranging from the first public radio transmitter used by NHK to the first TV camera they used, as well as old radios and many other historical items. One interesting display is the recording of Emperor Showa’s address to the nation announcing the end of World War II. Another fun room has a number of interactive components where you can pretend to use a teleprompter with a blue screen in the background to put yourself in another scene, and an area to practice sound effects for radio broadcasts.
TRAIN DIRECTIONS: From Shinjuku take the Yamanote line south to Ebisu. Transfer to the Hibiya subway and go towards Hiroo (New Sanno). Two stops past Hiroo get off at Kamiyacho Station. Go out Exit 3 and turn right. Do not cross the intersection. Take a right at the first light. Immediately before the tunnel take the stairs on the left hand side of the road up to the museum entrance. 9:30am-4:30pm. Closed Mondays and at year-end. 2-1-1, Atago, Minato-ku, Tokyo 〒105-0002
Tel: 035-400-6900. www.nhk.or.jp/museum/english/main.html. Brian Marriott 11/01. Hours and address verified 2010.

Bicycle Museum
This appears to be part of the Science Museum. Anybody know? If so, it may be closer to Takebashi or Kundanshita stations. See map at website below.

Any serious cyclist should enjoy the Bicycle Culture Center in Toranoman, near the American Embassy. Displays include early two-wheeled wonders as well as the latest and greatest. The tall narrow building contains an information room on the 3rd floor, a museum in the 2nd floor and an event hall on the 1st floor. A local route map with towns in “English” can be bought in the Display Gallery, in addition to books in Japanese about cycling in Japan. Admission is ¥600 for adults, ¥250-400 for children.
TRAIN DIRECTIONS: Take the Ome/Chuo Line to Yotsuya, transfer to the Marunouchi subway and take it to one stop to Akasaka-Mitsuke. At Akasaka-Mitsuke, walk across the platform to the Ginza Line and go one stop to Toranomon. Try to get in the last car so that when you reach Toranomon, you can exit through the ticket booth and go up the stairs opposite to the street. Once above ground, walk (right) toward the NCR building past the Alitalia and other airline offices. Cross the street. Just past the NCR building, turn left on the narrow street with the gas station. Turn right on the second street. The building with the Bicycle Culture Center will be on your left. It’s known as Jitensha Kaikan No. 3. Postal address: Kagakugijutukan 2F Room I, 2-1 Kitanomaru koen Chiyodaku, Tokyo. 〒 Hours: 9:30am-4:50pm. Telephone: 03-3217-1231. www.cycle-info.bpaj.or.jp/english/learn/bcc.html. Teresa Negley. Liz Ruskin updated address, website and hours in 2010.


We need more write-ups for good shopping in Shibuya. Anybody?

Tokyu Hands

This store started as the craft department of the Tokyu Department Store, but it has since become its own wonderous thing. Of course, the craft materials are top-notch. And it’s not just the girly stuff either. This is also a hardware store, with exotic wood, plexiglass holograms, leather tooling, craft wire of every hue and weight … . But check out the other departments: housewares, stationary & stickers, outdoor goods, bikes, drugs and cosmetics. It also has a gift store that carries yukata and other top-quality Japanese goods. It is similar to The Loft in its breadth of merchandise, but Hands caters more to the whole family, while The Loft seems a bit trendier and younger to me. Tip: You might want to bring you passport. The store website at the moment says “Customers who present a foreign passport can receive Tokyu Hands shopping coupons.” (The English version of the website is very helpful and has a good locater map, but for the hours and holiday closures you have to look on the Japanese site, which you can read through Google Translate.)
TRAIN DIRECTIONS: Arrive at Shibuya Station and take the Hachiko Plaza exit. From Hachiko Plaza, cross the street and take the pedestrian lane just to the left of the huge 2nd-story Starbucks. Bear left where the lane splits, at a store called “Gem Kawano”. Keep going straight until you get to an intersection that has an ABC Mart and a McDonald’s. Turn right. Go one block and turn left, then, in a few meters, bear right. Tokyu Hands is straight up this street, one long block past a store called FrancFranc. (Shibuya is a warren of cute shopping streets, so there are many ways to get there. It is less than half a kilometer from the station to the store.)12-18 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo Tel.: 03-5489-5111. Open 10-8:30 most days. Liz Ruskin, 2011.

The Loft
Need an awesome Halloween costume? Party favors? Postcards? Furniture? Kitchen items? Whatever it is you need, The Loft most likely has it! Located across the street from The Disney Store in Shibuya, The Loft is a six-story department store that has a lot of everything. The basement has shoes, athletic equipment, swimming devices, and water toys. The first floor consists of Japanese fans, wind chimes, rubber stamps, wrapping paper, stuffed animals, candles in every color, hundreds of postcards and greeting cards, party goods, and Halloween party costumes. These are not your run-of-the-mill costumes though; they’re excellent and some are expensive. They have a sumo wrestler, ski bunny, witch, Robin Hood, nun, maid, etc. They also have a great selection of wigs, noses, glasses and bow ties (for clown costumes). Moving up to the second floor, you will find many kitchen items including dishes, furniture, and pillows. The third floor houses bathroom items, hangers, home supply items, wood and planters. On the fourth floor there are art, office and school supplies. The fifth floor has picture frames, puzzles, pictures, and books. Finally, on the top floor, there are clocks, watches, art deco items, umbrellas and a small restaurant. If you need it, it can be found here!Loft is similar to Tokyu Hands, but mavens say Loft is cooler. Both have several branches in Tokyo but their flagship stores are in Shibuya.
TRAIN DIRECTIONS: Ride the train to Shibuya Station. From Hachiko Plaza, walk up the street you see the Seibu and OIONE signs on (between the 1st & 2nd TV counting from the right). At the second light the road will branch into a “Y” with an OIOI store in the middle of the branch. Bear to the left, here. Cross to the left hand side of the road. The Disney Store and the Loft are next door to each other on the left hand side of the road across from the McDonalds and the KFC (they are separated by a brick pedestrian-only road). 21-1 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 〒150-0042. Hours: 10am-9pm. Tel. 03-3462-3807. Karen Ozment. Address, hours and phone number updated 2010.

The Disney Store
On a brick-lined street in Shibuya is a shop where Mickey, Minnie, Jasmine, Simba, Dopey, Winnie-the-Pooh and all of our other favorite Disney characters await our arrival to take them home! This three-story Disney Store carries the same products as it does in the United States: clothes, jewelry, figurines, stationery, stickers, books, videos, placemats, dishes, magnets, and toys for all ages. One interesting item that is found overseas is a small series of bilingual books, such as “ABC,” “Hurry Up,” “Good Morning,” and “Let’s Go.” Each book costs ¥700 and might make a nice gift for your children or for children you know in the States. Prices are similar for most products, except for books and videos, which are more expensive in Japan than in the U.S.
TRAIN DIRECTIONS: Ride the train to Shibuya Station. From Hachiko Plaza, walk up the street you see the Seibu and OIONE signs on (between the 1st & 2nd TV counting from the right). At the second light the road will branch into a “Y” with an OIOI store in the middle of the branch. Bear to the left, here. Cross to the left-hand side of the road. The Disney Store and the Loft will be next door to each other on the left hand side of the road across from the McDonalds and the KFC (they are separated by a brick pedestrian only road). Hours: 10-9 daily. Telephone: 03-3461-3932. Karen Ozment 10/94, directions updated 11/02


Alcatraz E.R.
This is a great theme restaurant in Shibuya for adults (children may be scared). The staff is dressed as doctors, nurses, or prison inmates. Upon entering, two people are chosen to be handcuffed and let through the prison bars to your table in another room. The rooms are low-lit with medical curtains separating the tables. Alcoholic beverages range from beer in a bedpan to a strawberry-based “blood transfusion.” For a theme restaurant, we were surprised at how good the food was. The multi-cultural plates vary so much, sharing is a great option (like a tapas bar). We had kielbasa with sauerkraut, penne with mushrooms, pork loins, and beef stirfry.
The staff puts on an exciting show every night in Japanese, fun even if you don’t have an interpreter friend along to narrate details. 6:30pm Inmate/inpatient escapes; 8pm ER Surgery Show 1; 10:30pm ER Surgery Show 2; 2am (Fri & Sat nights only) Mystery Show.
Open 5pm-midnight Sun-Thurs, 5pm-4am Fri & Sat. The entry fee is ¥600 per person while meals range ¥800-1500 with drinks ¥680-880. There is an English menu and western-style restrooms. For more info, call 03-3770-7100 or check the Japanese language website http://alcatraz.hy-system.com/
Directions: From Fussa Station take the JR Ome/Chuo Line to Shinjuku and change to the Yamanote Line, getting off at Shibuya. Exit the station at the 5-way intersection and look for Building 109, it will be on your left at a cross-roads. Cross the street and pass Building 109, staying to the left of it. Turn right onto the small street before the 7-Eleven. Walk a short way and you will see the Harvest Building (2-13-5 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku) on the right. Alcatraz E.R. is on the second floor. Rachel Bliss, 2007

There is an excellent Greek restaurant in Shibuya, a wonderful way to wrap up a day of sightseeing and shopping downtown. The Aegean is one of only a handful of Greek restaurants in the Tokyo area. The home-style cooking menu abounds in olive oil, garlic, fresh salad, yogurt, and feta cheese recipes. And don’t forget the wine! Greek retsina wine is a compliment to any dish. However the quality doesn’t come cheap; a dinner for two will cost you about ¥10,000. Try the set menu, which includes an appetizer, salad, main dish, dessert, and coffee. It’s the best way to experience true Greek cooking, short of hopping on a plane to Athens. The interior is small, but comfortable and cozy. Murals line the plaster walls, and the restaurant is full of the owner’s original sculptures.
TRAIN DIRECTIONS: Take the JR Yamanote Line to Shibuya Station. Go out the East Exit, and look for the Kenwood sign and dome of the planetarium across the street in front of you. Turn right, and cross the intersection via the walking bridge onto Meiji Dori (Ave.). Aegean will be a short distance ahead on your left. It is on the basement level, so look for the sign on the sidewalk.
B1, Oriental Building, 3-18-3 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku. Hours? Telephone: 03-3407-1783. Kristen Marriott, date?

El Torito
The food can be described in two words: predictable and reasonable. You get free chips and salsa. How about a Tecate with lime (¥650) or maybe a Corona (¥700)? Do shots? There’s a selection of Cuervo (¥500-1000). Taco plates (¥780-1180) have two or three tacos with beans and salsa. Enchiladas and burritos (¥880-1080) are popular, perhaps because of the generous portions. The Outrageously Chimichanga (¥l280) is a beef and rice mixture fried inside a huge flour tortilla, served with a special ranchero sauce, guacamole, and sour cream. Three of us shared this tasty treat and there was still some left over. Fajitas (¥l780-2480) come in chicken, beef, shrimp, and combination varieties. For beef lovers, a must-try are “San Antonio Fajitas” (¥2980) where generous strips of top quality beef are grilled at your table, to your taste, with tomato wedges, onion, and yellow pepper chunks, then combined in soft flour tortillas with the usual accompaniments. Combination plates (¥l480-1880) feature a mix and match of dishes, plus soup and salad. There are also two child plates (tacos or quesadillas for ¥580). Don’t forget dessert! Ice cream (¥380), Kahlua mousse, Mexican cheesecake (¥450), banana chimichanga (¥4810), and fried ice cream (¥480).
DIRECTIONS: There are three locations in Tokyo: Nishi-Kasia (03-3804-0704), Eifuku-cho (03-5376-7611) and Roppongi (03-5466-7917) The last location is close to the New Sanno. It is across the street from Exit A-5 at Omotesando Subway station. From Hiroo, take Hibiya Line four stops to Hibiya, switch to the Chiyado Line (green) and go five stops to Omotesando. The restaurant is on the third floor of the La Mia Building, which also houses boutiques. Hours: 11am-11:30pm daily; bar opens at 5pm.


Akiruno, Akigawa and Itsukaichi

These all could be updated… want to take an entry… add photos and turn it into its own post?  Go for it!  Email the updates to: editor@yokotatravel.com.

Ninomiya Shrine
This shrine was established over 800 years ago and was first used by farmers to pray for good weather and to give thanks for a good harvest. Today it is used primarily by resident merchants in the surrounding community. It is also known for its Ginger Festival on September 9 (go to in the festival section for more information).
DIRECTIONS:From Fussa Station, take a train toward Tachikawa but get off at Haijima, a four-minute ride. Transfer to the Itsukaichi Line. Ride another seven minutes and get off at Higashi-Akiru Station. The shrine is a four-minute walk from here. Need walking direction from station.

Ninomiya Shrine Museum

Thirteen thousand years ago people settled the area now known as Akigawa City and this area has been inhabited ever since. The fertile triangle created by the confluence of the Hirai and Aki rivers with the Tama river, a ten minute drive from Yokota, has yielded many archaeological finds from the Paleolithic Era to modern times. A sample of these artifacts is available for viewing at the Ninomiya Shrine Museum. The museum, opened in 1990, is located on the grounds of the Ninomiya Shrine and is open Friday – Sunday from 10am to 4pm. To find the museum, follow the path around the right side of the shrine through an area of smaller monuments including a red torii gate. The museum is divided into three areas. The doors open into a central room where visitors are greeted and literature displayed. Maps on the wall, although annotated in Japanese only, will give you an idea of the areas where artifacts have been excavated. Proceed from this room to the display room on the right. The display room is set up to be viewed from the left where a model of a Jomon period (10,000 BC to 300 BC) hunter-gatherer dwelling is displayed. If you have visited American Indian museums, you may see a similarity to the dwellings and life-styles of prehistoric Eastern American Indians. The third large section of the museum is a working archaeological lab where pot shards and other finds are painstakingly pieced together under the guidance of Masanori Narusako Sensei. This area is not open to visitors. While at the museum, don’t forget to pick up a copy of Exploring Akigawa City. This map is written in English and shows hiking trails, shrines, archaeological digs and other points of interest in the area.
DRIVING DIRECTIONS: Turn left out the Fussa Gate and then turn right at the first light. You are now on Tamabashi Dori, which changes to Itsukaichi-Kaido after you cross the Tama River Bridge (2km from the Fussa Gate). Just after you cross the river, the road doglegs to the left, then to the right. The second light after the doglegs will be labeled Route 168 to “Ninomiyajinja.” Go straight, but slow WAY down, because you will be turning into the first tiny street past the light. It looks almost like a driveway. Go up the hill and park at the end of the street in the lot in front of the torii gates. The museum is on the left of the torii gates. The shrine is through the torii gates in front of you. This is only about a 15-minute drive. Marja A. Weaver, date?

–Cross-ref Tsuru Tsuru Onsen

Akigawa River
If you like to paddle in a rocky stream, float along in a rented boat or on an inner tube, or just people watch, consider the Akigawa River. It is about 25 minutes from Yokota. The most famous spot in Akigawa is Summerland, but upstream from there you will find access to the river and even some fishing spots.
DIRECTIONS: Turn left out the Fussa Gate onto Highway 16. Set odometer to zero. Go to the first signal light and turn right. This road is marked “Tamabashi Dori.” Go through Fussa, across two sets of tracks. The road will go downhill and cross the Tama River. Keep to the main road as it bends going up a hill. You will come out on level ground on the other side of the river and then the road will be “Itsukaichi Kaido.” Fresh farm produce is sold along this road in the summer. At 5.1km you will come to a light with the sign, “Akigawa Shiyakusho.” Keep going straight. The light at 5.5km is the turn for Summerland (the cross street is Rt. 411, so you would take a left if going to Summerland). Keep straight for Akigawa. You are getting into the country now and can see the mountains. The road will widen at 7.8km and there will be a map of the district on the roadside at 8km. From now on, you can turn left down almost any side road and reach the river. The light at 8.8km marks the left turn that will take you to a private beach. On a near right corner, up high, there is a large pink, red and white sign with a flower on it and an arrow pointing to Ozawa, a nearby store. The name under the light there is Yamada. Turn left here and follow the road downhill and across the Akigawa River. Just across the bridge on the left is a little shop/restaurant through which you have to pass to get to the beach. You can park up the hill to the right for a fee. (¥500). The little shop “Sansuiso” sells drinks and snacks but no western food. The shop is open year round, except rainy days 8am-5pm. There is a small entrance fee. You can also rent a “teppan” (large griddle for outdoor cooking) and buy charcoal. There are old toilets and running water. You can also rent small rowboats. Mosquitoes are bad in this area in the summer season so be sure to bring insect repellent. Claire Scriba, date?

Fishing in Akigawa
Even trout fisherman can find a way to ply their sport while they are in Japan. The nearest fishing hole is the Akigawa River, which is full of rainbow trout. The Japanese government owns all the streams and landowners along the way can open their portion to fisherman. They raise trout and release them into the stream, usually between 9am and 1pm. Fish of different sizes can be caught and some are pretty big. You can fish all day for about ¥3000 and there is a 10 fish limit. The fee does not include equipment but you can rent a bamboo pole for about ¥300. You can buy bait for about ¥400. Outdoor Recreation offers fishing equipment rental and they can provide you with the current laws regarding fishing and other useful information. Sunday is the busiest day because the Japanese are off work, so going on a week day would be best. With the exception of the fly fishing area, the trout camps are open year round.
DIRECTIONS: Go out the Supply Gate and go straight. You will cross over 2 sets of railroad tracks. At 1.4km, turn right onto Denen-Dori. There will be a large, four-corner pedestrian overpass at this intersection. Go 1.3km to the “T” intersection and turn left. Go 2.6km and at the top of the hill, turn right. When you come to a fork in the road, bear right. Go about half km to the light. There is a gas station on your left. Go straight through the intersection. Follow the road about 5km and you will come to another “T” intersection; turn left. After about 2km you will cross railroad tracks. Shortly after that, you will see a big sign, in English, for the “Akigawa Trout Fishing Camp.” Keep to the right. About 2km after the sign, you will come to a light; turn right. You will soon see the big Welcome sign to Akigawa. Sondra Halweg and Rosandra Corea, date?


Akiruno Rupia & Tokyu
The Akiruno Rupia is a small mall next to the Tokyu Department Store in Akigawa. It contains gift shops, boutiques, and restaurants, including the sandwich chain Subway. On the second floor is a covered walkway to the four-story Tokyu next door. Tokyu has a supermarket section with a bakery nearby on the ground floor. There are also cosmetics, accessories, handbags, and shoe sections surrounding an open area with benches. Mens’ and Ladies’ wear are on the second floor with children’s clothing, housewares, furniture, and appliances on the third floor.
DIRECTIONS: Go left out the Fussa Gate and turn right at the next light. Cross two railroad tracks, pass a 7-11 store on the left, and cross two bridges. You’ll be on the road to Itsukaichi. As you cross the river, there’s a sign for Honda. Hours: 10am-8pm, closed Wednesdays. Telephone: 042-550-0109/Tokyu

Akigawa Farmers Center


Haijima – Bamboo House
Owners Sue and Tatsuaki Ichikawa have been serving homemade noodles at this location for twenty years. The building is spacious, with four seating areas holding approximately 50 customers. One section has tables and chairs (for 14 customers); the other three raised tatami sections have cushions and low tables. Although English isn’t spoken, Americans are warmly welcomed and the menu is in both Japanese and English. Although udon and soba noodles (served hot or cold) are the specialty of the house, tempura and rice dishes are also available. Meal prices range from ¥650 to ¥1000 for either lunch or dinner. Because there are only two parking spaces at the restaurant and the street is narrow and filled with parked bicycles, driving is not recommended.
DIRECTIONS: Take the Itsukaichi Line from Platform 1 at Haijima Station two stops to Higashiakiru. It’s a four-minute ride and costs ¥l50. As you exit the Higashiakiru Station, turn left over the tracks (past lots of bicycles). It is the second building on your left. Hours: 11am-3pm, Tuesday through Friday, 11am-8pm on Saturday and Sunday, and closed on Monday. Telephone? Sally Mayberry, date?

Hinohara – Black Tea House
The Black Tea House, or Kurochaya, about a 40 minute (13km) drive from Yokota on Itsukaichi Kaido, is a wonderful restaurant of traditional construction next to a river among bamboo groves. It’s where you may want to take visitors from abroad if they cannot visit Kyoto or Nikko (there’s lots of tatami, wood, and sliding doors). Although the meals are expensive, they seem worth it and you get plenty of food (some of it just for the brave). Multi-course meals of barbecue-it-yourself beef or chicken plus in-season vegetables were offered for ¥4,500 to ¥7,500 at lunch time. Plum brandy is included in the meal along with fruit and a sweet. Arrive early enough to roam the grounds and enjoy the gazebo, waterwheel, river and trees. Once inside, each party has a private room with a deck-like balcony, overlooking the beautiful surroundings. Reservations in English are accepted.
DIRECTIONS: Turn left out the Fussa Gate, then right at the first light. Go over the river and past Route 411 (Akikawa Kaido) toward Hinohara. About 2km after the Itsukaichi Station sign, past the police station on the right, turn left at the Ko-Nakano intersection (gas station on right). The restaurant is down the “block” on the left (the main parking lot is down through a steep and narrow ramp. You may also park back in the corner lot, on the right). Hours: 11am-8pm except Tuesdays and Japanese holidays. Telephone: format?96-0129. Karen Ozment, Teresa K. Negley, date?

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