Eating out, on and off base
- Burger King!!!: Yes, it seems that all those promises for all those years finally panned out. Iwakuni has a Burger King... it replaced Special T's in the Food Court. 253-4108.
- Papa Joe's Pizza House: This is what replaced Pizza Hut. Located in the Crossroads Mall. Open 10:30am-10pm, daily; Delivery available 6pm-9:45pm Phone# 253-3943
- Moxie Java Coffee Cart: They stuck this in the Crossroads, after getting rid of the donut shop. Great if you drink the stuff, I guess. Open 6:30am-10pm... no phone.
- Baskin Robbins: Ice cream! They don't actually have 31 flavors, but
they do make cakes, and I gotta say, every now and then, you just need a
good old-fashioned dose of American ice cream!!! Now in the food
court; open daily 10:30am-10pm. Phone# 253-4108
- Robin Hood's: A sandwich shop, (sorta like Subway's); a healthy alternative to the other stuff :-) You can even get your sandwich on a wheat roll. In the food court. Phone# 253-4108. There is also a Robin Hood's in the Northside Auto Mini-Mall. Phone# 253-4121.
- Pepe's: In the food court. Replaced La Casita's. I usually get the Chicken Taco Salad... pretty good, though I liked La Casita's better. Daily, 10:30am-10pm. Phone# 253-4108
- Frank's Franks: In the Crossroads... hot dogs, chili dogs, etc. Phone# 253-4108 Also in the Auto Mini-Mall, Phone# 253-4121
- Soba Shop: Japanese food. Not cheap, but fairly fast & pretty good. Between the gym and the SS Bowling alley. Phone# 253-4734
- Eagle's Nest: Moved to Club Iwakuni... they had a good variety of items, most of which cost between $3.50-$5.50; kids' menu items run between $2.50 and $3.50. They also had pizza, and a great calazone, which my son loved! No delivery, but you can phone your order ahead: 253-4778. Dining Room hours, Sun-Th 6am-midnight, Fri & Sat 6am-3am. There is also a Lounge and Game Room.
- Southside Bowling Center Snack Bar: Ph# 253-3831
- Fast Break Snack Bar: (at the Gym) Daily 11am-1pm, 5pm-8pm.
- Porky's: (in the AMC Terminal) Ph# 253-3801
- Theater Snack Bar: Opens for one hour, 30 minutes before the movie starts.
- Auto Mini-Mall (has Frank's Franks, Robin Hood, Sweet Reflections & Moxie Java) 6:30am-9pm ph# 253-4121.
What has closed around here?
OFF BASE: Some of the names are just what the Americans here call the place.
Tipping is not done in Japan; it is considered rude!
And in some cases, what replaced it:
- Sako: This place is located out the main gate, at the first intersection,
known as 4 Corners. It is well-known for it's BLT sandwiches... billed as the world's best! They have other stuff, too, but you
have to try the BLT's while you're here. And check out the useless napkins!
- Gyoza House: It's kinda fun to eat here. They have "regular" tables,
as well as "take off your shoes and sit on a pillow on the floor" tables.
Gyoza is just one of many dishes you can get here (it's a kind of stuffed
pasta- known in the States, I gather, as "potstickers"- eaten with a dipping sauce). After dinner, kids
are given a goodie bag, with a bunch of Japanese snack items.
- Kentucky Fried Chicken: Near the Gyoza House is what looks like an
American KFC. Don't be fooled... I was disappointed by this place. There
are no potato cakes; they've been replaced by fishy-tasting rice cakes. The
chicken didn't have the right taste either- it was a tempura-like fried
chicken, not the KFC flavor or texture.
- Baskin Robbins: Also near the Gyoza House, and KFC, is an off-base
31-flavors. I haven't tried this one, though.
- Chicken Shack (or San Zouku, which means The Robbers Den):
This is one place that everyone talks about here. There
is a lot on the menu besides chicken, but the chicken is probably the best
value there. The atmosphere is the neat thing about this place. There are
several areas to eat; you can eat indoors at the low Japanese tables, or
at tables outside on the hillside, with a stream, waterfalls, paper
- Kurukuru Sushi: Located on Rt. 2, this place has a rotating
sushi selection to choose from! You sit at the bar, on a stool,
and the prepared items go by... when you see what you'd like, you
grab it! The plates are color-coded, and have the prices right on
them, so you can tell what the damage is by adding up your stack
of plates :-) Individual plates are usually between 100-200 yen.
Even if you're not into sushi (I'm not), you can probably find things
to eat & enjoy here.
- McDonald's: In the states, I never even liked McDonald's, although my
kids do. Here, you may find that McDonald's is the only place you can find
with an American-style toilet! I've eaten at one here, and found that the
teriyaki hamburger, which I've never seen available in the states, is really
pretty good! The rest of the food pretty much tastes just like an American
McDonald's, at least to me.
- Woody's: We ate here once (that was enough). The place LOOKS really
cool. It's in a log cabin, and the interior is decorated in a very rustic
American West style. The menu offers a small selection, which tries to be
American and Italian food. But, when you get your food, you'll find that
it is neither Italian nor American. Neither my husband nor I enjoyed this
- Yellow Sign: This place is a little further out the main gate, past
the 4 Corners intersection. It is supposedly a Chinese restaurant, though
to me it looks like they have a typical Japanese menu. But it's fairly cheap
and quite good, as well as filling!
- California (chicken): This take-out place is right next door to
Yellow Sign. We all enjoyed the food; not just the boneless chicken
pieces, but also the fried gyoza and yakisoba. They also have
sandwiches, but we haven't tried those, yet. Interestingly enough,
for a place called "California", they have an upstate New Yorker
working there- sounds like he's been living here quite a while, though!
- The Beer Garden: All-you-can-eat-and-drink (in the 2 hours allowed, by reservation)
for 3000 yen apiece (for men- women are charged 2800 yen!). Located on the top floor of the Iwakuni Business Hotel, in
downtown Iwakuni. This was fun, probably best experienced (as we
did) with a large group of rowdy friends! Definetly NOT the place
for a romantic dinner for 2 :-) Actually, there are at least 3 of these places, and we've only gone to the one... but they all sound pretty much alike!
- Sunday's Sun: This is similar to a Denny's or Shoney's, but with a Japanese flavor :-) The food was really tasty, and we all enjoyed our meal, but it wasn't cheap (what would you expect?). My husband and I got a teriyaki steak dinner, which was delicious, and included salad, soup, rice and veggies. Our finicky kids even found stuff they liked. Located on Rt. 2, next to Kuru Kuru Sushi.
- Et Tu Angelo's: We only discovered this place shortly before we left... but it was VERY good. Italian food, by a Japanese chef who studied in Italy! Wonderful atmosphere; more comfortable for adults than for children, I'd say. Most entree's contain seafood, such as clams or scallops... there are a couple dishes that don't. Luscious desserts, too :-) About half way to the Oshima bridge, on 188, on the right.
Links to other sites on the Web
The Fred Family's Restaurant Page They seem to eat out more than us, and have info on and photos of many local restraurants!
Japanese Cuisine Useful info on many Japanese foods; includes "how to use chopsticks" and etiquette while eating in Japan.
Tokyo Food Page Info on Japanese food- even recipes
Japan Guide- Food 4/21/2001 Lots of links, recipes and books! Great site!
Hiroshima Okonomi-yaki Cookery 4/21/2001 Personally I find this stuff gaggy, but I know a lot of folks develop a taste for it!
Midori Mart 4/21/2001 While looking for new food sites, I found this US based online market for Japanese foods... If you are back in the States and missing that Japanese flavor you remember, you might want to try this! The prices are certainly better than at my local grocery store in CA!
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