Top local spots to chill out & have fun around Yokota Air Base in Japan

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Aircraft from the 36th Airlift Squadron, 459th Airlift Squadron and 21st Special Operations Squadron participate in the elephant walk portion of the Samurai Surge training exercise, May 21, 2020, at Yokota Air Base, Japan. The exercise was conducted in order to demonstrate the Wing’s ability to rapidly provide humanitarian aid and disaster relief across Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Juan Torres)

On top of patriotism, seeing and experiencing the world has been one of the reasons for many Americans to join the service. Japan has been constantly listed as having some of the best oversea bases. Yokota Air Base is located in Fussa, the western part of Tokyo. 

Being one of the largest US Air Force bases in Asia, it is a strategic military base for both the United States and Japan, where the Air Defense Command is placed. 

Where in Yokota, which is a little less known than Okinawa, can you go around or unwind? For those looking for local spots and events for recreation, here are some tips and ideas. 

Tama Hills Recreation Center

As a part of Yokota Air Base, Tama Hills Recreation Center  is a 500-acre resort with a golf course. The facility offers a relaxing environment and great outdoor leisure including campsites. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities, ranging from horseback riding and playing tennis to bicycling and hiking. Guests can choose to stay in the Lodge or cabins in a sanctuary of the vast forested terrain. The room prices range from $50 to $80 per night. Cabins are $77 and up.

Friendship Festival

At Yokota Air Base, the Friendship Festival is held annually in September. The event sees more than 100,000 visitors every year. It is the largest festival of all US military bases in Japan. The top attraction for Japanese people is the military demonstrations by the US Air Forces. The event features live music performances, aircraft displays, as well as food stalls of classic American choices like hamburgers, hot dogs, turkey legs and fries.

Yokota-Con

In 2019, Yokota Air Base started a new annual event of comic book convention, Yokota-Con. It is a unique full day experience packed with booths and activities – a children’s cosplay parade and a competition for adult cosplayers, live paint artists, actors, voice actors, live entertainment and so on. 

Bar Row 

Bar Row is the most famous entertainment district in Fussa, full of shot bars, karaoke bars and massage parlors. This street has been a historical nightlife scene for many American soldiers since the 1950s. Founded in 1974, the symbolic Disco Eddies has regular events featuring Hip Hop, R&B, 90s, and disco. Slider’s Sports Hub & Grub is an ideal sports bar to chill. You can also find other types of business such as Filipino grocery stores, Thai and even Halal restaurants. 

Weekend getaway in the heart of Tokyo

Tokyo is the city that never sleeps. Countless sightseeing places and exotic things to do and taste. A colorful nightlife in Tokyo never fails to impress both the young and the old. You never get tired of hopping bars and clubs throughout the city from authentic izakaya to japanese inspired American sports bars. The most popular nightlife spots for expats include Roppongi, Shibuya and Shinjuku. Legends Sports Bar & Grill in Roppongi is a go-to-place to watch Super Bowl and make a bet on bookies like betinjapan. If you are missing good mexican food, Elephant Lounge in Shinjuku offers a great venue to watch live games with solid bar food options.

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