Just steps outside Zama Station, you'll find petite charm in Zama City. Enjoy specialty coffee and nosh on fresh fare. Saunter along the main street of Zama and pop into a cafe or an art gallery. It's easy access and affordable prices, make Zama ideal for an afternoon or evening out. Zama Station is an hour or less from Tokyo or Yokohama, via the Odakyu line.
Despite it’s petite size, Zama has a hip undercurrent. Coffee lovers must pop into Coffee Note to sample the coffee roasted on site by Hirosh Ohmori, the owner and master roaster. The small shop has a bohemian-feel; regulars at the bar will likely welcome you and kindly bid you farewell. Enjoy a cup of the daily blend, hot or iced. Ask Hirosh San to recommend beans (starting at 490JPY per 200g) to take home for a gift or to enjoy later. I chose the house blend with lush notes of dark chocolate and a smooth flavor.
Directions: Once back at the station, cross the main street and head east up the hill, walk 20 meters to Coffee Note.
Bar Stretta di mano - Italian
Just across the street and a few steps up the hill from Coffee Note is Bar Stretta di mano. Well designed, with sleek wood tables and comfy stools, my curiosity was piqued the first time I walked past and stopped to peer in the windows.
Out for an afternoon walk recently, I was delighted to find Bar Stretta open, and in the name of research, popped in for a glass of wine. As it was a warm day, I opted for white and was served the house white: French, dry and crisp with notes of pear and citrus (500 JPY). Though the menu is in Japanese the owner was gracious enough to translate the entire menu into English. They offer small plates (anti-pasta, mixed nuts, mushrooms, etc), salads, pizzas and main entrees (300 – 900 JPY – lunch menu). Toppings vary from vegetarian, mushroom, seafood and prosciutto.
Bar Stretta di mano is low lit and modern, a place I would normally reserve for a night out with my girlfriends or date night. Though given the reasonable prices, you can go anytime. I think I’ll be back for a lunch of pizza margherita. If the wine and well appointed décor are any indication, the food will not disappoint.
Open 18:00 – 03:00 nightly, Tuesday – Saturday for lunch
Kutsurogi No Sato Shoya (Japanese Food)
If you’re in the mood for Japanese fare, hit up a cozy Izakaya before heading to the train. Kutsurogi No Sato Shoya is directly across from the Odakuya OX, next to the quick mart and on the second floor. They offer private booths and an extensive menu that includes pictures and English in small print. Try the fried quail eggs, grilled squid or the bacon wrapped asparagus. They have yakitori galore, sashimi and main dishes in addition to small plates.
The drink menu (not in English) is extensive and mysterious. Take a gamble and pick out a pictured cocktail, or play is safe with sake or beer. They also have a good assortment of desserts. Don’t forget to ring the bell for service!
A handful of small plates for two + drinks and a shared dessert will run you around 5,000JPY. Credit cards accepted.
Sunflowers and the City
Mark your calendar: The city’s floral emblem is the Sunflower, visit late July – late August to witness 2,500 + Sunflowers in bloom.