Day trip to the Sagamihara Housing Area Commissary

Photo credit: U.S. Army
Photo credit: U.S. Army

Day trip to the Sagamihara Housing Area Commissary

by Eddie Marczewski
Stripes Japan

For me, hopping on a train to Commissary at Sagamihara Housing Area is a weekly routine. From Hadano, a roundtrip train ride is only about 700 yen, then after a 15-minute-walk gets me to the gate.

Even though many factors including the supply-chain shortages, have meant that prices are increasing at my local Commissary location, there are still many reasonably-priced items I cannot get from the local economy.

On a recent visit, my shopping list included K-Cups for coffee and hazelnut-flavored coffee creamer. Both of these items are either too expensive or difficult to find in Kanagawa. Another favorite is Impossible Burger patties. When I first saw them they seemed expensive, but after tasting them, I’d even pay a little more. These vegan burgers boast zero percent cholesterol and 100 percent look and taste of beef. Impossible Burger uses heme protein as its key ingredient to give the patties the juicy flavor and smell of real meat.

On my weekly trips to the Commissary, I take advantage to make sure I use the ATM to grab yen or dollars because the charges for using off-base ATMs gets pricey. To withdraw yen at 7-11, the fee is an extra 500 yen for a minimum withdrawal of 10,000 yen. Many U.S. banks charge an additional fee on top of that. So, make sure you grab your yen on base before you head out for off-base adventures.

To transport my goods home, I use an obachan buggy, or a rolling case for groceries you’ll see Japan’s elderly folks wheeling around. This convenient roller has a fold-down seat if you want to sit down while on the train or waiting on the platform and a frozen food compartment that zips shut. My doctor said that this is a better option than lugging around a backpack that can weigh up to 40 pounds. It surely is easier to transport, my days with a big full pack are in the past.

My trips to the Commissary are always nice and the walk back to the train station has given me plenty of opportunity to notice things I might of missed if I’d taken a car instead.

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