After Hours: Dream Shot proves an ideal low-key pool hall
October 4, 2007
MUSASHIMURAYAMA, Japan — Residents of Yokota Air Base’s east side sometimes lament the lack of entertainment options on that part of the installation.
Well, if billiards is your forte but you don’t like waiting for a table to open up at the base club, there’s a traditional-style American pool hall not far from Yokota’s East Gate.
Stepping inside Dream Shot immediately conjures up images of the 1986 movie “The Color of Money.” There’s even a framed photo of Paul Newman and Tom Cruise hanging on the wall. No indication of any real money changing hands, though.
Dream Shot is much larger than most Japanese establishments, with cozy seating and ample walking space.
The place features 10 full-sized Brunswick billiard tables — all available by the hour at reasonable rates — so bring a group to play some “Cut Throat.”
Electronic dart boards, video games and Japanese slot machines provide an alternative to pool. There’s a small basketball “Hoops” game to test that outside shot.
Dream Shot also sells darts, pool cues and other billiards gear.
The only knock against Dream Shot is its meager selection of beer. Budweiser, Heineken and Smirnoff malt liquor are available but there’s not a Kirin, Asahi or Sapporo in sight.
The staff is friendly, but probably hasn’t seen too many Americans, and speaks only limited English. Still, it turned out to be a great place to rub elbows with the Japanese, who made us feel at home in a low-key setting.
Tired of that nightly 1-6 a.m. curfew for Fussa’s “Bar Row” outside the western part of the base? Then consider heading out the east side.
See previous After Hours reviews here.
Hours: 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. weekdays and 11 a.m. to 5 a.m. weekends and holidays.
Drink prices: Limited selection of beer and no mixed drinks. Smirnoff malt liquor goes for 400 yen. Cans of Heineken and Budweiser are 350 yen. Prime Select costs 200. Soda, juice and water are available for 150 yen.
Specialties: Assorted ramen noodles, snacks and candy.
Entertainment: Billiards, electronic dart boards, video games and Japanese slot machines. There are “Happy Hour” rates of 1,050 yen a person on pool tables until 8 p.m. weekdays and 4 p.m. weekends. Otherwise, the hourly rates are between 480 and 600 yen a person. A dart game costs 100 yen.
Dress: Very casual. Beachwear and T-shirts acceptable.
Clientele: Mostly Japanese ranging in age from late teens to early 40s. Atmosphere is very low-key.
Location: Turn right out Yokota Air Base’s East Gate. At the first light, take a left. Go about half a kilometer to another traffic light. Turn right and it’s just behind the Family Mart. Walking takes about 20 minutes from the East Gate.