Highway Rest Stops Offer More Than Services
Highway rest stops in Japan, located every so often between any imaginable point A and point B, are places for respite, dining, shopping, and amusement. No vehicular travel is complete without a stop at one of these roadside establishments.
Each prefecture in Japan is known for some food specialty or souvenir item. Highway rest stops are the prime marketplace for such unique finds. It is easy to spend far too much time browsing the vast selection of sweets, seafood, regional specialties, key chains, trinkets, toys, and whatever else lies in store at a pit stop retailer. In fact, many drivers, without needing a restroom or petrol, stop for a mini shopping spree.
While some stops, like Futaba S.A. on the way to Nagano, offer a look-out point during daytime hours, others, like in Awajishima, come complete with a Ferris Wheel and traditional puppetry sage On the way to Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka prefecture, seafood is the specialty of many roadside vendors. From fresh fish samples to cherry blossom-infused treats, these retailers deliver quality goods and excitement to travelers at reasonable prices. One of the best parts is the array of samples to try. It seems visitors never go home empty handed (or hungry).
Pit stops in Japan are complete. Vending machines, restaurants, even department store outlets are featured at these large complexes along the expressway. Closer to Tokyo, one highway stop offers an Isetan department store sale area, in addition to Starbucks and popular food shops.
If you’ve never visited a highway rest stop in Japan, make sure to drop by one on your next journey. It may just be a highlight of your trip!
[posted by Nadia]