Japanese regional cuisines
!Tsukada Nojo (Ikebukuro - Japanese regional). 5928-5611
At first glance it looks like just another cheap and cheerful budget izakaya - unpretentious rustic decor, bouncy J-Pop background music, enthusiastic young staff and boisterous after-work drinkers. But then you notice that, unlike most izakaya, the walls here are decorated with giant photos of farms, farmers, and free-range chickens going about their business. A quick look at the menu confirms that they do indeed take their food seriously here at Tsukada Farm - focusing heavily on top-grade Miyazaki chicken as well as many other regional delicacies from southern Kyushu. [See FULL REVIEW.]
SunmapToshima-ku, Minami-Ikebukuro 2-16-8. Open 5-11:30pm (LO) daily.
Sekai no Yamachan (Ikebukuro - Izakaya). 5950-0747
One of Nagoya's most popular izakaya chains, Yamachan serves regional delicacies such as spicy fried chicken wings and miso-based stews, all at very reasonable prices.
SunmapToshima-ku, Minami-Ikebukuro 1-16-20, Nukariya Bldg B1F. Open 5-11:30pm (LO) daily.
!HaruKor (Okubo - Ainu). 3368-4677
Ezo venison, salmon, scallops, potatoes and mountain vegetables - all freshly imported from Hokkaido - are prepared in simple fashion to bring out their wholesome, natural flavors here at Tokyo's only Ainu restaurant. Similar to Hokkaido country-style cooking, Ainu cuisine uses a bit more garlic, ginger and spices while focusing on seasonal local vegetables and other ingredients. [Show more]
SunmapShinjuku-ku, Hyakunincho 1-10-1. Open 5pm-midnight daily.
Kurawanka (Shinjuku - Kyushu). 3352-5111
Japanese regional dishes from various parts of the country. Lunch from Y700, full-course dinners for Y5,000-Y10,000. There's also an a la carte menu, and many regional sake brands.
SunmapShinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-36-6. Open 11:30am-2, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Suishin (Shinjuku - Japanese regional). 3352-8721
Seafood from the Hiroshima area is the specialty here, including oysters in season. Budget around Y3500 at dinnertime, Y1100 for lunch.
SunmapShinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-15-17, Isetan Kaikan B1F. Open 11am-9:15pm (LO). Closed Wednesdays.
Sangokuichi Island Tower (Nishi-Shinjuku - Udon). 3346-3591
Houtou is a hearty winter udon-noodle dish from the mountainous Kofu area of Yamanashi Prefecture, and this is one of the few places in Tokyo where you can find it. The houtou served here is quite substantial, loaded with chunks of chicken, pumpkin, leeks, mushrooms and other vegetables in a thick broth - a filling meal for just Y1000. [Show more]
SunmapShinjuku-ku, Nishi-Shinjuku 6-5-1, I-Land Tower B1F. Open 11am-10:30pm (LO; Sat -10, Sun -9:30) daily.
Kyushu (Nishi-Shinjuku - Kyushu). 3342-0204
This long-established izakaya mini-chain serves excellent Kyushu cuisine and a good assortment of sake and shochu from the southern island. Budget around Y4000-5000 for dinner with drinks. [Go to branch review]
SunmapShinjuku-ku, Nishi-Shinjuku 3-2-9, Shinjuku Washington Hotel B1F. Open 11:30am-2, 5-10:30pm (LO; Sun -10) daily.
Oshima (Nishi-Shinjuku - Japanese regional). 3348-8080
A great place to explore Kaga-ryori, the regional cuisine of Kanazawa, on the Sea of Japan coast. Lunch from Y1,800, dinner from Y2,800, and special Kaga kaiseki from Y6,500. They also have branches in Ginza, Shinagawa and Yokohama.
SunmapShinjuku-ku, Nishi-Shinjuku 1-5-1, Odakyu Halc 8F. Open 11am-9pm (LO) daily.
!Kyushu (Shibuya - Kyushu). 3463-0442
This long-established izakaya mini-chain serves excellent Kyushu cuisine and a good assortment of sake and shochu from the southern island. Especially recommended are the Kagoshima-style tonkotsu (pork and daikon stewed in shochu) and a well-balanced Nagasaki-style sara-udon with vegetables and meat served over crisp fried noodles. [See FULL REVIEW.]
lateSunmapShibuya-ku, Udagawacho 17-2. Open 5pm-1:30am (LO; -11pm Sat, Sun) daily.
!Gyossantei (Shibuya - Kyushu). 5489-6350
Gyossantei is a great place to sample the regional cooking of Miyazaki Prefecture, along with good sake from around the country. The dining space is comfortable and informal, and large windows on one side give it a spacious, open feel. [See FULL REVIEW.]
mapShibuya-ku, Dogenzaka 2-23-12, Shibuya Fhontis Bldg 2F-A. Open 11:30am-1:30, 5:50-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
!Tamoiyanse (Shibuya - Kyushu). 3461-4333
Excellent southern Kyushu specialties made from freshly flown-in ingredients. The tonkotsu-ni, chunks of pork stewed in shochu overnight, was especially outstanding, as was the chawan-mushi. The bar stocks more than 50 different kinds of shochu, and several of the walls are covered with shochu labels and descriptions. The decor is modern and stylish; the crowd is diverse. Budget around Y5000. (No lunch on weekends.) [See FULL REVIEW.]
latedecorSunmapShibuya-ku, Shinsen 10-10. Open 11:30am-2, 6pm-2am (-midnight Sat, Sun) daily.
!Nana (Shibuya - Japanese regional). 5468-9696
Obanzai-ryori (Kyoto-style home cooking) is the main draw here; budget around Y4000 for dinner.
SunmapShibuya-ku, Shibuya 1-14-16, B1F. Open 5-11pm (LO) daily.
Ima mo Mukashiya (Shibuya - Japanese regional). 5469-9339
The warm, cozy atmosphere and friendly service are the draw at this casual Hokkaido-inspired izakaya. The cooking is home-style and simple, - some highlights have included smoked salmon with a crisp, almost crunchy skin, and lightly grilled bamboo shoots served with fresh katsuo-bushi. The hand-written menu changes with the seasons. Dinner runs around Y3000-Y5000 with drinks.
lateSunmapShibuya-ku, Shibuya 1-12-24, 707 Shibuya Bldg 2F. Open 5:30-2am (LO) daily.
!Bakuro (Ebisu - Kyushu). 5459-8348
If you're not well acquainted with the subtleties of horsemeat cuisine, Bakuro can be a revelation. The food here is fantastic, showcasing a surprisingly wide range of flavors and styles. The atmosphere is lively and fun, the drinks list is well put together, and prices are very reasonable for this level of quality. [Show more]
mapShibuya-ku, Ebisu-Nishi 1-7-12. Open 5-11:30pm. Closed Sundays.
Toritei (Shirokanedai - Japanese regional). 3440-2321
Kyushu-style charcoal-grilled chicken is the tasty specialty here. It's well charred and a bit chewy, just like it's prepared in Miyazaki, and there's also an impressive extra-garlicky version. If you're feeling adventurous, the assorted raw-chicken platter (Y980) is one of the best we've had in Tokyo. The small sake list is well-chosen to match the food. Budget around Y5000 for dinner and drinks.
SunmapMinato-ku, Shirokane 3-1-2, GN Bldg 1F. Open 11:30am-2, 5:30-11:30pm (LO) daily.
Nichinanshi Jitokko Kumiai (Meguro - Japanese regional). 5475-3966
An izakaya specializing in charcoal-grilled chicken, nabe-style stews and other regional dishes from Miyazaki Prefecture in southern Kyushu. Budget around Y3500 at dinnertime.
SunmapShinagawa-ku, Kami-Osaki 2-15-14, Takaki Bldg. 2F. Open 5-11:30pm (LO) daily.
!!Wattaribozu (Gotanda - Japanese regional). 3491-3808
Akita Prefecture is famous for its excellent sake, but its regional cuisine isn't as widely known. Wattaribozu, a cozy little basement izakaya near Gotanda Station, is a great place to explore both food and drink from the region. Some highlights include fish and seafood flown in fresh from the Sea of Japan coast, chicken dishes made with Hina-dori, an heirloom breed that originated in Akita, and wintertime stews like kiritampo nabe, made with grilled pounded rice on skewers. [Show more]
SunmapShinagawa-ku, Nishi-Gotanda 1-7-1, Libio Gotanda Pragma G Tower B1F. Open 11:30am-2, 5pm-1am daily.
Kaba (Shinagawa - Japanese regional). 6712-0303
The specialty of the house here is seafood from the San-in region of Western Honshu, flown in daily and served grilled and as sashimi. There's also an excellent selection of sake from the region, and a lively after-work crowd. Prices are extremely reasonable - budget around Y2500-3500 at dinnertime for food and drink.
mapShinagawa-ku, Konan 2-3-13, Shinagawa Front Bldg B1F. Open 11am-2, 4-11:30pm. Closed Sundays.
!Hachibei (Roppongi) (Nogizaka - Yakitori). 3475-1689
Despite its prime location one minute from Tokyo Midtown, this stylish, relaxed basement izakaya feels far removed from the hubbub of Roppongi nightlife. Kyushu-style yakitori is the centerpiece of the menu, but there's much more - beautiful charcoal-grilled seasonal vegetables, exotic regional dishes like horse sashimi, and a surprisingly big wine list. [Show more]
mapMinato-ku, Roppongi 7-4-5, B1F. Open 6pm-12:30am (LO). Closed Sundays.
Fujitohachi (Akasaka - Japanese regional). 6277-6614
This comfortably casual izakaya showcases the food of both Yamanashi and Shizuoka Prefectures, with some nicely prepared local dishes that are usually hard to find in Tokyo. At the top of our list is their version of houtou, an udon dish from the Kofu (Yamanashi) area where the noodles are simmered in a thick, rich soup made with kabocha pumpkins and other vegetables. [Show more]
mapMinato-ku, Akasaka 5-1-5. Open 11:30am-2, 5pm-midnight. Closed Sundays.
Den Den Den (Akasaka - Kyushu). 5561-9811
Free-range chicken dishes and other specialties from Miyazaki Prefecture in southern Kyushu, plus shochu and microbrew beers from down there. The atmosphere is funky-casual izakaya-style.
mapMinato-ku, Akasaka 3-14-7, Tani Bldg. 2F. Open 11:30am-1:30, 5:30-11pm. Closed Sundays.
Mimiu (Shimbashi - Japanese regional). 3503-3350
Udon-suki from Osaka is the specialty of the house (Y3,500 per person); they also have seasonal dinners priced at Y5,800-7,800, and their own house brand of sake.
mapMinato-ku, Shimbashi 2-5-6. Open 11:30am-8:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Kago (Shimbashi - Kyushu). 3432-2486
The regional specialties of Kagoshima (southern Kyushu) are served, including tonkotsu (pork stewed in shochu) and chicken sashimi. They also have a selection of southern Kyushu shochu (distilled liquor), including the distinctive imo-jochu (made from sweet potatoes).
mapMinato-ku, Shimbashi 3-17-5, Hama Bldg. 2F. Open 5-10pm (LO). Closed weekends.
Ayumasa (Shimbashi - Japanese regional). 3431-7448
This Tokyo branch of a Shimane-based kappo restaurant serves exquisite seasonal seafood - including fugu - from that region. Full-course dinners range from Y7,000-17,000.
mapMinato-ku, Shimbashi 4-21-14. Open 5-10pm (9pm Sat). Closed Sun; 2nd, 4th Sat.
Hakobune (Shimbashi - Japanese regional). 3574-7890
Charcoal-grilled fish and seafood from the Hokuriku region of northern Honshu are the specialty at this robata-style izakaya. They also stock more than 100 kinds of sake. The food is good, but the atmosphere can get hot, noisy and smoky depending on the size of the crowd. English-speaking staff and English menus are available. Easy-to-order prix-fixe menus start at Y4000, or budget around Y6000 for a la carte.
mapMinato-ku, Higashi-Shimbashi 1-1-2, Asoruti Higashi Shinbashi 2F. Open 5-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
!Hyakumangoku Monogatari (Ginza - Antenna shop). 6228-7177
A huge selection of craft sake from Ishikawa Prefecture is sold in the basement of this three-story shop - well over 100 varieties, including some two dozen sakes in convenient one-cup serving sizes. The basement also houses a budget-friendly dining counter where you can order a five-item set menu of Western dishes featuring local Ishikawa ingredients for just Y1500. Sake is extremely reasonable at Y800 for a 270ml (1.5 go) serving. [Show more]
SunmapChuo-ku, Ginza 2-2-18. Open 10am-9pm daily.
!Oshima (Ginza - Japanese regional). 3574-8080
Nicely prepared kaga-ryori -- the seafood-based cuisine of Kanazawa, on the Sea of Japan coast. Lunch from Y1,800, dinner from Y2,800, and special Kaga kaiseki from Y6,500.
SunmapChuo-ku, Ginza 5-8-20, Ginza Core Bldg. 9F. Open 11am-9pm (LO) daily.
Igarashitei (Ginza - Japanese regional). 5148-2333
Swan Lake is one of Japan's best microbreweries, and their Tokyo outpost serves most of their beers (varying with the season) along with excellent high-end regional cuisine and sakes from Niigata. Prix-fixe menus are Y6,500-13,000, plus an a la carte menu. Most seating is in small private rooms. (Formerly known as Kura-rin.)
mapChuo-ku, Ginza 7-16-21, Kumo Bldg B1F. Open 11:30am-1:30, 5-10:30pm (LO). Closed weekends.
Yosso (Ginza - Kyushu). 3572-7686
Kakuni stewed pork, champon fried noodles, and other Chinese-influenced Nagasaki specialties make up the menu at this friendly and popular regional izakaya.
SunmapChuo-ku, Ginza 8-9-16, Nagasaki Center Bldg. B1F. Open 11:30am-2:30, 5-9pm daily.
Fujitohachi (Higashi-Ginza - Japanese regional). 6278-7214
Delicacies from the Shizuoka region, including oden, gyoza and houtou noodles, are showcased at this small after-work izakaya. No lunch on Saturdays.
mapChuo-ku, Ginza 4-14-1, Shimizu Bldg B1F. Open 11:30am-2, 5pm-midnight. Closed Sundays.
Nana (Marunouchi - Japanese regional). 6256-0877
Banzai-ryori, the homestyle regional cuisine of Kyoto, is the specialty here, served with a nice assortment of craft sake from around Japan. Beautiful Kyoto heirloom vegetables are featured in many dishes, and there are a lot of good chicken and pork items as well. Budget around Y4000 for food and drink.
SunmapChiyoda-ku, Marunouchi 2-7-2, JP Tower Kitte 5F. Open 11am-3, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
!Kushiro (Marunouchi - Japanese regional). 6256-0817
This gorgeously appointed izakaya serves Hokkaido cuisine - top-grade charcoal-grilled seafood, meats and vegetables as well as assorted sushi. Pretty much everything we've tried has been excellent, including very tasty grilled lamb and chicken, eggplant, shiitake and bamboo shoots. Also highly recommended dish is the "hassan set" - eight bite-sized seasonal delicacies served on seasonally appropriate pottery (Y1480 per person). [Show more]
decorSunmapChiyoda-ku, Marunouchi 2-7-2, JP Tower Kitte 6F. Open 11am-11pm daily.
!Date no Gyutan (Marunouchi - Japanese regional). 6256-0810
Charcoal-grilled beef tongue is the specialty at this branch of a Sendai-based chain. You can choose from miso or salt-grilled, or you can get a combination of the two - we recommend the salt as it brings out the charcoal flavoring better. The tongue itself is pleasantly chewy, and comes in thick-cut and extra-thick-cut versions, in regular and extra-large portions, all with excellent pickles on the side. [Show more]
SunmapChiyoda-ku, Marunouchi 2-7-2, JP Tower Kitte B1F. Open 10am-9pm (LO; Sun -8pm) daily.
!Daedoko (Marunouchi - Japanese regional). 3212-3313
The cuisine of Yamagata Prefecture is the specialty at this stylish upscale izakaya, along with a nice selection of local craft sake. A dozen or so special sakes of the day are featured on the blackboard, or you can ask the staff for suggestions. [Show more]
SunmapChiyoda-ku, Marunouchi 2-4-1, Marunouchi Bldg. 6F. Open 11am-2:30, 5-10pm (LO; Sat, Sun -9pm) daily.
Yabaton (Yaesu - Tonkatsu). 3212-8810
One of Nagoya's most famous tonkatsu shops, Yabaton is known for their tasty miso-slathered cutlets and their cute pig-sumo wrestler mascot. The teppan tonkatsu (Y1365) is their best-selling dish - a hefty portion of fatty pork cutlet covered in a sweetish miso sauce, laid over a bed of cabbage and served on a metal platter that steams and sizzles at it arrives in front of you. The large and very meaty pork soup is highly recommended as a side dish. [Show more]
no smokingSunmapChiyoda-ku, Marunouchi 1-9-1, Tokyo Gran Roof B1F. Open 10am-10pm (LO) daily.
Yamagata Sakanaichi (Yaesu - Japanese regional). 6269-9337
This is a good spot to explore Yamagata's most famous product, craft sake, with over 100 varieties available. The food menu focuses on Yamagata beef and other regional dishes, but it's generally not as interesting as the sake. Budget around Y2000-3000 for food in the evening, Y1000 at lunchtime. A special lunch menu is available on weekends.
SunmapChiyoda-ku, Marunouchi 1-9-1, Tokyo Gran Roof B1F. Open 10am-10pm (LO) daily.
Sekai no Yamachan (Kyobashi - Japanese regional). 3277-3650
A branch of the very popular Nagoya izakaya chain, Yamachan is a great place to sample local Nagoya delicacies in Tokyo. Recommendations include the awesome spicy chicken wings (we prefer the regular wings to the sauce-coated "black wings"); super-crunchy deep-fried prawns; and richly flavored dote-ni (miso-stewed pork entrails). [Show more]
SunmapChuo-ku, Kyobashi 3-3-13, Heiwa Bldg #3, B1F. Open 5-11:30pm (LO) daily.
Nana (Mitsukoshimae - Japanese regional). 3548-0977
Nana is a slick, modern izakaya specializing in the regional cuisine of Kyoto, obanzai-ryori. Many of the dishes here incorporate or are built around lovely Kyoto heirloom vegetables, and the menu also offers a surprising number of chicken dishes. [Show more]
decorSunmapChuo-ku, Nihonbashi Muromachi 2-2-1, Coredo Muromachi 3F. Open 11am-2:30, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
!!Mondo (Mitsukoshimae - Japanese regional). 3231-2213
You'll find exceptionally good regional cuisine from Shimane Prefecture and very reasonable prices at this old-fashioned izakaya. The menu showcases fish and seafood flown in from the region as well as local-style dishes prepared from heirloom breeds of pork and chicken. There's also a good selection of Shimane craft sake, with a friendly staff who are happy to advise you on your selection. [See FULL REVIEW.]
SunmapChuo-ku, Nihonbashi Muromachi 1-5-3. Open 11am-2:30, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Ringo no Hana (Yotsuya 3-chome - Japanese regional). 6380-6724
Aomori Prefecture in Northern Japan produces some very nice sake, and Ringo no Hana is a good place to try it out. Some twenty different types of local craft sake are served either in ichi-go flasks or small 60cc tasting sizes if you want to explore a bigger variety. Adventurous drinkers may also be interested in their fruit- and herb-flavored liqueurs. [Show more]
mapShinjuku-ku, Arakicho 11-24, Arakicho AC Bldg 1F. Open 11:30am-1, 5:30-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
!Fuku no Hana (Yotsuya - Japanese regional). 3351-0949
Regional cuisine, local sake and shochu from Yamaguchi Prefecture are served at this friendly after-work izakaya. The menu features premium-quality heirloom-breed chicken, Takamori beef, locally caught seafood and seasonal vegetables, all brought in fresh from Yamaguchi. The charcoal-grilled section of the menu is especially recommended. [Show more]
SunmapShinjuku-ku, Yotsuya 1-9, Miyake Bldg 2F. Open 11:30am-2, 5-11:15pm (LO) daily.
Bakuro (Kanda - Kyushu). 3253-8348
The food menu at this casual izakaya is built around horsemeat - you can enjoy it raw, grilled yakiniku-style, stewed, smoked or served as sausages. There's also standard Kyushu-style izakaya fare - raw and grilled seafood, satsuma-age fishcakes and so on - and a menu of sake and shochu to go with it all. Budget around Y3000 at dinnertime. [Go to branch review]
mapChiyoda-ku, Uchi-Kanda 3-4-8. Open 5-11pm. Closed Sundays.
!Bakuro Kanda South (Kanda - Japanese regional). 3516-8348
Some of the best horse sashimi and grilled horse in town are served at this lively after-work spot, all at very reasonable prices. The assorted sashimi platter featuring five different cuts of meat is most highly recommended (Y1080 for two) - all the cuts are very tender, and this is a great way to compare the different flavors. Yukke, minced raw horsemeat mixed with raw egg, onions and soy sauce, is sweeter and less spicy than your typical Korean beef yukke, and also worth a try. [Show more]
mapChuo-ku, Nihonbashi Hongokucho 4-4-12. Open 5-11:29pm (Sat 4-10). Closed Sundays.
Sekai no Yamachan (Okachimachi - Japanese regional). 5812-0222
One of Nagoya's most popular izakaya chains, Yamachan serves regional delicacies such as spicy fried chicken wings and miso-based stews, all at very reasonable prices. [Show more]
SunmapTaito-ku, Ueno 4-3-7, TC #3 Ueno Bldg 1-4F. Open 4-10:15pm (LO) daily.
Hokuhan (Ueno - Japanese regional). 3831-8759
Tohoku-style fish and other dishes. Prices tend to add up rather quickly, but the food is always top quality.
mapTaito-ku, Ueno 6-7-10. Open 5-10:30pm. Closed Sundays.
Iwateya (Ueno - Japanese regional). 3836-9588
Reasonably priced food from Iwate Prefecture, along with local sake and shochu brands.
mapBunkyo-ku, Yushima 3-38-8. Open 4-10pm. Closed Sundays.
Kagaya (Ariake - Japanese regional). 5530-5800
Kaga-style kaiseki service from Kanazawa. Kaiseki dinner from Y3,800, lunch from Y1,200. Regular set dinners from Y1500.
SunmapKoto-ku, Ariake 3-6-11, Wanza Ariake Bay Mall 2F. Open 11am-2:30, 5-8:30pm (LO) daily.
Kochi (Naka-Meguro - Kyushu). 5722-2778
This busy shochu specialist, with room for only 25 (including the outdoor seating that spills out onto the sidewalk), features over 100 varieties, along with Kagoshima style cooking. Nibble on izakaya standards like grilled chicken and buta no kakuni, or more unusual items like chicken sashimi. Budget around Y4000.
lateSunmapMeguro-ku, Kami-Meguro 1-4-3, Excel Naka-Meguro 103. Open 6pm-1am (LO) daily.