Nihon-ryori, izakaya and dining bars
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This guide lists selected restaurants serving Nihon-ryori - general Japanese cuisine, including kaiseki, Kyoto-ryori, tofu cuisine, and shojin-ryori (vegetarian temple cuisine). Also covered are izakaya-style restaurants, upscale dining bars, and izakaya-related specialties such as oden, nabemono and chanko-nabe.

Yakitori and sukiyaki specialists are covered elsewhere.

See also our section on Japanese regional cuisines and izakaya specializing in sake.
This guide lists selected restaurants serving Nihon-ryori - general Japanese cuisine, including kaiseki, Kyoto-ryori, tofu cuisine, and shojin-ryori (vegetarian temple cuisine). Also covered are izakaya-style restaurants, upscale dining bars, and izakaya-related specialties such as oden, nabemono and chanko-nabe.

Yakitori and sukiyaki specialists are covered elsewhere.

See also our section on Japanese regional cuisines and izakaya specializing in sake.

Nihon-ryori

Kakiden - Kaiseki: Shinjuku
Open 11am-9pm (LO) daily.
Kaiseki service at accessible prices, although the nightly koto performances are a bit cliched. An 18-course mini-kaiseki menu is Y8000.
Open 11am-9pm (LO) daily.
Yamashiroya - Japanese: Shibuya
Open noon-1:30, 5:30-10pm (LO) daily.
Modern Kyoto-style cuisine in a very tasteful dining space. The rather elaborate nine-course dinner menu is Y3990, and it changes every month; lunch starts at Y1890. Drinks include Italian wines...
Open noon-1:30, 5:30-10pm (LO) daily.
Matsugen - Japanese: Ebisu
Open 11:30am-3, 5pm-midnight daily.
Stylish Japanese food and sake. Dinner from Y6000 plus drinks. They are also known for their excellent handmade soba noodles.
Open 11:30am-3, 5pm-midnight daily.
La Bombance - Japanese: Nishi-Azabu
Open 6-10pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Top-notch creative seasonal Japanese cuisine from innovative young chef Naohiro Watanabe. The attitude towards the food and atmosphere is fun and relaxed rather than stiff and formal. While the...
Open 6-10pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Yamafuji - Japanese: Hiroo
Open 11:30am-2, 6-11pm (LO) daily.
Organic grocer Daichi wo Mamoru Kai supplies this smart Japanese bistro with organic fish and meat, pesticide-free produce, and even organic alcohol.
Open 11:30am-2, 6-11pm (LO) daily.
Tofuya Ukai - Tofu: Akabanebashi
Open 11am-3, 3-8pm (LO) daily.
First-class traditional Japanese cuisine, with an emphasis on tofu, in a beautiful setting next to Tokyo Tower. Private dining rooms look out over lovely gardens and 100-year-old trees, although the...
Open 11am-3, 3-8pm (LO) daily.
Nobu - Japanese: Kamiyacho
Open 11:30am-2, 6-10pm (LO) daily.
The second incarnation of Nobu Tokyo is under different management, and is closer in style to the branches in New York and London. Prix-fixe omakase menus are priced Y12,000-25,000, along with an...
Open 11:30am-2, 6-10pm (LO) daily.
Kita Oji - Kaiseki: Akasaka
Open 11:30am-1:30, 5-9pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
The excellent Y2000 bento lunch served in an elegant private room at Kita Oji feels like one of Tokyo's very affordable luxuries. Yes, it's all individual rooms for parties of 2-70, furnished with...
Open 11:30am-1:30, 5-9pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Umaya - Japanese: Akasaka
Open 11am-1:30, 5-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
A beautiful rustic-style restaurant opened by famed kabuki actor Ichikawa Ennosuke. Lunches start from Y1000, dinners from Y3000. Food includes homemade tofu, and the drinks menu features Kyushu...
Open 11am-1:30, 5-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Kikunoi - Kaiseki: Akasaka
Open noon-1, 5-9pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Third-generation kaiseki chef (and sometime TV celeb) Yoshihiro Murata is known for his innovative approach to kaiseki cuisine, drawing on French cooking techniques and ingredients. He has two...
Open noon-1, 5-9pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Shimada - Japanese: Ginza
Open 5-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Serving top-quality seasonal Japanese cuisine in a standing-only venue is the unusual concept behind Chef Hiroshi Shimada's eponymous restaurant. For an average budget of Y5000 per person for food...
Open 5-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Yukari - Japanese: Nihonbashi
Open 11:30am-1:30, 5-9:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Nihonbashi Yukari serves magnificent seasonal Japanese cuisine in a casual, relaxed settting. And while dinner might set you back Y10-20,000 with drinks, lunch is an amazing bargain. Regular...
Open 11:30am-1:30, 5-9:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Suzunari - Kaiseki: Yotsuya 3-chome
Open 6-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
This tiny, Michelin-starred kaiseki restaurant offers good value for money, with prix-fixe menus starting around Y5000. Counter seats are the best; other areas can get smoky.
Open 6-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Yuu - Kaiseki: Yoyogi-Uehara
Open 5:30-11pm (LO). Closed Mondays.
Yuu serves elegant kappo-ryori, the more informal version of kaiseki service, offering both prix-fixe meals (from Y5,500) and a la carte. Gorgeous seasonal vegetables, sourced from small farms in...
Open 5:30-11pm (LO). Closed Mondays.

Shojin-ryori

Daigo - Shojin-ryori: Onarimon
Open noon-3pm, 5-8pm (LO) daily.
Top-class vegetable-centered temple cuisine. Lunch 10-12,000 yen, dinner 14-18,000 yen.
Open noon-3pm, 5-8pm (LO) daily.
Sougo - Shojin-ryori: Roppongi
Open 11:30am-2, 6-10pm, 10pm-5am (LO). Closed Sundays.
This specialist in shojin-ryori (vegetable-based Buddhist temple cuisine) is owned by the same family as the legendary Daigo shojin restaurant, but the atmosphere is much more casual and the prices...
Open 11:30am-2, 6-10pm, 10pm-5am (LO). Closed Sundays.
Bon - Shojin-ryori: Iriya
Open from noon and from 5pm. Closed Tuesdays.
Beautifully prepared temple cuisine. Lunch/dinner ranges from 7,000 - 10,000 yen.
Open from noon and from 5pm. Closed Tuesdays.

Izakaya and dining bars

Hibiki (Nomura Bldg) - Izakaya: Nishi-Shinjuku
Open 11:30am-3, 5-11pm. Closed Sundays.
This upscale izakaya-dining bar serves excellent grilled chicken and nice fresh fish, complemented by a good sake and shochu list. The interior is tasteful, with blond wood furnishings, an open...
Open 11:30am-3, 5-11pm. Closed Sundays.
Hibiki (Southern Tower) - Izakaya: Nishi-Shinjuku
Open 11am-2, 5-10pm (LO) daily.
This upscale chain izakaya is known for their excellent grilled meats and vegetables and their well-chosen sake and shochu lists. The decor is sleek Japanese modern. Budget around Y6000-7000 per...
Open 11am-2, 5-10pm (LO) daily.
Yasaiya Mei - Japanese: Harajuku
Open 11am-11pm (LO) daily.
Healthy vegetable-oriented cuisine is the concept at this attractively appointed dining bar - everything from bagna cauda and vegetable terrines to robatayaki-style skewered morsels. Drinks include...
Open 11am-11pm (LO) daily.
Tora - Izakaya: Omotesando
Open 11am-1:30, 5-10pm (LO) daily.
Great sake and fantastic charcoal-grilled fare served in a relaxed, pleasant dining room, all for a very reasonable price - Nanadaime Tora comes pretty close to embodying the Platonic ideal of the...
Open 11am-1:30, 5-10pm (LO) daily.
Kiiro - Izakaya: Gaienmae
Open 11:30am-2, 6-10:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Kiiro is a comfortable local izakaya with very good food and sake. The sake list showcases well-chosen craft sake from small breweries around the country, and it includes a good number of special...
Open 11:30am-2, 6-10:30pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Kogane - Izakaya: Gaienmae
Open 5pm-12:30am (LO; Sat, Sun -11:30) daily.
This very hip late-night dining bar near Gaienmae might be the best place in the neighborhood for sake after 11pm. The kitchen specializes in organ-meat dishes, and a glance at the menu reveals a...
Open 5pm-12:30am (LO; Sat, Sun -11:30) daily.
Galali - Izakaya: Sendagaya
Open 11:30am-2, 5-11pm (LO) daily.
This branch of Galali offers a big selection of shochu, mostly the kokuto (sugarcane) variety, and excellent food to go with it. The rustic interior is intimate and comfortable, although the...
Open 11:30am-2, 5-11pm (LO) daily.
Shunju - Japanese: Shibuya
Open 11:30am-2, 6-11pm (LO) daily.
Top-class seasonal Japanese cooking from this well-regarded Tokyo-based chain. Prix-fixe dinners from Y4200 or a la carte.
Open 11:30am-2, 6-11pm (LO) daily.
Dedesuke - Izakaya: Ebisu
Open 5pm-4am (LO) daily.
This sprawling, spacious izakaya focuses on meats - premium-quality charcoal-grilled beef, pork and chicken to be precise - although they also offer a nice selection of creative seasonal and...
Open 5pm-4am (LO) daily.
Kamachiya - Izakaya: Ebisu
Open 11:30am-4, 6pm-2am daily.
The WID restaurant group (Aburi Fudo, Torimikura) does an excellent job creating small-scale, comfortable izakaya with great food, nice sake lists, and simple but stylish decor. We're glad to say...
Open 11:30am-4, 6pm-2am daily.
Shunju Yurari - Japanese: Ebisu
Open 11:30am-2, 5:30-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Excellent contemporary Japanese cuisine in a splashy designer space. Budget around Y9000 at dinnertime.
Open 11:30am-2, 5:30-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Hashian - Izakaya: Ebisu
Open 11:30am-2:30, 5-10pm (LO) daily.
"Soba, sake and wine" are the main draws of this stylish izakaya just up the hill from Ebisu station. On any night, the terrace, main room and smaller private function rooms are thronged with...
Open 11:30am-2:30, 5-10pm (LO) daily.
Isshin - Japanese: Daikanyama
Open 11:30am-2, 5-10pm (LO) daily.
We were thrilled to learn that our favorite Kyoto dining bar has a more conveniently located branch in Tokyo. The kitchen here offers a modern take on traditional Japanese casual cuisine, served...
Open 11:30am-2, 5-10pm (LO) daily.
Zen, The - Izakaya: Shinagawa
Open 11am-10:45pm (LO) daily.
While The Zen is billed as a shochu dining bar, they also offer a reasonable selection of premium sake. Shochu really is the star here though, and the knowledgeable staff can help you navigate the...
Open 11am-10:45pm (LO) daily.
Maimon - Japanese: Shinagawa
Open 11am-2, 5-11pm daily.
This chain of upscale izakaya (which also runs Megu in New York) is popular for their good food and lively, stylish decor. A specialty of the house is their charcoal-grilled meats and vegetables on...
Open 11am-2, 5-11pm daily.
Shunju - Japanese: Tameike
Open 11:30am-2, 5-10pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Seasonal Japanese cuisine is the specialty here, with excellent charcoal-grilled meats and fish, interesting sushi and sashimi plates, and Italian and French wines as well as sake and shochu to...
Open 11:30am-2, 5-10pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Dedesuke - Izakaya: Shimbashi
Open 4pm-3am (LO; Sun 1-10pm) daily.
Most Shimbashi drinking spots close before midnight, but if you've somehow managed to miss the last train, Dedesuke is certainly worth knowing about. Open until 4am, this casual izakaya serves...
Open 4pm-3am (LO; Sun 1-10pm) daily.
Washoku En - Japanese: Shiodome
Open 11:30am-2:30, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
The decor is elegant and understated, and the 42nd-floor views of Tokyo Bay and Ginza are impressive, but we keep coming back to Washoku En for the excellent food. The kitchen turns out creative,...
Open 11:30am-2:30, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Hibiki - Izakaya: Shiodome
Open 11am-3, 5-11:30pm daily.
Good-quality grilled fish and chicken, home-made tofu and seasonal specialties at this upscale izakaya. Weekday lunches start at Y1200, and the deluxe Y2800 lunch includes tofu, sashimi and Yamagata...
Open 11am-3, 5-11:30pm daily.
Shunju Tsugihagi - Japanese: Hibiya
Open 11:30am-2, 6-10pm (LO) daily.
Top-class seasonal Japanese cooking from this well-regarded Tokyo-based chain. Prix-fixe dinners from Y6800 or a la carte.
Open 11:30am-2, 6-10pm (LO) daily.
Hakobune (Ginza Chuo-dori) - Japanese regional: Ginza
Open 5-11:30pm. Closed Sundays.
Hearth-grilled seafood fresh from northern Honshu is the specialty at this attractive "slow-food" izakaya. Prix-fixe menus feature several types of grilled fish, sashimi and locally grown chicken...
Open 5-11:30pm. Closed Sundays.
Daigomi - Robatayaki: Marunouchi
Open 11am-2, 5-11pm (LO) daily.
Top-grade robatayaki in festive surroundings, for that expense-account splurge.
Open 11am-2, 5-11pm (LO) daily.
Washoku En - Japanese: Marunouchi
Open 11am-2:30, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
The tasteful Kyoto-modern decor here is definitely the most impressive in the entire Marunouchi Oazo complex. Good-quality Japanese fare, including a good assortment of regional dishes, with a nice...
Open 11am-2:30, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Kuba no Kokoro - Izakaya: Akebonobashi
Open 11am-2, 5-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Fantastic Hokkaido seafood and a nice selection of premium craft sake are served at this unpretentious basement izakaya. The sashimi platters are reliable, and often feature fish that you don't see...
Open 11am-2, 5-11pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Seigetsu - Izakaya: Kagurazaka
Open 5-11pm (LO) daily.
Unlike many sake-connoisseur pubs, the food here stands on its own, and would make Seigetsu worth a visit even if they only served tea. The charcoal-grilled chicken is especially outstanding, and...
Open 5-11pm (LO) daily.
Akatsuka - Izakaya: Akihabara
Open 11:30am-1:30, 5-10:30pm. Closed weekends.
The kitchen turns out a typical selection of sashimi, grilled meats and fish, but many people come here specifically for their tori motsu nikomi (chicken giblet stew). It's served steaming hot, with...
Open 11:30am-1:30, 5-10:30pm. Closed weekends.
Nikuzushi - Izakaya: Asakusabashi
Open 11:30am-2, 5-11pm (LO) daily.
One of several "meat bars" located in this stretch of Asakusabashi, Nikuzushi offers a wide variety of meat-topped sushi and a decent selection of sake to go with it. Sushi by the piece comes with...
Open 11:30am-2, 5-11pm (LO) daily.
Mamma Jiima - Izakaya: Koenji
Open 5pm-midnight (LO) daily.
Warayaki, or straw-roasted cooking, is a technique for quickly searing ingredients like chicken and bonito at very high temperatures. It's entertaining to watch, and the straw imparts a pleasant,...
Open 5pm-midnight (LO) daily.
Marche - Izakaya: Yoyogi-Uehara
Open 5pm-midnight. Closed Mondays.
A cozy izakaya located directly in front of Yoyogi-Uehara station, Marche offers a nice selection of seasonal craft sake at very reasonable prices. Sake-friendly dishes like miso-marinated avocado...
Open 5pm-midnight. Closed Mondays.
Kinsai - Izakaya: Naka-Meguro
Open 5pm-1am daily.
A casual bar-restaurant from the folks who brought us the original gourmet stand-bar, Buchi, and its French cousin, Bongout Noh. Drinks include wine by the glass and plenty of premium sake brands,...
Open 5pm-1am daily.

Nabemono

Wattaribozu - Japanese regional: Gotanda
Open 11:30am-2, 5pm-1am daily.
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...
Open 11:30am-2, 5pm-1am daily.
Isegen - Nabemono: Awajicho
Open 11:30am-2, 4-9pm (LO). Closed Sundays and holidays.
Anko-nabe is the specialty here, since 1830. (Anko served Sept to April). Budget Y3000 at lunch, Y8000 at dinnertime. (Closed Saturdays in the summer.)
Open 11:30am-2, 4-9pm (LO). Closed Sundays and holidays.
Botan - Nabemono: Awajicho
Open 11:30am-8pm (LO). Closed Sundays and holidays.
One of Tokyo's culinary landmarks, they've been serving the same excellent chicken nabe for nearly 120 years. The chicken is slow-cooked over an old-fashioned charcoal burner in front of you...
Open 11:30am-8pm (LO). Closed Sundays and holidays.
Momonja - Nabemono: Ryogoku
Open 5-9pm. Closed Sundays.
They've been serving wild boar for 280 years now, and their signature boar stew is Y4000 a pot. Other dishes include venison stew and venison sashimi.
Open 5-9pm. Closed Sundays.

Oden

Konbuya - Oden: Ebisu
Open 11:30am-2, 5:30-10:30pm (LO) daily.
The sophisticated oden served at Konbuya is a far cry from the usual convenience-store fare, with standout items like grilled anago eel wrapped in tofu skin, kakuni stewed pork in fried tofu, and...
Open 11:30am-2, 5:30-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Konbuya - Oden: Nishi-Azabu
Open 6pm-1am (LO; 11pm Sundays). Open every day.
Although it's best known in its convenience-store and yatai manifestations, oden can be a cuisine of great subtlety and refinement, and Konbuya in Nishi-Azabu is an excellent place to investigate the...
Open 6pm-1am (LO; 11pm Sundays). Open every day.
Otako - Oden: Mitsukoshimae
Open 11am-1:30, 4:30-10:30pm (LO). Closed weekends.
Lunchtime is a good time to sample the oden at this long-established specialty izakaya - a teishoku (set meal) with a four-piece oden bowl plus rice, soup and pickles, is just Y780, and there are...
Open 11am-1:30, 4:30-10:30pm (LO). Closed weekends.
Inagaki - Oden: Hanzomon
Open 5-10pm (LO). Closed weekends.
The decor and tableware at Inagaki are more stylish than your typical neighborhood izakaya, although the atmosphere is still quite down to earth, attracting a lively after-work crowd. The oden at...
Open 5-10pm (LO). Closed weekends.
Konbuya - Oden: Kagurazaka
Open 4-11pm (LO) daily.
Oden is known as a fairly humble cuisine, but it reaches new heights of sophistication at Konbuya, where it's paired with well-chosen craft sake and shochu in an elegant dining room. In addtion to...
Open 4-11pm (LO) daily.
Karakuri - Oden: Kanda
Open 5-11pm (LO; Sat, holidays -10pm). Closed Sundays.
Kakakuri is one of the rare drinking spots in Tokyo where you can find first-rate selections of both craft beer and craft sake. Despite the row of beer taps behind the counter, it feels more like a...
Open 5-11pm (LO; Sat, holidays -10pm). Closed Sundays.
Toneri - Izakaya: Kichijoji
Open 5:30-11:30pm (LO) daily.
Seasonal izakaya fare and gourmet oden, plus very impressive lists of shochu and sake.
Open 5:30-11:30pm (LO) daily.
Yakitori and sukiyaki specialists are covered elsewhere.

See also our section on Japanese regional cuisines and izakaya specializing in sake.
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Updated 2024-04-24