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.
Agaru Sagaru Nishi-Iru Higashi-Iru - Japanese: Harajuku
Open noon-2pm, 5:30-11:30pm (LO) daily.
We're not sure whether to call it casual modern kaiseki or creative Kyoto cuisine, but the food at Agaru Sagaru is exquisite in both flavor and presentation. The nine-course menu follows a...
Open noon-2pm, 5:30-11:30pm (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.
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.
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.
Ryugin - Kaiseki: Roppongi
Open 6pm-2am. Closed Sunday.
Chef Seiji Yamamoto does a very impressive take on experimental cuisine from a Japanese perspective, with eye-openers like edamame foam with pulverized ice cream and foie gras with figs. ...
Open 6pm-2am. Closed Sunday.
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.
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.
Nagamine - Japanese: Ginza
Open 11:30am-3, 5:30-11pm. Closed Sundays.
Vegetable kaiseki is the unusual specialty at Nagamine, a relatively new restaurant in Ginza that's run by a long-established vegetable wholesaler based in nearby Tsukiji. With no meat or seafood...
Open 11:30am-3, 5:30-11pm. 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.
Sasa no Yuki - Tofu: Uguisudani
Open 11:30am-8pm (LO). Closed Mondays.
This venerable old tofu specialist (dating back to 1691) stands in a rather nondescript neighborhood about a 15-minute walk from the north end of Ueno Park. Multi-course meals feature tofu in all...
Open 11:30am-8pm (LO). Closed Mondays.
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.
Goenmon - Tofu: Hakusan
Open noon-2, 5-10pm (8pm Sundays). Closed Sundays.
Excellent tofu cuisine in a beautiful garden setting. They have a private teahouse which can be reserved if you call far enough in advance. Reservations absolutely necessary. Full-course lunch...
Open noon-2, 5-10pm (8pm Sundays). Closed Sundays.
Izuchiku - Shojin-ryori: Yoga
Open 11am-7:30pm (LO). Closed Wednesdays.
The Tokyo branch of a famous temple restaurant in Kyoto, they specialize in teppatsu-ryori, a type of shojin-ryori (vegetable-centered temple cuisine). The tatami rooms look out onto a beautiful...
Open 11am-7:30pm (LO). Closed Wednesdays.

Izakaya and dining bars

Sakaeya - Izakaya: Takadanobaba
Open 5pm-11:30pm (LO; -12:30am Fri, Sat) daily.
Located in the middle of Takadanobaba's bustling "izakaya alley," Sakaeya is by far the fanciest drinking spot in this budget-conscious, student-filled neighborhood. It delivers excellent value for...
Open 5pm-11:30pm (LO; -12:30am Fri, Sat) daily.
Hibiki (Nomura Bldg) - Izakaya: Nishi-Shinjuku
Open 11:30am-3, 5-11pm daily.
Good grilled chicken, nice fresh fish and a good sake and shochu list. The interior is very pleasant (blond wood furnishings, an open kitchen and a big open bar area), with a nice view looking west.
Open 11:30am-3, 5-11pm daily.
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.
Galali - Izakaya: Omotesando
Open 6pm-3am daily.
This stylish little izakaya offers excellent food, a good sake selection, and an entire menu page devoted to different varieties of salt - 12 of them in all. Charcoal-grilled seafood and vegetables...
Open 6pm-3am 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.
Toki no Ma - Izakaya: Ebisu
Open 4:30pm-5am (to 10:30pm Sundays). Open every day.
The impressive sake list includes a number of small-kura limited-edition seasonal sakes; there's also plenty of shochu. The food is also top-notch, with unusual specalties like satsuma-age...
Open 4:30pm-5am (to 10:30pm Sundays). Open every day.
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.
Teyandei - Izakaya: Nishi-Azabu
Excellent grilled fish and meats and friendly service in this lovely converted two-story house. Full-course dinnertime menus from Y2500. There are semi-private rooms on the ground floor and an open...
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.
Shunju - Japanese: Tameike
Open 11:30am-2, 5-10pm (LO). Closed Sundays.
Charcoal-grilled meats and fish, nabe stews and rice dishes, with sake, shochu, and Italian and French wines to drink. The decor is simple - plain blond-wood chairs and tables - with few...
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.
Excellent Japanese dishes, creatively prepared and served. There's also a fantastic view of Ginza.
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.
Nenohi - Japanese: Marunouchi
Open 11am-2:30, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
Nenohi delivers first-rate food in a gorgeous setting, offering a nice mix of izakaya standbys (superb charcoal-grilled chicken, good-quality sashimi, excellent kakuni pork stew) and simple but...
Open 11am-2:30, 5-10:30pm (LO) daily.
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.
Washoku En - Japanese: Suidobashi
Open 11am-3, 5-11:30pm daily.
Calling En an izakaya doesn't quite do them justice - the food and drink are both top-notch, the decor elegant and modern. Most of the dining spaces take full advantage of the wrap-around glass...
Open 11am-3, 5-11:30pm 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.
Hibiki - Japanese: Daiba
Open 11am-2:30, 5-10pm (LO) daily.
Excellent seafood, chicken, tofu, and charcoal-grilled items in this lovely modern Japanese pub-style restaurant. There's a nice panoramic view of Tokyo Bay and the Rainbow Bridge, and sleek...
Open 11am-2:30, 5-10pm (LO) daily.
Sasaratei - Izakaya: Nishi-Ogikubo
Open 4pm-12:30am (LO) daily.
This lively neighborhood drinking spot is a branch of the long-established Fujintei izakaya a few blocks away, and the spacious, comfortable second floor is the place to be. The menu is disarmingly...
Open 4pm-12:30am (LO) daily.
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.
Aburiya Fudo - Izakaya: Naka-Meguro
Open 6pm-2am (LO; Sundays 10pm) daily.
Excellent charcoal-grilled meats and vegetables are served here with Korean-style sauces and side dishes. The quality of the meats is first-rate, and there are lots of grilled and stewed organ...
Open 6pm-2am (LO; Sundays 10pm) daily.

Nabemono and chanko-nabe

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

Sangendou - Izakaya: Nishi-Shinjuku
Open 11:30am-2, 4:30-11pm daily.
Unlike some skyscraper restaurants, this place has the energy and atmosphere of a down-to-earth izakaya. The food menu is impressively diverse, including soba noodles, kushiyaki (both yakitori and...
Open 11:30am-2, 4:30-11pm 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.
Rakan - Oden: Yaesu
Open 11am-11pm daily.
This is one of the more accessible places in town to try gourmet oden - they're open all day rather than just evenings, and the spacious counter and train-station location make it a comfortable spot...
Open 11am-11pm daily.
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.
Odako - Oden: Ueno
Open 5:30-11pm daily.
Odako is a place where oden finally gets the respect it deserves, presented with top-grade small-producer sake. Here, oden is prepared fresh daily in a Kansai-style broth, which is not nearly as...
Open 5:30-11pm daily.
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.
Excello - Oden: Shimo-Kitazawa
Open 6pm-midnight. Closed Sundays.
This unusual merger of an oden shop and a soul music bar lets you listen to classic seventies soul in the background as you enjoy Shizuoka-style oden (it comes in a darker, beefier broth than the...
Open 6pm-midnight. Closed Sundays.
Kamachido - Izakaya: Naka-Meguro
Open 11:30am-4, 5-11pm (LO) daily.
This stylish little izakaya offers a very diverse izakaya menu - grilled meats, gyoza dumplings, oden, and popular gourmet ramen, plus a small but nice sake list. (A sister shop of Aburiya Fudo and...
Open 11:30am-4, 5-11pm (LO) daily.
Sangendou - Izakaya: Yokohama Sta.
Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
This Yokohama branch of one of our favorite izakaya offers good soba, tofu and grilled chicken along with some nice regional sake choices. Counter and table seating is relatively spacious.
Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.
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Updated 2016-06-24