Yakitori (grilled chicken)
Cuisine and menu-reading guide



TIP: The assortment platter may seem a convenient way to order, but check the contents first. Yakitori platters often include skewers of chicken skin and odd organ meats that might not be to everyone's liking. Tsukune (grilled ground-chicken patties) and momo (thigh meat) are usually safe choices, while tebasaki (wings) are difficult to get perfectly crispy - a good test of a top-level yakitori-ya.
Pheasant, mallard duck, Kyoto duck and guinea fowl are some of the tasty game birds featured at this first-rate yakitoriya, along with heritage-breed Hinai-dori chicken from Akita Prefecture. The game birds are beautifully grilled and pleasantly chewy, while the Hinai-dori gets top marks for tender meat. Torisuki's elegant Kyoto-style vegetable dishes here are also superb - these are.... [Continue reading]
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. The first thing you notice about.... [Continue reading]
Tokyo has no shortage of good yakitori shops, but Souten really stands out from the the crowd thanks to the quality of both their chicken and their craft sake. The entrance sports an extra-large sugidama (cedar ball) - always a promise of good sake within - and the list here doesn't disappoint. Nor does the food - they serve only the finest free-range chicken and other birds in season,.... [Continue reading]
It's Japan's first yakitori theme park! Seven famous yakitoriya from around the country have assembled in one spot, allowing Tokyo diners to compare their skewers side by side. The styles and flavors represented here are surpringly diverse, and the setting is lively and fun - a massive 229-seat space divided up into comfortable dining niches spread out over two levels. Zenyaren's menu.... [Continue reading]
Torishige prepares grilled chicken and other dishes with Nagoya cochin, a local heirloom breed prized for its flavor. Prix-fixe menus of charcoal-grilled chicken on skewers are priced at Y4300 and Y5800 for eight and twelve skewers, respectively. They also offer more varied menus with other chicken-based dishes - stews, grilled steaks and chicken carpaccio - for Y5300-5800. Lunches.... [Continue reading]
Miyazaki free-range chicken is the main ingredient at Kuruma, with chicken sukiyaki and chicken shabu-shabu supplementing the usual yakitori menu. The tasteful interior is plusher than what you'd expect from the back-alley location.... [Continue reading]
Excellent, skillfully prepared free-range chicken and a good selection of premium sake brands make this a popular spot for after-shopping snacking or late-night drinking. The decor is simple but chic Kyoto modern, with a panoramic view of central Kyoto and the mountains beyond.... [Continue reading]
Lightly batter-fried seafood and vegetables
Grilled pork on skewers and other pork dishes
Charcoal-grilled freshwater eel
Deep-fried octopus dumplings, an Osaka specialty
Learn about different ramen styles,and how to use the ticket machine
Savory pancakes in Osaka, Hiroshima and Tokyo versions
Japan's most popular comfort food
Deep-fried pork cutlet
Sea grapes and other regional delicacies
Quick-cooked stews that are perfect for winter
A glossary of Japanese fish and seafood, plus helpful restaurant phrases
An introduction to different types of sake, plus a glossary of sake terminology

Sister sites:
Craft Beer Bars Japan
Bars, retailers and festivals
Animal Cafes
Cat, rabbit and bird cafe guide
Where in Tokyo
Fun things to do in the big city
Popcult, design and cool stuff to buy
Barking Inu
Sushi dictionary and Japan Android apps