10 Recommended Authentic Japanese Restaurants in Asakusa
Asakusa is an area that strives to preserve Japanese traditions. You can see temples and shrines, or participate in fun, Japan-related activities such as trying on kimono and dressing as a ninja. But one thing you should definitely do if you visit this area is to savor the wide selection of traditional Japanese cuisine available. Here are 10 recommended Japanese restaurants to check out in Asakusa!
Mar 22 2019 (Sep 09 2020)
1. Asakusa Imahan Kokusai Street Main Branch [Asakusa]
Established in 1895, Asakusa Imahan is a popular Wagyu (high-quality Japanese beef) cuisine restaurant. They serve the finest quality of Wagyu with the perfect amount of fat cooked in various ways. One dish that stands out from the rest is their sukiyaki, a hot pot dish of thin slices of meat and vegetables simmered in a sauce of soy sauce, mirin (sweet cooking sake), sugar and other ingredients. They will cook it in front of you, so you can eat it at its best state.
Once cooked, the ingredients are dipped in a bowl of beaten egg and eaten. By dipping them in the egg, the flavors of the ingredients, which were cooked in a rather rich sauce, become nice and mellow. The umami of the thinly sliced beef will fill your mouth the moment you eat it.
During lunch hours, they serve dishes other than sukiyaki, like gyu-don (a bowl of rice topped with beef) and steak-don (a bowl of rice topped with a steak). There are a lot of restaurants that serve gyu-don for less than 500 yen in Japan, but the gyu-don here costs 1,500 yen. While it is a bit more expensive than many other options out there, it's definitely more than worth it!
2. Unatetsu Asakusa Eki-mae Main Branch [Asakusa]
Here at Unatetsu, you can have delicious eel dishes. Hitsumabushi is an eel dish that is said to have originated in Nagoya. This restaurant is the first to adapt it in a Tokyo-style - eel grilled over charcoal with a special sauce, which is then chopped and served over a bed of steamed rice.
One dish of hitsumabushi can be enjoyed in 3 ways. First, you eat it without adding anything. Next, you mix in condiments such as wasabi and green onion. Finally, you pour a soup over it and eat it. You can enjoy how the taste changes at each stage.
Hitsumabushi usually comes coated in a sweet and spicy sauce. If you want to enjoy just the flavor of the eel, shiro (white) hitsumabushi or shira-yaki are recommended. The carefully selected eels sourced from around the country have the perfect amount of fat, and go well with alcohol.
3. Bentenyama Miyako Sushi [Asakusa]
When it comes to Japanese cuisine, sushi is probably the first thing that comes to mind. Bentenyama Miyako Sushi is a sushi restaurant with a history of over 150 years. Here, you can enjoy sushi in an authentic style, where it is prepared right in front of you by highly experienced sushi chefs.
You can have a truly Japanese experience by sipping some sake while you eat your sushi. It is a rather small sushi bar with just 17 seats, so it is recommended to go there with a small party.
One perk of having a meal at a small bar is that you can have an intimate conversation with the chef or proprietress. You can ask them anything about sake or sushi, and enjoy a relaxing meal in the peaceful atmosphere of this restaurant.
4. Asakusa Sushi Ken [Asakusa]
Asakusa Sushi Ken is a rare type of sushi restaurant that serves halal certified sushi, so anyone can enjoy the sushi here. You can have sushi prepared with fresh fish for a reasonable price, starting at just 100 yen a piece.
During lunch hours, they offer a takeout bento (lunch box), Shokado Bento, which consists of sushi, tempura, sashimi, and grilled fish. These are also halal certified. With their use of high-quality ingredients, it's a great place not just for those following a halal diet, but everyone else as well!
Some other great things about this place are the easy access from the station and the spacious interior with 59 seats. Along with sake and beer, they also serve wine. There's a wide variety of light dishes as well, so you can enjoy this place just like you would as it were a pub.
5. Asakusa Miuraya [Asakusa]
Fugu (blowfish), which is recognized in Japan as a luxury fish, is served with a flower-like presentation on a plate. Here at Asakusa Miuraya, you can order fresh fugu delivered from Tsukiji Market for a relatively reasonable price.
Other than sashimi, fugu can be eaten in various ways such as nabe (hot pot) or spare rib. The price of fugu nabe varies greatly according to the type of fugu, with the cheapest one being around 2,000 yen.
A recommendation for those who like drinking is Hire-zake, which is warm sake poured over seared fin of fugu. The rich and crispy taste and aroma of fugu with the flavor of sake will be very memorable.
6. Tansoan [Asakusa]
Tansouan is a soba (buckwheat noodles) restaurant that has received Bib Gourmand, a title awarded by the Michelin Guide to restaurants offering “exceptionally good food at moderate prices”. Here, you can enjoy affordable, fine quality soba, made differently everyday depending on the season and the weather.
Along with soba, they have a variety of foods such as grilled miso and pickled vegetables that go well with sake and shochu. You can dine in a private room if you reserve in advance. You don’t need to worry about ordering in Japanese as they have English-speaking staff.
You'll be able to spot this restaurant by its authentic Japanese atmosphere and an illustration of a humorous frog. It is located on a road next to a busy street, so you can spend a nice and peaceful time away from the hustle and bustle of Asakusa.
7. Kaminarimon-Kisuke [Asakusa]
Kaminarimon-Kisuke is a restaurant where you can have chicken and oden. Oden is a type of Japanese home cooking that consists of egg, vegetables, fish paste products, and other ingredients stewed in a warm soup. The soup at Kisuke is lightly flavored, but soaks thoroughly into all of the ingredients, so you'll get a burst of umami in your mouth as you take each bite.
The taste and texture of chicken varies considerably depending on the cut. If you want to try various parts of the chicken, the assorted yakitori (grilled chicken skewers) is recommended. You can choose the flavor for each skewer: salt, salty-sweet sauce, and garlic soy sauce.
They also have a wide variety of fish dishes. At lunch time they have kaisen-don (bowl of rice topped with sashimi), of which only 10 servings are available in a day. Made with plenty of fish carefully selected from around the country, it looks beautiful and costs only 1,100 yen, which is very reasonable for a dish of this quality. It is a popular dish, so make sure to get there early.
8. Yutaka [Asakusa]
Yutaka is a well-established tonkatsu (deep-fried pork cutlet) restaurant in Asakusa that has been in business for over 70 years. Their determination to serve a good tonkatsu can be seen in the environment in which they cook, as well as in their ingredients. Despite being deep-fried, the tonkatsu here is not too greasy and surprisingly light on the stomach, so finishing the whole dish won’t be difficult like it is with other deep-fried dishes.
The high-quality pork is tender, and its fat tastes sweet. If you want to enjoy a fat cut of pork, you should order the Rosu (loin) Katsu, and if you want less fat, you should order the Fillet Katsu.
If you're not a big fan of pork, no need to worry! They also have deep-fried scallop and shrimp, crab croquette, and other such items on the menu. The shrimp they use is so big that it sticks out over the edge of the plate. It's very tender, and filling as well!
9. Ichimatsu [Tawaramachi, Asakusa]
If you want to not only enjoy an authentic Japanese meal, but also experience a truly Japanese atmosphere, Ichimatsu is the place to go. Here, you can enjoy Japanese set meals and shaved ice during lunch hours, and a traditional Japanese course cuisine called Kaiseki cuisine for dinner.
The nicely decorated interior of the place will make you feel as though you are in a luxurious traditional Japanese inn. They have both a regular dining space and private rooms. The floors are mostly tatami flooring, but they have chairs in most of their rooms, so you can enjoy a meal here even if you are not too comfortable with sitting on the floor.
The approach from the gate to the store has a very nice atmosphere as well. There is a Japanese garden with a small pond in which koi fish are swimming. The dinner is quite expensive and costs more than 10,000 yen, but considering the quality of the food and service, it is well worth the money.
10. Karuta [Asakusa]
Located on the sixth floor of Asakusa View Hotel, Karuta is a restaurant that offers traditional Japanese course cuisine for a reasonable price. The dishes served with a fan and a square wooden box, which makes everything feel all the more Japanese!
Dishes made with fresh ingredients of the season are available from 3,000 yen, both for lunch and dinner. The items of the course menu, which are meticulously made with carefully selected ingredients, are not only delicious, but are very beautiful as well - so much so that you might almost feel bad eating it!
From the large windows, there is a great view of the lusciously green garden. Since it is a restaurant inside a hotel, the service is first class as well. There's a calm atmosphere to the restaurant interior, in which you can have a nice and relaxing break during your busy trip.
The word Japanese cuisine refers to a variety of unique and delicious dishes. The restaurants introduced in this article are all great restaurants loved by both tourists and locals where you can feast on many kinds of Japanese cuisine. Try out these places while you're in Asakusa, and find your favorite restaurant!
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.