This post is also available in: Chinese (Traditional)
1. Tanaka Shokudo
This cozy place started during the Showa period and has been around for more than 100 years! It has even served Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe with its famous yummy ham cutlets. No take outs are available here though, so if there is a queue, you’ll have to be patient. They serve lunch sets and at night, they have tapas that go well with cocktails.
HP: tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131101/13106654/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 3-5-13 Higashi Ueno, Taito Ward, Tokyo (Google Map)
2. UsagiyaCookie M/Flickrdreamcat115/Flickr
This famous Japanese sweet shop started way back in 1913 and they are well loved for their fluffy dorayakis. If you are planning to come here for tea, we would recommend you to call ahead to make reservations first cause you should expect a long queue. Come savor the red bean paste that is made fresh everyday.
HP: www.ueno-usagiya.jp/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 1-10-10 Ueno, Taito Ward, Tokyo (Google Map)
3. Yabu Soba
If you are looking for a buckwheat noodle shop that has history, this is the place to be. Yabu Soba started in 1892 and every person in Ueno knows about it. This store stays true to its buckwheat noodle tradition and patrons still flock here because of it. You’ll notice that the noodles here go really well with Japanese alcohol.
HP: tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131101/13003594/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 6-9-16 Ueno, Taito Ward, Tokyo (Google Map)
This classy eel restaurant started in the Edo period and way back then, their eels were caught fresh from the Shinobazu Pond. It is located close to Ueno Tosho-gu and it is a grand 3-floor building. Whether you come here for lunch or for dinner, you’ll love the dining atmosphere here. The staff are friendly and they will serve the very best to you. The eels are glazed and carefully grilled to perfection to give you tender fragrant meat. If you are seated by the window, you’ll get to enjoy your food with beautiful views. In spring you’ll catch blooming sakuras and peonies in winter.
HP: www.izuei.co.jp/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 2-12-22 Ueno, Taito Ward, Tokyo (Google Map)
5. Kawara Senbei at Ueno Kamei-do
This store started way back in 1890 to introduce Kobe’s famous kawara senbei to the people in Tokyo. Besides the yummy rice crackers here, this store is known for starting Tokyo’s famous Ningyo-yaki sweet snack. It’s a small cake made in the shape of well loved characters. The kawara senbeis here are made like castella cakes and so it isn’t too hard in texture. Each snack here is made with care and shares a long history with the community here.
HP: www.kamei-do.co.jp/pKawara/index.html (Japanese Only)
Address: 4-5-6 Ueno, Taito Ward, Tokyo (Google Map)
6. Ponta Honke
Started in 1905, this restaurant is famous for its succulent pork cutlets! One of the main reasons why the food here is so good, is the fact that the founding chef used to served the imperial household. The kitchen here comes up with really yummy western dishes that go well with rice. They used to serve set meals here but now their menu only offers a-la carte orders.
HP: tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131101/13003587/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 3-23-3 Ueno, Taito Ward, Tokyo (Google Map)
This is another wonderful pork cutlet restaurant in Ueno with a long history. It is the first pork cutlet restaurant that uses pork medallions instead of the usual cuts. The walk to this restaurant would feel like a zap back in time with its narrow streets and buildings that have stood the test of time. Their signboard doesn’t really stand out much, so you might need to open your eyes wide!
HP: www.ueno-horaiya.com/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 3-28-5 Ueno, Taito Ward, Tokyo (Google Map)
This restaurant stands close to the famous Shinobazu Pond and has been around since 1909. Even after a century this restaurant that is known for its chicken hot pot still has throngs of patrons queueing up to get it. Making reservations is also not an easy feat here! If you ever do get the chance to eat here, you must order their shamo soup! The meat used in their hot pot is delivered directly fresh from a local poultry farm. We are confident that your tummy will be happy with the hot pot dishes here.
HP: tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131101/13003595/dtlrvwlst/5757/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 1-2-1 Ikenohata, Taito Ward, Tokyo (Google Map)
We can now easily get oden from convenience stores but nothing beats going to a restaurant and have it serve the way they do in the good old days. Oden is Japan’s comfort food during winter and this restaurant that started in 1904, is famous for its oden that will warm your heart and body in the cold of winter.
HP: tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131101/13008517/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 1st flr. Hasegawa Bldg., 2-11-8 Ueno, Taito Ward, Tokyo (Google Map)
This store has been around since 1675 and it is known for their pickles and soy-based appetizers. When you arrive, you won’t help but notice the door curtain and the logo on it. It’s a picture of a jar of pickles, a symbol of pride for this store that preserves their pickling traditions strongly. For Japanese curry fans out there, here’s a little trivia for you. Shuetsu is the pickle shop that came up with the beautiful red pickles, fukujinzuke that is served with Japanese curry. Come here to try their treasured pickles and to buy some to bring back as souvenirs!
HP: www.shuetsu.co.jp/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 2-7-11 Ueno, Taito Ward, Tokyo (Google Map)
11. Ameyoko’s Iseoto
Have you ever wondered what makes Japanese food so good? Some say it’s the stock made from bonito flakes. So for those that are into cooking and would like to replicate Japanese food when they have returned home, here’s the store to head to in Ueno for some high quality bonito flakes. You would be spoiled for choices here and they even have special shavers available. Besides bonito flakes, there are also kelp and dried sardines, which will also give rich flavors to your stock. Without a doubt, this is a store for a lot of umami-goodness.
HP: www.iseoto.com/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 6-4-10 Ueno, Taito Ward, Tokyo (Google Map)
This shop is for all who do not take their fishing lightly. This fishing shop is in fact the first fishing equipment store in Japan and it started way back in 1783! A lot of care is put in making traditional Japanese fishing poles called “Edo no iki”. These poles not only catch fish but it is a beautiful work of art. Here they say that once you try these Japanese poles, you’ll never want to use carbon ones ever again!
HP: www.tosaku.jp/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 3-32-13 Higashi Ueno, Taito Ward, Tokyo (Google Map)
Founded in 1652, this store has a long history in kumihimo. Kumihimo is a beautifully woven string that is tied around the obi belt when we wear kimonos. The string might look simple but it actually takes a long time to make a perfect one! You’ll find a modern take on these strings at the store too with neckties, accessories and knick-knacks made from the same material.
HP: www.kdomyo.com/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 2-11-1 Ueno, Taito Ward, Tokyo (Google Map)
14. Mataro Dollswww.yelp.co.jpwww.edokimekomi.jp
Come and appreciate beautiful Mataro dolls (which are dolls that are clad in kimonos) at this store that is located near JR’s Okamachi station. This store has been around since 1919. This is the store to go when locals want to get dolls for special occasions like the Doll’s Festival and Children’s Day. You’ll also find Ukiyo-e pieces here. This store is famous and popular because out of all the doll stores out there, this one here is recognized by the famous Kamigamo Shrine in Kyoto as an authentic Japanese Mataro doll maker. The dolls here are made with a lot of care and details that every time you look at it, you will find something new to appreciate about them.
HP: www.mataro.co.jp/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 5-15-13 Ueno, Taito Ward, Tokyo (Google Map)
For all who have dreams to have their own cooking show, this is probably the one store that will make your heart stop! It is a kitchen appliance shop that started since 1908 and it is tucked among many other kitchen appliance stores along Tokyo’s famous kitchen alley, Kappabashi. Feast your eyes on beautiful cast iron appliances that will help you raise your cooking game up another level! If you have never heard of cast iron before, there is nothing to fear of it. It is practically safe to use and we guarantee that you’ll fall in love with it after its first use.
HP: www.kama-asa.co.jp/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 2-24-1 Matsugaya, Taito Ward, Tokyo (Google Map)
16. Morita Hotan
This store started way, way back in 1680 and it is a drug store that holds true to its Edo period medicinal traditions. This store is worth putting in the list because they are considered as the father of drug stores in Japan and they were recognized in 1871 by as an official drug store. This drug store is still as famous and popular as ever as they are always finding new and natural ways to provide the people with healthy healing ways and apparently right now, Chinese medicinal herbs are their latest best-selling products.
HP: www.moritahoutan.com/index.html (Japanese Only)
Address: 2-12-11 Ueno, Taito Ward, Tokyo(Google Map)
Jusanya is a famous comb shop that started all the way back in 1736! Just a little fun fact for you. It is called Jusanya because comb in Japanese is “kushi” and “ku” can also refer to the number 9 and “shi” to number 4. Add both numbers and you’ll get 13 which is called “Jusan” in Japanese. Don’t be fooled by the appearance of the combs. They are actually really durable and they are static-free. The teeth will massage your scalp gently and they do say that scalp massages will keep your hair healthy and shiny. Trust us. Once you go comb, you’ll never go back to brushes.
HP: www.guidenet.jp/shop/206t/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 2-12-21 Ueno, Taito Ward, Tokyo (Google Map)
18. Fukuzen Sakai Kanban
Started in 1924, this store makes traditional name plates and boards. You would probably have seen such name plates at temples and shrines. It’s hard to miss the bold black Japanese characters and the beautiful carvings of intricate Japanese designs. Each board is carved by a talented artisan and we definitely recommend you to step foot in here to appreciate one of the many traditional Japanese workmanship that is at the risk of extinction.
HP: www.interq.or.jp/tokyo/fukuzen/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 3-4-1 Matsugaya, Taito Ward, Tokyo (Google Map)
19. Ikenohata Kyoya
This store sells furniture made by artisans that have passed down their techniques since the Meiji period. Each piece here proudly presents Tokyo’s fine traditional art and you’ll be amazed to find out that there isn’t a single nail present in any of the furniture here. Step right in here to appreciate the beauty behind the simplicity of each fine masterpiece and you’ll understand the spirit of Japan’s aesthetics better.
HP: www.meishou.co.jp/shop17.html (Japanese Only)
Address: 2-12-10 Ueno, Taito Ward, Tokyo (Google Map)