A Guide on What to Eat at ecute Shinagawa: From Ramen to Wagyu Beef
JR Shinagawa Station is a convenient station served by many major Tokyo train lines, including the Yamanote Line and the Keihin-Tohoku Line. Its access to the bullet train and Haneda and Narita airports means that many international visitors also pass through this station during their travels in Japan. In this article, we'll introduce some great places to eat while you wait for your next train at ecute Shinagawa and ecute Shinagawa South, both conveniently located inside JR Shinagawa Station.
Mar 24 2020 (Sep 09 2020)
*Article created in collaboration with JR East Retail Net Co., Ltd.
What Is ecute?
ecute is a train station shopping complex owned by JR East. Within ecute, there are all sorts of stores that offer great shopping opportunities, places to sit and have a leisurely meal, and plenty of souvenirs to pick through.
ecute is actually an acronym for the words "eki" (station), "center", "universal", "together", and "enjoy". You'll find an ecute inside major train stations such as Omiya Station, Tachikawa Station, Nippori Station, Tokyo Station, Ueno Station, Akabane Station and, of course, Shinagawa Station!
From Gourmet Food to Shopping: ecute Shinagawa & ecute Shinagawa South
ecute Shinagawa is located right beside JR Shinagawa Station’s central ticket gate. This is a convenient spot to stop by in between transfers or on your way to the airport, and you don't even have to go through the ticket gate! There are a total of 52 restaurants, cafes, and souvenir shops on the first and second floors here. It really is packed full of things to see, eat, and buy!
ecute Shinagawa South
ecute Shinagawa South extends to the south of JR Shinagawa Station’s central ticket gate. This area has shops of all kinds to explore, including candy stores, delis, and restaurants. It is an easy place to stop in at for some delicious memories of your trip to Japan!
Map of ecute Shinagawa
Four Places To Eat When You Have Plenty of Time
TOKYO TONKOTSU BASE MADE by Hakata Ippudo
Many people look forward to eating ramen when they come to Japan. If you're a fan, you may have heard of the famous Kyushu ramen chain, Hakata Ippudo. TOKYO TONKOTSU BASE MADE by Hakata Ippudo is a ramen restaurant produced by Hakata Ippudo that offers Tokyo-style tonkotsu (pork broth) ramen.
All three varieties on the menu here are made with their specialty tonkotsu soup. Tonkotsu White is the original type, while Tonkotsu Black has a soy sauce base, and Tonkotsu Red includes spicy miso paste.
The picture shows the Tonkotsu White Special. The “White” range delivers a classic ramen flavor. At first sight it appears extremely rich, but take a sip of the soup and you'll find that it has an unexpectedly simple flavor that pairs beautifully with the thin noodles. You'll find yourself finishing it off in no time!
There can be a queue here during the rush hours, but generally speaking, this Japanese ramen place is a very efficient way to grab a bite between train transfers.
Soup Stock Tokyo
"Dashi" is a Japanese term used for "stock", and it is a fundamental part of Japanese food culture. Soup Stock Tokyo uses dashi as a base to create a variety of set meals centered around soups.
Dishes here include lemon sukiyaki, pork and mashed potato Saikyo miso soup, ginger and Sendai miso sukiyaki, and ginger and spinach in soy milk soup. They all may resemble traditional Japanese dishes at first glance, but you'll likely notice a Western influence when you try the food.
Pictured below is the Lobster Miso Soup Set (590 yen) from the breakfast menu. This soup contains shrimp dumplings, yam, and celery, flavored with a soup stock made using miso, lobster, and other seafood. This use of miso to create a Western-style soup is very inventive!
Soup Stock Tokyo also offers limited-edition dishes based around seasonal ingredients. One of these is the extravagant Red Snapper Eight-Soup Blend. Made with a combination of traditional Japanese soup stock made from dried bonito and kombu seaweed, plus chicken stock and French bouillabaisse, this dish is the pride of Soup Stock Tokyo.
At the time of writing, the ecute Shinagawa South branch is the only place where you can try this dish. This is a great place to visit for anyone intrigued by the idea of Japanese fusion dishes!
Hitachino Brewing Shinagawa Beer & Cafe
Hitachino Brewing Shinagawa Beer & Cafe is located in a corner of the second floor of ecute Shinagawa. The restaurant's quiet and spacious seating area will make you forget that you’re inside a major train station!
Here you can try the bounties of Ibaraki, located to the north of Tokyo, including Hitachi beef, Bimei pork, and Tsukuba chicken. Pictured below is the Hitachino Burger (1,500 yen) made from 100% Kuroge Wagyu Hitachi beef and a Hitachino Nest Beer (Regular size: 750 yen).
Hitachi beef is a breed of Kuroge Wagyu raised in Ibaraki Prefecture. This beef is as deliciously rich as you'd expect from wagyu beef, with a texture that instantly melts in the mouth. With such an ingredient, this Hitachi beef burger served here is sure to leave you satisfied.
Hitachino Nest Beer comes from Kiuchi Brewery, which has been in business in the area for nearly 200 years. They painstakingly select ingredients such as malt and hops in order to brew the perfect beer. This beer is so delicious, you'll find yourself draining the glass! Why not finish off your day with a juicy wagyu beef burger and craft beer?
Nurukan Sato Gotenyama Restaurant
People who enjoy quality sake and Japanese cuisine such as sashimi should head to Nurukan Sato Gotenyama Restaurant located on the second floor of ecute Shinagawa. This is an izakaya (Japanese pub) that sources Japanese sake from around the country and pairs it with creative Japanese cuisine.
This izakaya has over 100 sake varieties available, which can be served at a choice of 11 different temperatures, including “nurukan” (warm), “atsukan” (hot), “hitohadakan” (body temperature) and “hiya” (chilled).
Pictured above is the seasonal Five Piece Sushi Assortment (2,500 yen) with the Manager’s Recommended Sake (1,820 yen). This tasting flight contains three 40mL glasses of sake. Just let the staff know your preferences and leave the rest up to them!
There are staff here who can speak English, so feel free to order in English and ask if you have any questions about choosing sake and or about the sake culture in Japan.
No Time? No Worries! Four Places for Gourmet Takeout
Crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, tonkatsu (deep-fried pork cutlet) is a dish you have to try when you come to Japan. The famous Tonkatsu Maisen has a store in ecute Shinagawa which sells convenient foods like katsu sandwiches and bento (boxed meals) that you can grab on your way home.
These are perfect for an evening meal or midnight snack in your hotel room, and are also great to take with you as a meal for your bullet train ride.
The picture above shows Tonkatsu Maisen's signature Tonkatsu Sandwich and Pocket Sandwich, as well as the Maisen Special Bento, which is only available at the ecute Shinagawa store.
Maisen uses premium pork specially cut to create a tender, melt-in-the-mouth texture. People love its crunchy exterior, fresh from the fryer.
TSUBAME GRILL DELI
TSUBAME GRILL is a Japanese-style Western restaurant that opened in 1930. At ecute Shingawa, you can try their classic hamburger steak through their incredibly affordable bento. Their selling point is that everything here is made by hand without the use of artificial flavorings or additives. The food is prepared in-house in order to best preserve its freshness and flavor.
Starting with TSUBAME GRILL's signature hamburger steaks, TSUBAME GRILL DELI offers a variety of Western-inspired dishes that are popular with people of all ages and made fresh in-house. If you’re not used to eating these kinds of boxed meals cold, not to worry! You can reheat them in the store and enjoy them warm.
TSUBAME GRILL DELI is popular for its hamburger steak, but it also has a great range of nutritionally-balanced side dishes, including cabbage rolls and tomato salad. This place is great for health-conscious people and fans of Japanese-Western inspired cuisine.
Sugar Butter Tree
When it comes to popular Tokyo souvenirs, you can’t look past Sugar Butter Tree! Their bestselling Sugar Butter Sand Tree cookie is made from their original white chocolate sandwiched between a seven-grain cracker containing wholewheat, rye, oats, etc. The brand prides itself in creating a cookie with a perfect combination of aroma, texture, and rich, buttery flavor.
Sugar Butter Tree’s long-selling series comes in its classic packaging as well as an adorable panda-adorned package that makes for an excellent souvenir. You'll also find limited-time flavors that change with the seasons. Whether a winter chocolate flavor or spring strawberry flavor, these limited-edition flavors aren't around forever, so don’t miss out!
You'll find the limited-edition flavors at the counter in ecute Shinagawa South, so if there’s one you want, make sure you stop by.
Ginza Kanra is a famous traditional Japanese confectionery shop.The store's name, which translates to "sweet happiness", conveys a hope that customers will experience joy eating their creations.
Their signature item is mame daifuku (rice cake filled with bean jam). The ingredients of the mame daifuku, from the rice cake exterior to the bean jam inside, were all thoughtfully selected to source the very best. The red beans used for the bean paste are actually sourced from Hokkaido! Not overly sweet, this treat is popular with the locals and international visitors alike. The mame daifuku needs to be eaten the same day that it is bought, so why not grab one to eat fresh on your bullet train ride?
Another popular item is the Ginroku Mochi 5-Piece Set (565 yen). They are reasonably priced, and their smaller size makes them a convenient treat. This is a very popular choice as a souvenir among Japanese locals. This mini dorayaki (sweet bean-filled pancakes) gets its name from the location of Kanra's main store at Ginza Roku-chome. The cooked outside layer has a spring texture thanks to the glutinous rice kneaded into it. Ginroku Mochi has a best-by date of approximately a week, so it's a good choice if you're looking for a souvenir to bring home with you, too.
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Emblem Banana Custard Cake
The last thing we want to mention is this Tokyo 2020 official licensed product! Fittingly, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Emblem Banana Custard Cake is made from Japanese rice flour.
This fluffy cake is filled with thick, creamy banana custard. You can purchase it at Nenrinya, which is close to the Sugar Butter Tree store we introduced above.
Stop by ecute Shinagawa!
When you're in Japan, we know you don't want to waste a single moment. ecute Shinagawa and ecute Shinagawa South are located inside Shinagawa Station, so you can make use of your transit time to enjoy dining and shopping without needing to leave the station! Come make some delicious memories while sightseeing in Tokyo. Next time you're passing through Shinagawa Station, forget seeing it as just a transit point and make a point to stop and relax at ecute!
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.