A Guide to Long-Established Dining Spots! Top 10 Must-Visit Restaurants Along the Ginza Line
Tokyo Metro’s Ginza Line is a train line that many people use when they go sightseeing in Tokyo. It is an incredibly convenient line since it goes around the city and stops at major stations such as Asakusa and Shibuya. There are many dining spots where you can eat delicious food along this route, too! With that, here are 10 of the most recommended restaurants that are located along the Ginza Line.
- What is the Ginza Line?
- 1. Maekawa Main Branch (Asakusa Station)
- 2. Inshotei (Ueno Station)
- 3. Oedo (Mitsukoshimae Station)
- 4. Janoichi Main Branch (Mitsukoshimae Station)
- 5. Sunaba (Mitsukoshimae Station)
- 6. Taimeiken (Nihombashi Station)
- 7. Yoshino Main Branch (Nihombashi Station)
- 8. Paulista Ginza Branch (Ginza Station)
- 9. Futaba Sushi (Ginza Station)
- 10. Shiseido Parlour Ginza Main Branch (Ginza Station)
What is the Ginza Line?
The Ginza Line is the first subway line that was opened in Japan, celebrating the 90th anniversary of its launch on December 2017. It is a single line that connects 19 stations, from the working class areas of Asakusa and Ueno, up to the traditional and innovative fusion that is the Ginza area, the business districts of Shinbashi and Toranomon, and the trendsetting areas of Omotesando and Shibuya. As of January 2019, this line is undergoing renovations mainly on train platforms. Construction on the line is scheduled to be completed in 2020, and once they’re done, your ride will surely become more pleasant and comfortable.
1. Maekawa Main Branch (Asakusa Station)
Located in a spot approximately a 3-minute walk from Asakusa Station on the Ginza Line, Maekawa is a veteran unagi (eel) restaurant that boasts a history spanning more than 200 years. Here, you can order and savor dishes like the Kabayaki (prices start at 6,156 JPY (incl. tax)), a dish made with local unagi with firm meat and high-quality fat that is grilled to a savory, fluffy consistency, and the Unaju (prices start at 4,212 JPY (incl. tax)), which is broiled eel over rice that is served in a lacquer box. The sauce placed over the eel is made following a recipe that the restaurant created 200 years ago. Enjoy the rich taste of unagi that comes from the concentrated umami (Japanese savory taste) and other delicious flavors.
Price range: Around 3,000 JPY for lunch, around 8,000 JPY for dinner
2. Inshotei (Ueno Station)
Inshotei, which is a 10-minute walk from Ueno Station on the Ginza Line, is a restaurant that is tucked inside Ueno Park. Customers have loved and frequented this spot for more than 140 years since it first opened its doors for business. The restaurant has a beautiful courtyard and a classic warm wooden interior in which you can dine on beautifully arranged dishes that reflect the changing of seasons. The dishes that are served here are healthy dishes that contain seasonal seafood and vegetables, with a focus on tofu and yuba (tofu skin). There are set meals available for lunch and dinner, too.
Price range: Around 3,000 JPY for lunch, around 6,000 JPY for dinner
3. Oedo (Mitsukoshimae Station)
Oedo is a famous unagi restaurant that is just a 5-minute walk from Mitsukoshimae Station on the Ginza Line. Established in 1800, the restaurant has been in business for close to 220 years. The menu is based around the fragrant Kabayaki (prices start at 2,600 JPY (excl. tax)) and the Unaju (prices start at 2,600 JPY (excl. tax)), but there are many other unagi dishes available, such as the Unagi Shirayaki (3,500 JPY (excl. tax)) that is eaten with soy sauce seasoned with wasabi, instead of the standard sauce. This restaurant also offers a luxurious dish called “Ikada,” a popular dish in which unagi that’s been split open is not cut in half and is broiled as is.
Price range: Around 3,000 JPY for lunch, around 6,000 JPY for dinner
4. Janoichi Main Branch (Mitsukoshimae Station)
Janoichi is a sushi restaurant that is only about 2 minutes on foot from Mitsukoshimae Station on the Ginza Line. Loved by famous literary masters and other prominent figures, this restaurant has a long history that dates back to 1889. They are known for their traditional sumeshi (vinegared rice used for making sushi), which is made with vinegar and salt for a refreshing taste. You absolutely must try the anago (conger eel) sushi. The anago is prepared by cooking a sauce, which is based on their original sauce that’s been passed down throughout the years, to a rolling boil and then putting raw anago in the sauce. You will be drawn in by its fluffy, soft texture and bold taste.
Price range: Around 1,000 JPY for lunch, around 8,000 JPY for dinner
5. Sunaba (Mitsukoshimae Station)
Sunaba is a well-established soba (buckwheat noodles) restaurant that was founded in 1869. It’s just a 3-minute walk from Mitsukoshimae Station on the Ginza Line. The Tenzaru (1,600 JPY (incl. tax)) is a highly recommended item on their menu. While this dish has now become a staple in soba shops, it is said that it was first made in this restaurant. The tenzaru at this restaurant is characterized by its tempura, which is deep-fried to a crisp in sesame oil and then soaked in the dark soup. The soba is chewy with a subtle sweetness. The seasonal soba dishes here are also popular.
(*) A dish in which tempura is added to soba after it’s boiled and left to cool down. The soba and tempura are dipped in the sauce before being consumed.
Price range: Around 1,500 JPY for lunch, around 3,500 JPY for dinner
6. Taimeiken (Nihombashi Station)
Taimeiken is a famous restaurant that is 2 minutes away on foot from Nihombashi Station on Ginza Line. It has been frequented by literary masters, film directors and various other personalities since it was first opened in 1931. The menu is mainly comprised of Western-style dishes such as Curry Rice (750 JPY (incl. tax)) and Omurice (omelet with rice filling) (1,700 JPY (incl. tax)). They have maintained and preserved the flavors of the dishes since the restaurant’s early days. The 1st floor has a simple vibe, while the 2nd floor has a classic atmosphere where they have a menu offering a wide variety of small dishes and courses for you to enjoy many different flavors. An English menu is available.
Price range: Around 900 JPY for lunch, around 2,500 JPY for dinner
7. Yoshino Main Branch (Nihombashi Station)
Yoshino is a sushi restaurant that boasts a prime location that is just a minute’s walk from Nihombashi Station on the Ginza Line. This restaurant started as a food stand in 1879, when there was still a riverside fish market in the area. Today, they are known as the origin of the hand-formed “toro (*1)” sushi, which has become a standard in sushi restaurants. They are also recognized for their sushi rice, which is prepared with vinegar and salt but without sugar, and for their “nikiri shoyu” (*2)”, which you eat by having it brushed on the sushi topping instead of dipping the sushi in soy sauce that is placed on a small dish. To this day, they continue to serve sushi in the traditional way that has not changed since the restaurant was founded.
*1: The fatty part of tuna
*2: A sauce that is made by mixing sake, soup stock, and other ingredients with soy sauce, and then heating the mixture until the excess alcohol evaporates.
Price range: Around 1,500 JPY for lunch, around 7,000 JPY for dinner
8. Paulista Ginza Branch (Ginza Station)
Located 5 minutes from Ginza Station on the Ginza Line on foot, Paulista is a cafe that has been in business for more than 100 years. They claim that this restaurant created the model of kissaten (coffeeshop) in Japan. Their coffee is made with chemical-free ripe coffee beans that are directly imported from Brazilian farms every month to produce a rich aroma and mild taste. This cafe is also famous for their sweets and cakes, as well as their quiches and other light snacks. Foreign language menu (simplified Chinese) and foreign language-speaking staff (English, Chinese, Korean and Portuguese) are available.
Price range: Around 800 JPY for lunch, around 1,000 JPY for dinner
9. Futaba Sushi (Ginza Station)
Futaba Sushi is a sushi restaurant that is found in a spot that is a 5-minute walk from Ginza Station on the Ginza Line. Founded in 1877, this is a famous restaurant that has a particularly long history among all the existing sushi restaurants in Tokyo. They have preserved the techniques and flavors of Edomae-zushi (Sushi that uses ingredients caught in what is now called Tokyo Bay), as evidenced in the sushi rice that uses no sugar and only vinegar and salt only, and the kohada (gizzard shad) that is marinated in vinegar and other seasonings and set aside for 5 days to a week. One of the recommended dishes here is the colorful “bara-chirashi” that is made by sprinkling rolled egg, shiitake mushrooms, snow peaks, shrimps and other ingredients on top of a bed of sushi rice.
Price range: Around 3,000 JPY for lunch, around 10,000 JPY for dinner
10. Shiseido Parlour Ginza Main Branch (Ginza Station)
Shiseido Parlour is a restaurant that is located about a 7-minute walk from Ginza Station on the Ginza Line. The restaurant was established in 1902 as the “Soda Fountain” that manufactured and sold Japan’s first soda water and ice cream, which was a rarity during that time. They opened as a full-fledged restaurant in 1928, becoming famous as a pioneer in Western-style cuisine. Today, they are still adored as a symbol of Ginza. The 1st floor of the building is a shop selling sweets, the 3rd floor is a cafe where you can eat desserts, and the 4th and 5th floors make up a restaurant that serves Western-style cuisine. Shiseido Parlour is a place where you can enjoy any type of meal or dessert according to your mood!
Price range (restaurant): Around 6,000 JPY for lunch, around 8,000 JPY for dinner
This article featured 10 unique restaurants especially famous and long-established joints that are located along the Ginza Line. Be sure to drop by one of these places next time you’re in Tokyo!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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