Top 5 Long-Established Restaurants in Asakusa, Tokyo, for a High Quality Lunch Featuring Eel, Suikiyaki, and More!
Asakusa is a tourist destination with old temples, shrines, and many shops where you can get a strong sense of traditional Japanese culture. If you come all the way to Asakusa and find yourself walking around here, why not stop for lunch at one of the many long-standing restaurants that match the atmosphere of the streets? Here are five beloved Asakusa restaurants to go to for a classic Japanese lunch.
Asakusa is home to many popular tourist spots, such as Senso-ji Temple with its 1,400 years of history, and Nakamise Shopping Street, long known as the perfect place to buy particularly Japanese souvenirs. Asakusa is also just one station away from both Kuramae Station, an area that’s being noticed lately for its trendy cafes and miscellaneous goods stores, and TOKYO SKYTREE Station. It’s also within walking distance to Kappabashi Street (also known as Kitchen Town) where you’ll find an abundance of kitchenware.
Asakusa is an area you could spend a whole day in, so stopping along the way for a meal is a must. Without further ado, here are 5 places to go for an old-school lunch typical of Asakusa.
1. Maekawa (Eel)
Maekawa is a specialty eel restaurant where you can experience the incredible flavors created by knowledge handed down for over 200 years. At lunchtime you can enjoy the Una-ju (broiled eel served over rice in lacquered boxes) for 2,700 JPY (incl. tax). The fatty eel makes for a juicy masterpiece, and the aroma of the soy-based marinade is enough to whet your appetite.
By the way, the eel marinade used here is the same marinade that’s been used for 200 years! It’s even said that this is such a treasured possession that in the Great Kanto Earthquake that happened almost 100 years ago, the owner escaped carrying only the jar of marinade!
2. Kamameshi Mutsumi (Kamameshi)
Kamameshi is a dish consisting of dashi (stock), rice, and other ingredients cooked together in a kama (a small iron pot used for cooking rice). If you still haven’t tried Japanese kamameshi, then definitely pay a visit to Kamameshi Mutsumi! They have a variety of different kamameshi to try, but it’s recommended to try the Gomoku (1,000 JPY) which contains chicken, clams, shrimp, shiitake mushrooms, and bamboo shoots. You can smell the fragrant aroma once you take off the wooden lid, and with one bite you can tell exactly what ingredients are used as the flavor of each has permeated the rice.
The kamameshi is cooked to order, so it takes about 30 minutes to get your food after ordering. This place is an izakaya (Japanese-style pub) so they have plenty of other dishes to try. Order a beer and something to snack on while you wait for your kamameshi!
3. Yoshikami (Japanese-style Western cuisine)
This is a popular restaurant where you may see a long queue forming before it opens for lunch. The meat in their famed beef stew (2,600 JPY) is so soft it melts in your mouth! This is a rich, full-bodied stew. One more thing you should try on the menu is the Omurice (1,350 JPY). This is a tasty dish of chicken fried rice wrapped in a thin omelet and topped with a scrumptious tomato sauce. There are a lot of items to choose from, but you’re bound to be satisfied no matter which you pick.
4. Asakusa Imahan (Sukiyaki)
For lunch at this classy sukiyaki restaurant, you can try the enchantingly delicious wagyu beef gyudon (a dish consisting of soy braised beef served over rice) for a reasonable price.
The Hyakunen Gyudon (1,500 JPY (excl. Tax)) is limited to 20 per day, so get in and try it as fast as you can. If there’s room in your budget, try the Sukiyaki Lunch Gozen (3,800 JPY (excl. tax)) to really enjoy the taste of a famous restaurant.
5. Owariya (Soba / Tendon)
Popular dishes at the 160-year-old Owariya include the tempura soba (1,600 JPY incl. tax) and the tendon (tempura served over rice) (1,700 JPY incl. tax), topped with tempura shrimp so big they overhang the bowl. These big juicy shrimps make for an outstanding photo. Be sure to savor the dipping sauce made with bonito dashi (stock), the aromatic tempura shrimp that have been fried in sesame oil, and the perfect texture of the soba noodles.
The flavors of these long-loved veteran restaurants are the perfect thing for a lunch while sightseeing in Asakusa. Use this article as your guide when you visit the famous Asakusa area.
*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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