If you're craving traditional Japanese cuisine, Tokyo's Asakusa neighborhood is your safest bet. It's home to a thriving food scene, with eateries ranging from street food stalls along Nakamise-dori to Michelin-starred restaurants in the backstreets.
Whether it's your first time in Asakusa or well acquainted with the area, you might be looking for delicious fare. Let us introduce seven incredible establishments that will satisfy even the pickiest eaters.
Not sure what to do in Asakusa? Check out our Asakusa area guide.
Hommage offers nothing short of a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience. The 2-Michelin-star restaurant specializes in fusion cuisine, where French haute cuisine techniques and seasonal Japanese ingredients come together beautifully on every plate. Depending on your schedule, you can book a lunch or dinner course menu, but we recommend the omakase dinner course to see talented chef Noboru Arai at his best. It's a bit of a splurge for sure, but it's worth every yen.
A companion shop to Hommage, at Noura, Chef Arai and Chef Matsumoto Yoshio present diners with a more casual and affordable experience that still speaks to the chefs' skills. The lunch and dinner courses are omakase-style, promising only the freshest ingredients. Noura made the Michelin Guide's Bib Gourmand list, so you know it's worthy of a stop even if you can't afford to break the bank.
3. Onigiri Asakusa Yadoroku
Moving on from French cuisine for a bit, if you're only in the mood for a snack, let it be for the best onigiri in the neighborhood. Onigiri Asakusa Yadoroku has served these triangular-shaped rice balls since 1954. You'll be spoiled for choice with the 20 fillings options available and spoiled rotten due to the shop's Michelin Bib Gourmand status, meaning every bite is sure to be heavenly.
4. Bentenyama Miyako Sushi
A historic restaurant in Asakusa that opened for business in 1866, Bentayama Miyako Sushi specializes in Edomae sushi. It's a must-visit if you want to expand your appreciation for traditional Japanese cuisine and craftsmanship. Ingredients and unique preparation characterize Edomae sushi: the fish must be from Tokyo Bay and cooked or cured before being served.
Bentenyama Miyako Sushi is managed by a septuagenarian owner, who keeps traditions that have been passed down for more than 200 years! Dining here is a non-negotiable for sushi purists.
Welcome to one of the leaders of hot cuisine, not to be confused with haute cuisine. Sink your teeth into tender strips of the best Japanese beef in the country at Imahan. Take your pick from shabu-shabu or sukiyaki and slow-simmer your beef strips to perfect in flavorful stock. Either choice is a guaranteed win.
6. Kaminarimon Sansada
Tokyo-styled tempura in a traditional teahouse. Say that five times fast. Tongue twisters aside, Kaminarimon Sansada also serves up authentic tempura using a traditional sesame oil blend to fry vegetables and seafood. Course and a la carte menus are available here, along with seasonal specials and dishes throughout the year. There is a take-out counter for those on the go, but if time allows, dine in and enjoy the ambience and architecture.
7. Ramen Kai
As with most of Tokyo's famous ramen, you can expect a long queue to eat at Ramen Kai — but the waiting time is so, so worth it. Ramen Kai's ramen features a clam and mussel stock base and homemade noodles topped with unusual ingredients like ground pork belly, shellfish oil, and bamboo shoots. The salty soup is complex yet comforting.
Other worthwhile items on the menu include Noboshi ramen, where the shellfish stock is swapped with one made with sardines.
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Asakusa
Most of Tokyo is modern, with some areas even edging on futuristic, but Asakusa has an undying retro atmosphere. You could — and you should — spend a whole day in Asakusa to soak in the history and culture. Food tours and cooking classes are a great way to dive deeper. Here are a few recommended experiences in the neighborhood:
- Make Your Own Ramen and Gyoza
- Asakusa Live Music Performance with Dinner
- Sustainable Vegetable Temari Sushi Cooking Class
- Amezaiku Candy Sculpting Workshop
Learn about Japanese cuisine and culture all in one go!