Sandwiched between Tokyo Station and the Imperial Palace, Marunouchi gives tourists a glimpse of Tokyo’s famous skyline and is touted as Tokyo’s financial district as it houses three of Japan’s largest banks. Though in the past the land now occupied by Marunouchi was formerly a haven to feudal lords, it has then transformed into a playground wherein Japan’s business powerhouses and economic players battle their way. The area’s vibe is more upscale, lined with ritzy restaurants, art and shops.
To get a taste of what Marunouchi has to offer, let’s strut into the formidable and posh streets of Marunouchi, and savor the life of these power players through the restaurants and café’s that lies within this business and finance concourse.
Tucked in the midst of Marunouchi is the Marunouchi Brick Square, a trendy spot to hangout and eat. It is a hidden gem harboring an array of food choices such as Katsukichi. Established in 1961, Kitsukichi is renown for its tonkatsu and giant fried shrimps. Tamasaka, on the other hand, offers Japanese cuisine and sake. Handmade soba noodles milled old-school style is the key ingredient in Ishizuki. For a more genuine dining experience, the restaurant’s menu also highlights food offerings from every corner of Japan — all best paired with sake, the traditional Japanese alcohol. Not only is the square a haven of restaurants, it is in addition an abode to the Japanese Natural Store, which sells a selection of premium ingredients from the different parts of Japan. The store also serves seasonal and freshly cooked lunches.
Other notable restaurants within the Marunouchi realm include Nadaman, wherein one can truly feel the taste of finest of ingredients served in a modern and stylish restaurant. The restaurant’s chef, Yoshida, ensures that each Japanese dish offered in the fine dining restaurant reflects sophistication through his skillful craftsmanship of combining Japanese cooking techniques and international cuisine exposure to guarantee exquisitely delicious tasting dishes.
For a more customary take on Japanese fine dining, at Kitaohji, you will be served with waitresses in kimonos, all who are trained to provide the ultimate Japanese dining pleasure. The restaurant offers private room dining with decor and architecture that reflects traditional dining experience, and a menu of a variety of Japanese fares ranging from sashimi to wagyu.
Cheap lunch sets with fine taste, anyone? Head on to Yanmo, which offers a menu of grilled seafood from the best selection of the Izu Peninsula. Each meal, at around ¥1,400, comes with a bowl of rice, miso soup, and a side dish that compliments each entree.
If sushi is your craving the head on to Manten Sushi and try their signature futomaki. For a sample of the “chef’s choice”, try the restaurant’s omakase and savor the freshest seafood straight from Tsukiji market. Meanwhile, for some deep-fried, batter-covered goodness, head on to Tenmasa, which has perfected Edo-style tempura — from vegetable to the top-of-the-line shrimp.
For tourists looking for a more traditional food offering, visit Dashi Chazuke EN. Dashi Chazuke EN serves chazuke, a popular treat in the Japanese household but a lesser-known item to tourists. Chazuke, similar to the Chinese congee, is a combination of leftover rice drenched in green tea or dashi (stock) and garnished with all sorts of toppings. For a uniquely authentic Japanese experience, head to Dashi Chazuke EN for a healthy and satisfying meal.
Japan’s oldest fruit shop lies at KITTE, the heart of Marunouchi. The fruit shop Sembikiya, which was established in 1834, owns the café and serves curated fruits and sells Japan’s renowned muskmelons.
Marunouchi, with its air of business stability, is a potpourri of both the swanky and customary Japanese treats—as impressive as the high-rise buildings surrounding the business district. We hope you enjoy your trip in Japan’s famous financial district. ‘Til our next foodventure.
Aleli is a wanderlust whose main itinerary is to culture soak in the places that she sets foot on, sinking her teeth in the gustatory offerings that the place has to offer and knowing the story behind it. Food for her is a marriage of the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the rich history of every city she explores and uses the pen as her tool to share to the world each unique experience she unravels.