Tokyo is a city filled with lights and the sounds of people going to and from wherever they please. Renowned as one of the most modern cities in the world it’s hard to believe that Tokyo was once known as Edo, a small fishing village. From its humble beginnings, Tokyo has gone through many changes and looks vastly different from where it began. Despite the changing of the times, some things remain the same, and this is evident in the restaurants that have managed to stand the test of time. Here is a list of some of Tokyo’s oldest and finest restaurants that you’ll want to check out.
Hashimoto has been around since 1835 and it’s signature delicacy is a simple dish consisting of eel served on rice called kabayaki. What’s special about Hashimoto though is that it’s kabayaki is a Michelin star dish that people come from all over the world to get a taste of. Located right across from a railway this modest little shop has been in the same spot over six generations and it’s current owner Hashimoto Shinji has been running the shop for two decades and is continuing the family legacy built there.
Kaminarimon Sansada is the oldest tempura shop that you can find in the Tokyo area. Established in 1837 it has been around for over 180 years and is still going strong. For the time that it has remained in its position in Asakusa they have followed the tradition of having the owner manning the store every day where he is always ready to take your order. Make sure to try out their special shrimp tendon to get the full experience of the rich and tasty tempura that they have.
Opened in 1880, Kanda Yabu Soba is one of the oldest establishments in Tokyo where you can get an affordable and delicious meal. Even though this soba shop has been through hard times as it was recently burned down in a fire back in 2013, it has been rebuilt proving that it is here to stay. If you’re planning to visit try to avoid coming during its peak hours when you can often find a line of fifty plus waiting just to get a taste of their soba. Don’t let the wait discourage you though, the soba is well worth the wait and if you visit make sure to grab a bite of ten-seiro soba which is it’s signature handmade soba noodle paired with crispy fried shrimp tempura.
Known as the birthplace of oyakodon, Tamahide is the oldest restaurant on this list being around since 1760. Now owned by the eight generation owner Yamada Kounosuke you can often find a long line wrapping around the restaurant full of hungry customers waiting to get a bowl of Tamahide’s oyakodon. If you happen to make it down to Tamahide make sure to get the original oyakodon and taste the recipe which started it all.
One of the oldest sushi establishments in Tokyo and one you could easily miss due to its humble appearance is Sushiko Honten. Opened in 1885 this Michelin star sushi establishment is one of the more pricier options on this list and you would be hard pressed to get a seat without making a reservation ahead of time. Keep in mind that the courses here is decided by the chefs so you’ll never know what to expect, but regardless of what is served you can be sure that you’re in for a treat.
If you’re looking to become acquainted with the rich history of Tokyo and at the same time hoping to find some good eats, make sure to check out all these amazing establishments!
Francisco is a student who is currently studying abroad in Japan. He enjoys walking around the streets of Tokyo and discovering great places to eat.