Yanaka Ginza is a shopping street that organically emerged after 1950, centered around individually-owned shops. Around 60 stores of various types are gathered within a 170-meter stretch.

While much of Tokyo's old townscapes have been lost to redevelopment, Yanaka Ginza retains its retro streetscape unchanged from that time due to the local residents' desire to "preserve the old townscape."

The izakayas lining the downtown atmosphere of Yanaka Ginza are warm and rich in human kindness. Many are long-standing family-run establishments where the owners and cuisine have been loved by regulars for a long time. There are also many izakayas that welcome drop-in tourists, making them perfect for ending the day.

What is an Izakaya? Difference from a Bar

An izakaya is a Japanese-style drinking establishment. When you enter, you're served "otoshi" - small appetizer dishes (there is a charge, but many izakayas take pride in their otoshi). You can enjoy the first drink of the night while snacking on the otoshi as you wait for your meal.

In addition to alcoholic drinks, izakayas offer a wide variety of dishes to enjoy as the main event. With a mix of coworkers, friends, and families, the atmosphere is lively.

In contrast, bars are establishments focused purely on enjoying alcoholic beverages. They cater more to solo drinkers or small groups in a quieter setting. Choose wisely based on the occasion.

Izakayas on the Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street

Tachi Nomi Sharaku

Source: Tabelog

"Tachi Nomi Sharaku" is a specialist izakaya for Kobe beef, oden stew, and fresh lemon sours.

Their homemade lemon syrup with the lemon peel included is packed with the delicious lemon flavor that blows away fatigue.Amazingly, they have 10 varieties of lemon sours! You won't get bored no matter how many times you order.

They also put effort into their Kobe beef, offering dishes made with the premium Kobe brand meat at reasonable prices. The oden that uses a broth made from "ago" (a type of flying fish) called is also delicious! Despite its name including "tachi nomi" (standing bar), it's an izakaya where you can sit down and leisurely enjoy food and drinks.

<Store Information>
・Business hours: Monday-Friday 12:00-21:00 / Saturday-Holidays before 11:00-22:00 / Sunday-Holidays 12:00-21:00
・Closed: Irregular
・Address: 3-9-15 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
・Phone: 050-5494-1971
・Website: https://ge9p706.gorp.jp/
・Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sharakuyanaka/

CRAFT SAKE STAND Yanaka Junmai-ya

Source: Tabelog

"CRAFT SAKE STAND Yanaka Junmai-ya" is an izakaya where you can quickly drink while standing. The beers, Japanese sakes, and wines made by artisans from all over Japan are affordably priced at 550 yen no matter which you choose!

The "Smoked Bacon Potato Salad" is their signature menu item. The fragrant smoked bacon makes you want to drink alcohol.The "Salt-Malted Fried Chicken" is a Japanese soul food. The meat is tender and juicy. It's a dish I also recommend.

<Store Information>
・Business hours: Monday-Friday 17:00-21:00 / Saturday-Sunday-Holidays 10:30-21:00
・Address: 2F Maganzan Yanaka, 3-11-11 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
・Phone: 050-5869-1633
・Website: https://x.gd/l6nmu

Sake Dokoro Misaki

Source: Tabelog

At "Sake Dokoro Misaki" while in Tokyo, you can enjoy Iwate chicken and Okinawan cuisine. 

It's an izakaya operated by a husband from Iwate and a wife from Okinawa.

The 3-item otoshi is a different special menu every day. It's an izakaya where regulars visit to enjoy the otoshi, always bustling with them.

My recommended dish is "Champuru" - a local Okinawan dish that stir-fries vegetables like tofu and bitter melon. The yakitori made with Iwate chicken is also popular. Definitely taste the authentic flavors! As it's operated by just the married couple and seating is limited, be sure to come with ample time.

<Store Information>  
・Business hours: 18:00-24:00
・Closed: Sunday
・Address: 3-8-8 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
・Phone: 03-3824-0019
・Website: https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131106/13035305/dtlphotolst/smp2/

Yanaka Toriyoshi

Tori Yoshi
Source: Tabelog

Yanaka Toriyoshi is a long-established izakaya, prospering since its founding in 1953, always lively with local regulars.

While its name includes "tori" (chicken), it puts a lot of effort into fish dishes as well.

The sashimi procured fresh from Toyosu Market every morning has outstanding freshness. You can also enjoy premium fish like eel and pufferfish.

Hot pot dishes are popular, with their signature "Ankou Nabe" (monkfish hot pot) so popular that it becomes difficult to get reservations from October to March! The mildly sweet miso-based soup with monkfish liver is exceptional.

My recommendation is the "Hamo Shabu" served from May to September. Despite hamo being notoriously difficult to prepare, the fillets are carefully deboned and plump. As it's a popular izakaya, reservations are essential.

<Store Information>
・Business hours: 17:00-22:00  
・Closed: Monday
・Address: 3-14-6 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
・Phone: 03-3823-6298
・Website: http://ankou.tokyo/index.html

Washu Nikomi RAIDON

Source: Tabelog

If you want to drink delicious Japanese sake, go to "Washu Nikomi RAIDON."

Over 10 varieties of Japanese sake and 30 kinds of shochu are always available. Of course you can also enjoy beer and wine.

While they put effort into meat dishes, I especially want to recommend their "horumon" - beef and pork offal simmered dishes. Horumon simmered in their aged, house-seasoned sauce is absolutely delicious and goes perfectly with alcohol.

They offer an affordable 4,500 yen course with 10 dishes including their simmered specialties and over 40 varieties of all-you-can-drink alcoholic beverages.

<Store Information for Washu Nikomi RAIDON>
・Business hours: Monday-Friday 17:00-23:00 / Saturday 11:00-14:00 17:00-23:00  
・Closed: Sunday, Holidays (Open on 1st and 3rd Sundays)
・Address: 3-24-7 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
・Phone: 050-5600-3744
・Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/raidon_ynk/

Yanaka Tokiwa

Source: Tabelog

The noren curtain with the characters for "tokiwa" and a lantern give a sense of the retro exterior of "Yanaka Tokiwa."

It branched off from the long-established Tokiwa Shokudo in Asakusa over 100 years ago. While previously operating as a shokudo (restaurant), it opened as an izakaya in 1989 making it 58 years old.

The retro interior is the epitome of a Japanese izakaya. The numerous fresh ingredients lined up at the counter all look delicious and whet your appetite. The owner makes exquisite Japanese dishes that pair well with drinks, such as grilled chicken skewers and sashimi, earning a reputation for great taste from regulars.

<Store Information>
・Business hours: Monday-Saturday 17:00-19:00
・Closed: Sunday  
・Address: 3-2-9 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
・Phone: 03-5685-0091
・URL: https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131106/13077030/


Source: Tabelog

"Nishikiya" is an izakaya that has been loved by local residents for a long time.

This family-run izakaya bustles with local patrons, giving off a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

The old-fashioned menu posted on the friendly counter has plenty of dishes that look delicious. Of the extensive menu, I especially want to recommend their dishes made with seasonal ingredients: mountain vegetates in spring, oysters and loach in summer, pacific sauries and matsutake mushrooms in fall, and pufferfish in winter - all are exquisite!

The prices for alcoholic drinks are also affordable, satisfying both your stomach and heart.

As it's always crowded with popularity, make a reservation in advance, especially for smaller groups.

<Store Information>  
・Business hours: Monday-Saturday 17:30-23:00
・Closed: Sunday
・Address: 3-34-7 Sendagi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
・Phone: 03-3828-0935  
・URL: https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131106/13074771/


Source: Retty

As you pass by the storefront, a delicious aroma wafts out...this is "HAYASHI-YA," an izakaya specializing in sashimi that the owner sources from the market each morning as well as meticulously prepared grilled skewers and meat rolls. It's a lively izakaya run by a passionate staff that always draws crowds thanks to their high-level grilled fare.

The sashimi and skewers use carefully selected ingredients, but my recommendation among their prized dishes is the "Pari! Juwa Karaage" (crispy juicy fried chicken) - true to its name, the skin is crispy while the meat is juicy, perfectly paired with the accompanying lemon and tartar sauce for flavor variation. As a bonus, the entire izakaya is smoking permitted.

<Store Information>
・Business hours: 16:00-24:00
・Closed: Monday (Other closures, so confirm by phone)
・Address: 5-49-6 Higashi-Nippori, Arakawa-ku, Tokyo   
・Phone: 050-5462-0307
・Website: https://hayashiya.foodre.jp/

Gyokai zanmai AKIRA

Source: Retty

If you're craving delicious seafood dishes, the izakaya I recommend is this one.  

"Gyokai zanmai AKIRA" is an izakaya featuring fresh fish, local sake, and seasonal cuisine.

The wild-caught fish comes from the neighboring long-established fishmonger "Yamanaga" which has been operating for over 100 years. Amazingly, the owner himself also accompanies them to the market for procurement. The seafood dishes made by this fish-passionate owner are exceptional!

The "Ishiyaki Hotaru Ika" (grilled firefly squid on a hot stone plate) is divine and people travel from afar just for this taste, as it's only available from March to May.

The "Grilled Rice Ball Wrapped in Pacific Saury" is perfect for an ending dish, the savory flavors of the saury permeating the rice.

<Store Information>
・Business hours: Tuesday-Thursday 18:00-23:30 / Friday-Sunday 11:30-14:00 18:00-23:30  
・Closed: Monday, Last Sunday of the month
・Address: 3-38-8 Sendagi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
・Phone: 03-3828-3435
・Website: https://www.sendagi-osakana.com/

Izakaya Torinobu

Source: Tabelog

The popular "Izakaya Torinobu" exudes a downtown Tokyo atmosphere.

When you look at the menu, you'll be surprised by the wide variety.  

The creative dishes made by the owner-chef are all delicious and highly popular.

If you're having trouble deciding from the extensive menu, my recommendation is the "Jiman no Kushi-yaki Set" (Proud Skewer Assortment) of grilled chicken skewers - the tender meat is immensely satisfying.

They also offer a wide selection of pasta and desserts, making it popular among women as well as being child-friendly with Japanese, Western, and Chinese options.

As it's always crowded, reservations are essential for this popular spot.

<Store Information>
・Business hours: 17:00-24:00
・Closed: Sundays, Holidays
・Address: 2-48-5 Nishi-Nippori, Arakawa-ku, Tokyo
・Phone: 03-3891-3691  
・Website: https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131105/13098550/

Yakitori SUKEBEI

Source: Official Website

As you pass by the storefront, a delicious aroma wafts out... This is "Yakitori SUKEBEI", a specialty yakitori (grilled chicken skewer) izakaya.

The passionate staff busily work away at this bright and lively izakaya renowned for its high-level yakitori offerings and always crowded.

The yakitori prices are all under 200 yen and very affordable! The "Harapeko Course" is a great deal where the owner recommends 6 skewers, bringing out one of each.

Of their fail-safe menu items, my recommendation is the "Namida Yaki" (teary grilled chicken breast) served with a spicy Japanese mustard garnish for an adult flavor kick.

<Store Information>
・Business Hours: 15:00-23:00
・Closed: Sunday
・Address: 2-25-1 Nishi-Nippori, Arakawa-ku, Tokyo
・Phone: 03-5615-5140
・Website: https://sukebe.group/

In this article, we introduced izakayas in the Yanaka Ginza area. All the menu items sound so delicious that it's making me hungry. The affordable pricing is also great.

The fact that so many izakayas are thriving shows how beloved they are in the neighborhood.

At Magical Trip, we offer a historical walking tour of Yanaka. It's a packed tour where you can explore shrines, markets, and residential areas alongside a local guide - an experience you can only get here. Experience the genuine downtown Tokyo lifestyle!

Details here >> Yanaka Historical Walking Tour in Tokyo's Old Town

After walking around Yanaka on the tour, an izakaya in the area is the perfect place to refresh and unwind over drinks and food in the evening.