Shinjuku has two faces; a modern city with skyscrapers and stylish buildings and a historical city with restaurants and bars that have been in business for a very long time. One street called Shinjuku Nishiguchi Omoide Yokocho is packed with those retro restaurants and bars, while Kabukicho is a bright neon lit district for enjoying the Tokyo nightlife. Shinjuku will welcome you with many restaurants that serve yakitori (grilled chicken skewers). We’re going to introduce you to 5 great restaurants called izakaya.

Experience Shinjuku’s backstreet bars, that are normally a little hard for Tourists to navigate – try this fun Tokyo bar hopping nightlife tour

Visiting Shinjuku? Find out more cool nightlife places and things to do at night in Shinjuku

Let’s Go To An Izakaya In Shinjuku!

What is an Izakaya?

An izakaya is a Japanese style pub that serves spirits and food. There you can enjoy eating Japanese food in a casual and relax style. Some izakaya is specialized in certain foods like yakitori, while others serve general Japanese food. Izakaya is the answer if you’re looking for a place to have fun and hangout with your friends with drinks and delicious food.

About Shinjuku

Shinjuku has a lot of restaurants/izakaya, occupying some streets. For example, the street called Shinjuku Nishiguchi Omoide Yokocho is packed with small sized izakaya. Kabukicho, which is known as the nightlife district, also has various izakaya. Shinjuku is one of the key places where the Japanese economy and culture has grown.

5 Great Izakaya For Yakitori In Shinjuku!

1. Ban Ban


Source:flickr

Ban Ban is an izakaya that serves excellent yakitori in Kabukicho. They serve every yakitori selection for a reasonable price. You can eat various grilled skewers from the classic Grilled Chicken, Negima (grilled chicken and green onions) to delicacies such as Kobukuro (womb) and Hatsu (heart). There are 30 seats and all of them are at the counter. This cozy izakaya is often packed with regulars, however the owner and staffs are friendly so you will be able to enjoy talking with them even though you’ve never met before. Since this izakaya gained more lady customers recently, they now serve wine as well.
<< Read more detail about Ban Ban

2. Marudori Ruisuke


Source: flickr

Marudori Ruisuke is an izakaya that specializes in chicken dishes. You can see inside of the izakaya through its large glass windows. Once you go inside, you will see a large kitchen at the center, surrounded by counter seats. You can freely enjoy chatting with your friends in this very open atmosphere. It has many seats, enough for 53 people, and the izakaya is always busy with fans. The menu Hanshin-age (deep fried half a whole chicken) and Marudori No Suage (deep fried whole chicken), which is the name of the izakaya, are always popular menu choices since 40 years ago when the izakaya first opened its doors. There are many fans for its yakitori including the Liver Of Daisen Chicken (chickens raised in the Daisen area).
<< Read more detail about Marudori Ruisuke

3. Fukuhachi


Source: flickr

Shinjuku Nishiguchi Omoide Yokocho is a street that started developing from 70 years ago and now ’s packed with small restaurants including izakaya. It’s said that this street became popular and increased its size by gaining lovers for its delicious yakitori and motsunabe (hot pot stew made with innards). Even now, people continue to come to the about 20 izakaya on this street that serve yakitori. One of the izakaya that people frequently visit is Fukuhachi. This cozy izakaya has 14 seats and inside of this izakaya feels like a time slip back to the Showa era. Besides yakitori, you can try their original skewers including Grilled Tomato Bacon and Handmade Tsukune (meat ball).
<< Read more detail about Fukuhachi

4. Torishige


Source: flickr

You can reach Torishige by walking only 1 minute from Shinjuku Station. While continuously running its business for over 70 years, Torishige has been preserving the secret and traditions from its predecessors, yet still trying new things. It’s one of the most popular yakitori izakaya in Shinjuku and you can tell that from the refined look of the izakaya. People love their skewers not only the grilled chicken but also other ingredients. The chicken that they serve you is absolutely fresh so that there’s no compromise on the quality of the chicken. You can choose counter seats for casual visits or a large table that can host 10 people.
<< Read more detail about Torishige

5. Torimitsu


Source:flickr

Torimitsu is located in Kabukicho, which is the largest amusement area that has many restaurants in Tokyo. You definitely need to make a reservation before you visit because it only has about 10 seats and is always busy. We recommend you to go there as early as possible if you want to try rare grilled chicken parts skewer and other popular menu items before they’re completely sold out. People love its Tsukune (meat ball) that uses coarsely ground chicken meat and yakitori that has larger pieces compared to the standard size. There are hardcore fans for its Chazuke (boiled rice with tea in chicken soup) because of the delicious flavor of the chicken soup.
<< Read more detail about Torimitsu

Experience Barhopping In Shinjuku With A Guide!

Enjoy local gourmet food like yakitori at an izakaya with an English speaking tour guide without worrying about the language barrier! With this 3 hour Tokyo Bar Hopping nightlife tour, you can visit various izakaya to enjoy Japanese izakaya food and drinks. It’s a great chance to socialize with locals at an izakaya if you want to.

Author image

About Shoto Hachiya

Hello, my name is Shoto! I’ve lived in and traveled many countries. Through the experiences, I saw a lot of different cultures and customs, and that made me realize how unique Japanese culture is.