You can say that Asakusa, where the Sensoji Temple stands, is the most popular tourist destination in Tokyo.
There are many historical buildings such as temples, as well as places where you can enjoy traditional arts and gourmets at long-established restaurants. Let’s check out “unaju,” the traditional food in Asakusa, as well as “Asakusa Unatetsu” and “Unagi Irokawa,” where you can eat delicious unaju.
Want to know more about gourmet town Asakusa? Check >> “Where to Drink and Eat in Asakusa - Five Best Local Gourmet.”
Best Gourmet in Asakusa 4
Unaju is a Japanese food served in jubako (lacquer ware box), which contains grilled eels on rice and topped with a sweet sauce. There is a similar food known as “unadon,” which is a grilled eel rice bowl, but due to the difference in the amount of eels and the parts of eels used, unaju tends to be relatively more expensive. Eel is a fish that has been eaten in Japan since ancient time. In the beginning of the 1700s, a dish called kabayaki was discovered, which the eel fillets are grilled with sweet sauce. Later on, it has evolved into unaju, a grilled eel served on rice.
Recommended Restaurant “Asakusa Unatetsu”
“Asakusa Unatetsu” is a famous restaurant in Asakusa, where you can eat various eel dishes. In addition to unaju, you can have kabayaki and Hitsumabushi, chopped grilled eel on rice, and a course menu with several eel dishes. They offer fresh eel purchased on the day and grilled by well-trained craftsmen. The savory and fluffy eel pairs well with rice.
The sweet sauce will stimulate your appetite. The price of unaju is from 3,340 yen, and you can choose from 3 types of unaju depending on the amount of eel.
Address: 1-43-7 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 111-0032
Opening hours: 11:15AM – 09:30PM
No regular holidays
Recommended Restaurant “Unagi Irokawa”
Source：J’s Bar Second
Located within a 2-minute walk from Asakusa Station, you can find "Unagi Irokawa,” a long-established restaurant founded in 1861. There are a lot of fans of this small restaurant, and there is always a long line of people waiting in front of the restaurant around noon. The eel are grilled after receiving orders, featuring fluffy and soft texture, while the sweet sauce is the essential part of the dish. The rice is cooked until its still firm but tender, pairing well with the eel. You can sit at the counter to enjoy watching eel grilled in front of you. They have limited menu items, but you can select from two kinds of unaju according to the amount of eel.
Address: 2-6-11 Kaminarimon, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 111-0034
Opening hours: 11:30AM – 02:00PM (closed as soon as sold out)
Closed on Sunday
History of Asakusa
Asakusa is a city that has evolved since the Samurai era. During the time samurai were paid in rice, Asakusa was an area where the rice was kept, leading many people including samurai and merchants to gather. As a result, the city has developed as a center of business, entertainment and gourmet. Sensoji Temple, which is the symbol of Asakusa has also developed to a large temple, under the patronage of the government at the time. As the number of worshippers grew, Sensoji Temple has become one of the biggest sightseeing spots today.
Enjoy Gourmet at Asakusa!
At the historical city of Asakusa, you can enjoy various gourmets offered by long-established restaurants such as tendon, unaju, soba and ramen. In addition to meals, there are many restaurants where you can eat Japanese sweets, pleasing those sweet lovers. Among the various kinds of Japanese sweets, recommended is to have the kakigori (shaved ice) served at the popular cafe "Asakusa Naniwaya" on a hot day.
Recommended Asakusa Tour with a Guide
Magical Asakusa Tokyo Pub Crawl Tour - Night Crawl through Tokyo’s Historical Town
Join a bar hopping tour in Asakusa at night to have some of the best local gourmets, after enjoying the day of sightseeing. On this tour, which a friendly guide will take you to the three most recommended izakayas, you can enjoy local dishes and drinks such as Monjayaki and Hoppy. Have fun drinking with the locals!