Updated: October 02, 2017
0 Bookmark

Kawachiya: An Unagi Restaurant With a 250 Year History!

Kawachiya is a restaurant located on a very nice, old shopping street in Shibamata, a neighborhood in the eastern part of Tokyo. It specializes in freshwater fish, and it's unagi (eel) dishes are particularly popular. We went to Kawachiya to see how the popular unagi dishes are made. The restaurant was established some 250 years ago, so we were fortunate enough to witness the very traditional, authentic way of unagi cooking!

Feel free to follow favy!


Retina retina station of shibamata
To get to Kawachiya we traveled by train to the Shibamata Station located in Katsushikaku-ku, in the east of Tokyo. It takes about 1 hour to get there by train from the Shinjuku Station, or about 40 minutes from the Ueno Station.
Retina retina store front
The restaurant is about a 3-minute walk from the station. To get there you get to walk through an amazing traditional shopping arcade. There are few of this kind of streets still remaining in Tokyo. Like many shops around it, the restaurant has a beautiful traditional Japanese architecture and many lanterns hang from the eaves. The place must be even more beautiful at night.
Retina retina inside
The restaurant is really spacious and peaceful. In the back, there are large windows from which you can see a Japanese-style interior courtyard.

Preparing the Unagi

We were invited in the kitchen so get a first-hand look at how our unagi was done.
Retina retina being steamed
At first, the unagi is tenderized by being placed in a wooded steamer for a few minutes.
Retina retina dipped and tare
Holding the unagi with wooden skewers, the chef then dipped the tenderized eel in a tare sauce (a thick sweet soy sauce).
Retina retina broiled
The next step was to broil the unagi until its exterior becomes dark brown and crisp. It was re-dipped in tare a few times while being broiled.

The Dish

Retina retina boxed unaju
As is often the case for eel dishes, they are served in a rectangular box. This dish is called unaju.
Retina retina opened box
The two pieces of eel were placed on a bed of rice. We had the first taste and it did not disappoint! The outer part was made slightly crisp by the broiling with the tare and the inside was really soft. It had just the right balance of sweetness and saltiness.
Retina retina sansho
Next, we tried it with some sansho spice. Sansho is a Japanese spice that is often used on unagi. It is made from a citrus tree and the taste is lemony and spicy. It makes a pleasant tingling sensation in your mouth. But be careful not to put too much, as the taste can be overpowering.
Retina retina liver
With the unaju, we were also served this simple yet delicious soup which contains fried tofu and the eel's liver. There was also a small serving of Japanese pickles and green tea. All these elements worked perfectly together to make an amazing dining experience. The unaju set is sold for 2,800 yen (small size), 3,300 yen (medium) and 4,000 yen (large).


Unagi is a kind of Japanese delicacy you should definitely try. It is so delicious when made properly. Kawachiya knows how to make it just right! We highly recommend you visit this restaurant. What's more, Kawachiya is located on a very quaint, old shopping street really worth visiting!
Japanese food culture enthusiast. Love to explore new areas and discover local specialties.

Hot Posts!


Must See! Tuna Demolition Show At Maguro Shoten, Shinjuku!


A Tuna Carving Party In a Club With House Music?? Only in Tokyo!

Lili Wanderlust

Sushi Sakaba Omotenashi (Shibuya, Tokyo) - Best Counter Sushi Experience


Coriander Miso Ramen With A Good Feel Cause! Shinbu Sakiya in Shibuya


Suzushin - Yotsuya, Tokyo : Delicious Big And Crispy Katsudon!

More Hot Posts

Recommend Posts!


Hokkaido Restaurant Genshiyaki In Bangkok, Thailand For Amazing Cheese Pasta And Incredibly Fresh Fish!


A Must Try Robatayaki Restaurant In Bangkok, Thailand!


Aohama, A Stylish Seafood BBQ Dining Experience!

Lili Wanderlust

Hoo Bar - Shinjuku, Tokyo : Try The Delicious Local Cuisine "Hooba Yaki"!


Aged-Beef, Hand-Made Pasta And 100 Types Of Wine At Trattoria Cordiale In Ningyocho, Tokyo


Featured Posts

A Guide To The Michelin-Starred Restaurants In Japan!

Trick Or Treat: A Guide To Halloween Activities And Treats

Onsen: A Guide To The Onsens In Japan

More Features


FREE TSUKEMEN Until the 21st of October at Tsukemen Akatombo in Nishi Shinjuku!

Oct 19, Thu 〜 Oct 28, Sat

Glorious Chain Cafe Celebrates Halloween with the Japanese Yokai!

Oct 14, Sat 〜 Oct 31, Tue

Aohama, A Stylish Seafood BBQ Dining Experience!

Oct 11, Wed 〜 Nov 30, Thu

HALLOWEEN Comes to Life at The Lockup! Enjoy Delicious Spooky Treats Served by Witches!

Oct 03, Tue 〜 Oct 31, Tue

Shiawase no Pancake has Released its Halloween Special!

Oct 02, Mon 〜 Oct 31, Tue

Hot Words!