Updated: December 14, 2018
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Best Hitsumabushi In Tokyo. Try These 5 Restaurants!


Want to have Nagoya's specialty unagi (eel) cuisine called hitsumabushi in Tokyo? Try these 5 restaurants! They are all of long-standing and some of the best in Tokyo for the genre.

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Hitsumabushi is an eel dish that is the regional specialty of Nagoya, but now you can find it everywhere in Japan.

It consists of grilled eel (unagi) that is placed on a bed of rice. The eel is coated with a sweet and savoury sauce that enhances its natural flavours. The difference between hitsumabushi and other unagi dishes is that it comes with a kind of savoury tea-based soup that you pour on your unagi and rice halfway through your meal to change the taste. It's a fun and delicious way to discover unagi cuisine because it's like having two different meals in one.

Here are some restaurants in Tokyo where you can enjoy some great hitsumabushi.

Asakusa Unatetsu (Asakusa)

This restaurant is located a stone-throw away from the Asakusa Tsukuba Express Station. You can have two kinds of hitsumabushi: one with tare-coated unagi, and one that is simply salted. There are two sizes, the "take" size (medium) at ¥3,700 for the tare one and ¥3,840 for the salt one, and the "matsu" (large) size at ¥4,200 for the tare one and ¥4,330 for the salt one.

Another thing you might want to try here are the unagi skewers, which are similar to yakitori but they are made with unagi instead. This kind of cuisine is only served rarely at other unagi-specializing restaurants.

Ainoya (Ota-ku)

This place is in Ota-ku, near the Kamata Station. Their hitsumabushi starts at ¥3,700 for the regular dish, or you can have a deluxe version made with a special brand of eel for ¥4,300. They serve some full courses with hitsumabushi as well that start at ¥6,700. All the rooms are private, and there are some with "horikotatsu" which is a kind of Japanese low table with a hole underneath for the legs.

Nodaya (Ueno)

This is a popular restaurant that was established over a hundred years ago, during the Meiji Era. It also serves its hitsumabushi either coated with tare sauce or salted style. The latter is particularly popular at this restaurant. Without the tare, you can taste the natural umami and sweetness of the eel. That's something to try too.

Akasaka Fukinuki (Akasaka)

Their hitsumabushi is made with eel that is first steamed before being broiled. This makes it particularly fluffy and delicious, and that's why this has been one of the most popular unagi restaurants in Tokyo for decades. The prices are reasonable too! For lunchtime, their hitsumabushi starts at ¥2,200.

Godaime Nodaiwa (Azabu-Juban)

This is one of the oldest restaurants in Tokyo with a history of 200 years! Simple and delicious, their hitsumabushi comes with yuzu lemon as a condiment. This is a rare addition that adds a fresh citrusy twist to the dish.

Nodaiwa is located in the Roppongi-Azabu-Juban area.

Restaurants Mentioned in this Article

    Japanese food culture enthusiast. Love to explore new areas and discover local specialties.

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