Updated: June 28, 2019
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Izakaya Guide: Kichijoji (吉祥寺の居酒屋)


Kichijoji has so many wonderful izakayas to pick from, it can be difficult to choose. If you're in need of some help, consult this list of 7 izakayas of various categories.

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Yakitori: Iseya

This is THE place to get yakitori (grilled chicken skewers) in Kichijoji. Open since 1928, Iseya is probably the first name that comes to the mind of most locals. You should definitely try it out if you're in the area because it's one of the most popular restaurants, all genres included! The iconic establishment has two branches in the Inogashira Park side of the city.

The original location has a counter along the street where you can stand while eating and drinking. It's a good place to be to see the yakitori chefs grill the skewers. Behind the counter, there is a pretty vast area with tables, so you can also sit down and have a couple of drinks and skewers like most people do. They serve Sapporo beer which is the perfect accompaniment to this chicken

The park location has mostly table seats with a capacity of up to 350 people. It still gets full frequently in spite of having that many seats!

Fresh seafood and Reasonable Price: Shirouto Izakaya Ichi

If you're looking for an izakaya that has great food at a reasonable price, come check out Shirouto Izakaya Ichi. The name Shirouto means "beginner," but the food is definitely prepared by a seasoned pro.

Located right outside Kichijoji station, this izakaya is known for it's ¥100 all-you-can-eat karaage (fried boneless chicken)(yes, ¥100 for all you can eat). However, the fresh seafood items take the cake for me. Definitely order the all-you-can-eat karaage, but also get the recommended sashimi of the day, along with a bottle of nihonshu (sake)--you won't regret it!

Yakiniku: Taru Taru Horumon

Horumon (short for horumono) means "the part that's thrown away" in Kansai dialect of Japanese. However, once you taste the tender and delicious pieces of meat that you grill on your own little shichirin 七輪 grill (shoutout to Ariana Grande :P), you will wonder why anyone would ever want to throw those bits away.

Most items are quite affordable, at around ¥500, so you can definitely get full. If eating offal(intestines, etc.) sounds unpleasant, stick to the harami (skirt steak), tongue, red meat, and vegetables, all of which are delicious.
Access: 5 minutes walk from Kichijoji station

Fancy: Miura

For a truly outstanding izakaya experience, a visit to Miura is a must. Anything you order here is guaranteed to be fresh and exquisite. My recommendation is to go for one of the course meals, which will be filled with carefully selected dishes to reflect the season. The 9-course Chef's Course will run you ¥12,000 / person, or the wonderful 11-course Miura Course will run ¥9,000 / person.

If you decide to order a la carte, try any of the sashimi or beef items, which will change based on the season. All are fantastic.
Access: 3 minutes walk from Kichijoji Station

Smoke-free: Tecchan

Non-smokers like me generally have to just grin and bear the stench of most Izakayas in order to enjoy the amazing food. Tecchan, however, is a non smoking yakitoriya! A rarity for any izakaya-style restaurant in Japan.

At Tecchan, they use only Japanese chicken delivered on the same day. Tecchan serves a variety of yakitori for 110 yen each (leek and young chicken, liver, chicken wings) or slightly more expensive items for 330 yen for two skewers (pork and cheese, teriyaki mayonnaise, young chicken and wasabi).

In addition, the owner here likes to play guitar and sing. He does live performances on every 4th Monday of the month from 16:00 to 21:00.
Access: located just at 68 meters from the northern exit of Kichijoji Station.

Craft Beer: Craft Beer Market

It's perhaps a bit cheeky to call this one an izakaya, but craft beer is something special that you won't find at the other places on this list.

Craft Beer Market is a well-liked tavern that has a couple of branches across Tokyo. Kichijoji has a popular address that is located just a stone throw away from the station. Here, you can have all kinds of craft beer from Japan and around the world. Their philosophy is not to bring you the beers that sell, but rather quality beers that have unique, interesting tastes. They offer a couple of kinds of beer for each of the following categories: white beers, fruit beers, IPAs, black beers, real ales, ale beers, sour ales, and barely wines.

Craft Beer Market also offers all-you-can-drink "party plans". You get a selection of food and you can choose from the 30 kinds of beers the bar has. Plans vary from 3,900 to 5,000 yen and have a 2 or 2.5-hour time limit.

The place is open from 11:00-23:30. Note that there is a cover charge of 324 yen after 3 PM. English menus are available.

Bonus: Chopsticks (Vietnamese izakaya)

I can't speak for the beer, but Vietnamese food is delicious! If you want a change of pace from a typical izakaya, head to Chopsticks for a delicious experience. There are various phở and bún options available, as well as an array of side dishes to eat with your drinks. In addition to a standard drink menu, there are 5 different Vietnamese beers that go for ¥600 each. This is a great spot that might be easier to get a table at than some of the other options on this list. Check it out!
Access: 3 minutes walk from Kichijoji Station

Restaurants Mentioned in this Article

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    I live in west Tokyo and spend most of my time thinking about food or going bouldering.

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