Cheap and tasty, a restaurant that the locals go to every day, that’s a Japanese “izakaya“.
An “izakaya” is basically a Japanese pub where you can drink alcohol and eat small dishes. In Tokyo, where space is limited, some of the izakayas gather in a very unusual location. These are the restaurants under the JR railway viaduct.
There are many people in Tokyo who commute to their company for over an hour each day. That’s one reason why many employees go out for food before setting out on the long way home. In the evenings in the Shimbashi area, where many companies are concentrating, office workers who worked late in their offices come together. They eat and drink together with their colleagues for dinner while releasing some stress.
Everyone in Tokyo knows the little restaurants under the railway tracks. Every time the train passes by, the whole store rumbles and shakes – it is extremely loud. But strangely for some reason, it is this narrowness and atmosphere that makes this type of izakaya so comfortable!
If you are unsure skewered food is the choice!
My friends and I were in the “yakiton” (fried pork) specialty store “Yakiton Hirochan” the other day. In this cozy pub, you can enjoy not only pork on skewers, offal, and vegetables but also typical izakaya dishes, such as “potato salad” or “cucumber with plum”. Every dish was fresh and tasty!
For those who don’t speak Japanese, Japanese izakaya can be a hurdle. However, this restaurant has an English menu – so, no problem!
Have a drink with the locals!
The distance between the tables is very close, which is typical for an izakaya. So it can happen that you start a conversation with the people at the next tables. Also, the staff was very friendly and talked to all of the guests. If you like to get in touch with the locals, you should definitely go to an izakaya!
As the night deepened, more and more employees and women in kimonos poured into the restaurant. I wondered where and with what they work. Watching people in an izakaya is also fun. In addition, the delicious food, the drinks and the helpful and friendly staff of “Yakiton Hirochan” – perfect! Therefore, if you feel like having a drink with the locals, you shouldn’t miss the small izakayas under the railway viaduct!
1-13-3 Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: 17: 00-23: 30
Closed: Sundays and holidays