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Hantei

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Of all the Ueno restaurants, Hantei is a must. Housed in one of the few ancient buildings to survive the Great Tokyo earthquake of 1922 and WWII, it is extremely elegant and impeccably traditional. The three-storey house has been declared a National Treasure and as such has been superbly restored and maintained. The food is as elegant as the atmosphere; there’s no menu, just sit back and enjoy the procession of delicious offerings that will be brought to you and let them know when you’ve had enough.

  • Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 12:00 to 14:30, 17:00 to 22:30
  • Subway: Sendagi station, Chiyoda line
  • Address: 2-12-15, Nezu, Bunkyo-ku
  • Tel: 03-3828-1440
  • Cuisine: Japanese Kushiage
  • Price Range: Pricey
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Bon

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This unique restaurant serves fucha ryori, the all-vegetarian cuisine of Zen Buddhist monks. Brought to Japan in the 17th century, a fucha ryori meal is a careful balance of six tastes; sweet, sour, bitter, hot, salty and delicate, and five methods of cooking; raw, steamed, deep fried, grilled and boiled. Everything at Bon, the décor, the plates and bowls, the chopsticks, right down to the placement of nuts, fruits and flowers on the plate is aimed at creating harmony.

  • Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 12:00-15:00, 17:30-21:00 / Sat 12:00-21:00 / Sun 12:00-20:00 Closed: Wed (last order two hours prior to closing)
  • Subway: Iriya Station, Hibiya Line
  • Address: 1-2-11 Ryusen, Taito-ku
  • Tel: 03-3872-0375
  • Cuisine: Fucha Zen Buddhist Japanese
  • Price Range: Lunch: affordable, Dinner: pricey
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Sasa No Yuki

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Fresh handmade silky tofu is produced on site every morning at Sasa No Yuki and is then transformed into myriad creations for lunch and dinner. The restaurant has been in business for over 300 years and was the first to produce silky tofu in Old Tokyo. Whether in a luscious soup, deep-fried, or as part of a salad the soft juicy tofu is delicious.

  • Opening Hours: Tue-Sun 11:30-21:15
  • Subway: Uguisudani Station, JR Yamanote Line
  • Address: 2-15-10 Negishi, Taito-ku
  • Tel: 03-3873-1145
  • Cuisine: Tofu
  • Price Range: Affordable
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Saharaya

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Enjoy simple, savoury grilled ckicken skewers and a good cold beer at Saharaya izakaya. There are also a few other snack foods such as the lightly-salted steamed soy beans or tofu creations to accompany the good range of shochu, sake and beer.

  • Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 17:00-23:30
  • Subway: Okachimachi Station, JR Yamanote Line
  • Address: 5-27-5 Ueno, Taito-ku
  • Tel: 03-3831-6388
  • Cuisine: Izakaya
  • Price Range: Affordable
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Heiroku Sushi

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In business for over 35 years, this national chain of kaiten, or conveyor-belt sushi offers delicious pre-Edo style sushi and plenty of it. If the different plates on the train do not interest you, you can order items for the chefs to prepare on the spot.

  • Opening Hours: Daily 11:00 - 22:00
  • Subway: Okachimachi Station, JR Yamanote Line
  • Address: 5-27-3 Ueno, Taito-ku
  • Tel: 03-3836-4395
  • Cuisine: Conveyor Belt Sushi
  • Price Range: Affordable
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Shinsuke

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This famous little family-run restaurant has stood below Yushima Tenjin Shrine since 1924. The menu presents an interesting blend of izakaya favourites with splashes of creative flair. In traditional fashion, the simple things are done to perfection. Try the yuba-uni if you like the strong flavour of the sea urchin or the straight-forward simplicity of sashimi cut from the freshest deep sea fish. 

  • Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 17:00 - 22:00
  • Subway: Okachimachi Station, JR Yamanote Line
  • Address: 3-31-5, Yujima, Bunkyo-ku
  • Tel: 03-3832-0469
  • Cuisine: Japanese / Izakaya

Maguroyasan

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Tuna sushi, tuna sashimi, grilled tuna, boiled tuna, tuna soup or tuna sauté, if you love your tuna head to Maguroyasan, a specialist tuna restaurant. There are a few other seafood items on the menu as well as simple side dishes but basically maguro, tuna, is the main attraction here. 

  • Opening Hours: Daily 11:00 – 21:30
  • Subway: Ueno Station, JR Yamanote Line
  • Address: 4-2-1 Higashi Ueno, Taito-ku
  • Tel: 03-3844-2732
  • Cuisine: Sushi / Tuna
  • Price Range: Affordable

Otoya

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This modern little Japanese restaurant offers healthy teishoku set meals at very good prices. All items included in the meal are labelled with a calorie counter so diet-conscious diners can be sure of their energy intakes and that heavy fatty sauces are not used. There are a number of small side dishes available in addition to the set meals.

  • Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 10:00-23:00; Sat-Sun 10:00-22:00
  • Subway: Okachimachi Station, JR Yamanote Line
  • Address: Ueno-Hirokoji Kaikan Part3 Bldg. 2F, 5-21-8 Ueno, Taito-ku
  • Tel: 03-3834-5013
  • Cuisine: Teishoku, Yoshoku
  • Price Range: Budget
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Daiki

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Popular with students from nearby Tokyo University, Daiki presents classic noodle dishes at budget prices. Featured on national television some years back the shop has enjoyed a loyal clientele ever since. Choose and pay for your ramen before being seated. The most popular variety is the torisoba; generous portion of noodles with chunky chicken pieces garnished with scallions and wakame seaweed.

  • Opening Hours: Mon – Sat 11:30-15:00, 17:30-21:00
  • Subway: Yushima Station, Chiyoda Line
  • Address: 3-47-2 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku
  • Tel: 03-3834-0348
  • Cuisine: Ramen
  • Price Range: Budget
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Otafuku

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Enjoy the steamy comfort of a hot bowl of oden at Otafuku with over forty varieties of dumplings to choose you can customise your soup to your own liking. This restaurant is also the place to experience the Japanese affinity for whale meat. At the door, specify if you’d like an oden-only course or a full dinner course. 

  • Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 17:00-23:00 / Sun 17:00-22:00
  • Subway: Asakusa Station, Asakusa and Ginza lines
  • Address: 1-6-2 Chizuka, Taito-ku
  • Tel: 03-3871-2521
  • Cuisine: Oden
  • Price Range: Pricey
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