Yokocho – The Culinary and Boozy Back Streets of Tokyo

Chris Kirkland

 

Yokocho—one of Tokyo and Japan’s best kept secrets— are back alleys crammed with little bars and eateries serving traditional Japanese fare. A great place to relax and meet some locals over a beer, takoyaki or yakitori skewer. There are lots of yokocho dotted all over Tokyo, each with its own particular style and atmosphere—fitting to the neighborhood nuance. You’ll typically find all eateries are fairly cheap and almost exclusively Japanese-style cuisine, like yakitori, yakiniku, grilled fish, and some street food favorites like takoyaki.

A selection of yokocho in Tokyo

Nonbei Yokocho in Shibuya

nobei yokocho shibuya - tokyo yokocho
Photo by Angela an

A series of tiny bars sandwiched together just next to the rail tracks—about a 2-min walk from the famous Hachiko meeting spot.

Niku Yokocho in Shibuya

niku-yokocho
Photo by chris kirkland

An indoor and entirely meat-themed yokocho—niku meaning “meat” gives it a literal translation of “meat alley.”

Omoide Yokocho in Shinjuku

Piss Alley
Photo by Lily Crossley-Baxter

A busy spot near the West Exit of Shinjuku Station—all kinds of eateries and patrons.

Sanchoku Inshokugai in Yurakucho

For a more down-to-earth and old-fashioned feel tucked away just next to the glitzy and expensive Ginza district.

Ebisu Yokocho

ebisu-yokocho-exterioir
Photo by Angela An

A little more of a trendy crowd seeping in from the surrounding Ebisu/Daikanyama hipster hood, but still very authentic Japanese fare!

Sankaku chitai in Sangenjaya

A very “local” scene as Sangenjaya is a little bit off the beaten track.

Location Map:


Watch this next

New Video: Tokyo City Flea Market

Tokyo flea markets are a great for bargain-hunting, pick up a new kimono or snag a new book on a shoestring!





Get our Tokyo Cheapo Hacks direct to your inbox




Questions or comments about this article? Start a thread on our community forum