The area of Ueno, which is centered around landmarks like Ueno Station and Ueno Park, is popular among tourists visiting Japan. It is an area in which you can enjoy the downtown atmosphere of its old working class townscape. This article will introduce 12 izakaya (Japanese pubs) in Ueno that'll let you enjoy delicious chicken cuisine.
1. Torie Ueno Hirokoji Branch
At this izakaya, you can enjoy [Yakitori] (grilled chicken skewer). They skewer the chicken through bamboo skewers and cook them over charcoal. It is located in an alley in-between buildings, and you will recognize them by their large sugidama (a traditional ball-shaped decoration made out of cedar leaves) hanging on the eaves of the entrance. For your first order, do try the [Yakitori 7 Stick Set (1,900 JPY)], in which the chef picks out different parts of the chicken for you to try. They also have a considerable selection of small dishes to accompany alcohol. [Pâté no 2-Kind Moriawase (750 JPY)] features the popular [Liver Pâté] and [Sake-kasu iri Raisin Pâté], and goes perfectly with both sake (Japanese alcohol) and wine. Try their [Oyako-don (850 JPY)] - a dish of chicken meat cooked over charcoal, and then cooked with eggs before being placed on a bowl of rice - as a light meal to finish off all that drinking.
Torie Ueno Hirokoji Branch
: [Weekdays] 5:30 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 10:30 pm)
[Saturday] 5:00 pm - 11:30 pm (L.O. 10:30 pm)"Closed
: SundayAverage price
: 6,000 JPYAddress
: 1F, Kurita Bldg., 3-40-8, Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, TokyoMore Details
2. Aburiya Toribeh Ueno Branch
This izakaya is located on the 2nd floor of a building at Ameya-yokocho, a shopping street that is also a popular sightseeing spot in Ueno. They have some private rooms with doors. Their menu features dishes that use well-raised chicken, and includes the [Ganso Daisen-dori to Umami Negi no Sumi-yaki (1,299 JPY plus tax)] (charcoal-grilled Daisen chicken and savory spring onions), [Toriniku Ham no Carpaccio - Kuro Truffle Oil (699 JPY plus tax)] (chicken ham carpaccio with black truffle oil), and [Tori Harami to Negi no Ajillo (899 JPY plus tax)] (meat from the chicken's diaphragm and spring onions that are fried in garlic oil), which uses a rare part of the chicken - one bird only yields about 10g of it! For only 100 JPY, you can indulge in a 30-minute all-you-can-eat of chicken karaage (deep-fried chicken). [Cheese Dak-galbi (999 JPY plus tax per person)], a dish where you dip and coat sweet-spicy fried chicken in melted cheese, is another dish with a deep flavor.
Aburiya Toribeh Ueno Branch
: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am (L.O. 11:00 pm)Closed
: None *Closed on December 31st and January 1stAverage price
: 2,980 JPYAddress
: 2F, Nagafuji Bldg. Annex, 4-9-6, Ueno, Taito-ku, TokyoMore Details
This izakaya proudly features dishes that use Daisen-dori from Tottori Prefecture, which is known to be delicious. Their [Daisen-dori no Sumibi-yaki (680 JPY)] (Daisen-dori cooked over charcoal) allows you to enjoy the real umami (Japanese savory taste) of the meat, as it is cooked very simply, using only salt and pepper as seasonings. To make their exquisite [Jikasei Tsukune Jidorij Tamago wo Soete (580 JPY)] (homemade chicken meatballs with jidori (local chicken) egg), the minced chicken meat is meticulously made into a paste and cooked slowly over charcoal. Their yakitori on bamboo skewers (kushiyaki) are priced from 150 JPY - 170 JPY per skewer. Try their assortment, too! For those who want to have a few drinks of alcohol, why not order the [All-You-Can-Eat Tsugaru Jidori Course (3,240 JPY)] or the [Jidori Tabe-kurabe Course (2,980 JPY)] (jidori tasting course), both of which come with 3 hours of all-you-can-drink service?
Open: 12:00 pm - 12:00 am (L.O. 11:30 pm)
Average price: [Dinner] 2,980 JPY
Address: 4F, Plaza U Bldg., 4-8-6, Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
4. Yamadori HANARE
This is a kushiyaki specialist restaurant. The staff check the quality of the domestic chicken meat that they get everyday while skewering each piece for cooking kushiyaki over charcoal. The chicken they use in the restaurant are raised in a good environment, and come from various prefectures, such as Nagano, Tottori, Chiba, and Kyoto. They use jidori, as well as brand name chicken, from these areas. The kushiyaki, which oozes umami with every bite, are priced from 210 JPY - 390 JPY. The [HANARE no Jikasei Foie Gras Iri Tsukune (250 JPY plus tax)] is the restaurant's pride and joy, consisting of minced chicken mixed with foie gras. The [Tori Kamameshi (1,200 JPY plus tax for 1 person)] is a dish where the rice is cooked with a mixture of seasonal ingredients and chicken. Note that it’s limited to 5 servings per day. You can really taste the jidori's flavor in this exquisite dish. They have ji-zake (Japanese local alcohol), shochu (Japanese alcohol), from around the country, as well as wine. Enjoy yourself in this izakaya's laid-back atmosphere.
Open: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am
Closed: Saturday *Closed December 30 - January 4
Average price: 5,000 JPY
Address: Honey Bldg., 3-38-10, Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Source: hitosara (Japanese)
5. Motsu-be Okachimachi Branch
This izakaya serves regional cuisine from Kyushu. The chicken they serve here comes from Kagoshima Prefecture (southern part of Kyushu), and it’s of the Satsuma Chiran-dori (Satsuma Chiran chicken) variety. This variety of chicken has a strong firmness, and the more you chew on it, the more umami you taste from the chicken. The highly recommended [Chiran-dori Momoyaki (730 JPY plus tax)] (grilled Chiran-dori thigh meat) is cooked all at once by the fire, which blows upwards when chicken oil is poured onto very hot charcoal. Try it with Kyushu shoyu (soy sauce), which is a little bit sweet, and yuzu (citrus fruit) pepper. Another dish in which you can enjoy the umami of chicken is [Chiran Tori-kawa Ponzu (480 JPY plus tax)], where the skin of the chicken is parboiled and dressed with ponzu (citrus-seasoned soy sauce).
Motsu-be Okachimachi Branch
Open: [Weekdays, Saturday] 5:00 pm - 12:00 am (L.O. 11:00 pm)
[Sunday, National Holidays] 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm (L.O. 9:00 pm)
Closed: None *Closed at the beginning and end of the year
Average price: 3,000 JPY
Address: 5-15-15, Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
6. Ueno Ichirin
This izakaya has creative Japanese-style cuisine, and offers private rooms. They have more than 50 types of sake, as well as beer, fruit sake, and wine. A recommended chicken dish here is the [Jidori no Sashimi 2-Kind Moriawase (1,290 JPY)], which is a local delicacy from Kagoshima Prefecture. It goes perfectly with sake. With a crispy outside and a tender center, the [Waka-dori no Karaage (790 JPY)] also represents the deliciousness of chicken. The [Daisen-dori no Tebasaki - Tare or Shio (640 JPY)], with a spicy sauce and refreshing salt on hand, is another dish with deep flavors. Other popular options include the kushiyaki on the regular menu, as well as the [Waka-dori no Teppan Cheese Dak-galbi (1,890 JPY)], where the sweet and spicy fried chicken is eaten by dipping and coating it in melted cheese.
Open: 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 10:30 pm) *If there are no reservations for lunch or late night.
*Open from 12:00 pm - 4:00 am (L.O. 3:30 am) if there is a reservation made by the day before. There may be days when they cannot open."
Closed: None *Closed January 1
Average price: [Dinner] 4,500 JPY / [Lunch] 3,000 JPY
Address: 4F, Gaoh Kuromon Bldg., 2-1-9, Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
7. Chiki-chiki Chicken Ueno Okachimachi Branch
The seating in this izakaya is all in private rooms. There is a touch screen at each table where you place your order, so you can relax when making your decision. Their most well-known dish is, of course, yakitori! There are quite a few courses on offer (from 2,680 JPY plus tax - 4,000 JPY plus tax) that include all-you-can-eat [7-Kind Moriawase] (assortment of 7 types of yakitori) and all-you-can-drink options. A side dish to be recommended is [Tezukuri Tsukune (300 JPY plus tax)], where minced chicken is made into meatballs. The special sweet chili sauce of this dish is sure to whet your appetite. Their [Chicken Nanban (300 JPY plus tax)], where chicken karaage is coated in sweet vinegar and covered in tartar sauce, is a voluminous and satisfying dish. Try their deep-fried chicken wings as well!
Chiki-chiki Chicken Ueno Okachimachi Branch
: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am (L.O. 11:00 pm)Closed
: None *Closed December 31 - January 1Average price
: [Lunch] 2,001 JPYAddress
: 5F, Ueno Nishida Bldg., 4-2-6, Ueno, Taito-ku, TokyoMore Details
8. Toriya Okachimachi Branch
This restaurant specializes in Japanese and creative styles of chicken cuisine. It is owned by the company that produces and sells the branded chicken, Kaori-dori (Kaori chicken), which is used in the dishes here. If you want to enjoy Kaori-dori, have the [Kushiyaki]. The chicken meat that is cooked slowly over charcoal smells great and is full of umami. The most popular one is the smooth [Liver-yaki (180 JPY)], which has a bit of a sweet taste. It is recommended to season it with salt. The wings of the Kaori-dori are unique for having a lot of meat on them. The exquisite [Nagoya-fu Teba-kara (100 JPY)] has a sweet and spicy flavor, making good use of black pepper in its Nagoya-style sauce. Their most famous dish is the [Kaori-dori no Noko Hakudaku Nabe (medium costs 2,960 JPY; large costs 4,440 JPY)] (rich cloudy hot pot of Kaori-dori), which is made by stewing chicken bones for a long time. Their lunch menu is also worth a look, as it has dishes like oyako-don and chicken curry.
Toriya Okachimachi Branch
: [Weekdays] Lunch 11:30 am - 2:30 pm (L.O. 2:00 pm), Dinner 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm (L.O. 10:30 pm)
[Saturday] 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm (L.O. 9:30 pm)Closed
: Sunday, National HolidaysAverage price
: [Dinner] 4,000 JPY / [Lunch] 800 JPYAddress
: B1F, Velco Kuromon Bldg., 3-14-5, Ueno, Taito-ku, TokyoMore Details
9. Tori Michi Sakaba
At this popular izakaya, you can enjoy kushiyaki at a bargain, with a price of 100 JPY each. They do offer some seafood and vegetable dishes, but chicken cuisine completes a large part of the menu. You can also enjoy dishes that use branded chicken, such as Daisen-dori and Kyobeni-jidori (Kyobeni chicken), at reasonable prices. Their [Tori-sashi (590 JPY)], featuring Kyobeni-jidori, has a moderate elasticity and satisfying umami. The meat in the dish is procured on the day, therefore it has a perfect freshness that you can taste. A rare part of Daisen-dori is used in the excellent [Shiro Liver no Aburi-yaki (490 JPY)], which has a sophisticated sweetness and umami. This should be eaten with a bit of salt. Their menu board features [Jiman no Tori Gyoza (5 for 390 JPY)] (fried chicken dumplings), which has chicken meat filling. The [Dashi-Maki Tamago (490 JPY)] (dashi (broth) flavored rolled omelette) has been made with reduced sweetness to help it pair well with alcohol.
Tori Michi Sakaba
: 12:00 pm - 12:00 am (L.O. 11:00 pm)Closed
: NoneAverage price
: 2,000 JPYAddress
: 6-13-5, Higashi Ueno, Taito-ku, TokyoMore Details
10. Yushima Kushi Hon Main Branch
At this izakaya, you can enjoy creative Japanese cuisine that puts an emphasis on yakitori. On weekdays, they are open until 5:00 am, so you can drop by at any time. They have some private rooms with horigotatsu that'll let you stretch your legs, so you can enjoy your meal in comfort. The meat they use here is Daisen-dori from Tottori Prefecture. The recommended dish is [Kushiyaki (200 JPY plus tax - 300 JPY plus tax each)]. For those conscious of calories, try the [Sasami Ipponyaki], which has less fat than other parts of the chicken. They use a whole sasami (tenderloin) for each skewer, so the portion size is generous. Unlike sasami, the [Seseri (230 JPY plus tax)], which is the neck part of the chicken, has a high fat content. This part of the chicken oozes meaty juices with every bite. Make sure to put a lot of negi on top of their special miso sauce when you're eating it!
Yushima Kushi Hon Main Branch
Open: [Weekdays] 5:00 pm - 5:00 am
[Saturday] 5:00 pm - 12:00 am
Closed: Sunday, National Holidays
Average price: 3,500 JPY
Address: 1F, Kurie Yushima, 3-36-8, Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
11. Ueno Tori
This Japanese-style izakaya proudly makes their creative cuisine by cooking them over open flames, using the best quality of charcoal, which is known as "bincho-tan". The chicken they use in their dishes is Miou-dori (Miou chicken), raised in a healthy environment near Mt. Fuji and the Akaishi Mountains. Popular yakitori dishes include [Negima], where they alternate chicken and negi (spring onions) on a skewer, and [Bonjiri] (the tip of the bottom, which is a small and rare part of a chicken). They are priced from 205 JPY - 313 JPY each. If you can't decide which yakitori to order, why not try the [5 Stick Moriawase (1,026 JPY)], where you can taste 5 different yakitori from the menu? The dish that you should definitely try is [Shiro Liver no Ama-kara Nikomi (529 JPY)] (sweet and spicy stewed white liver), which is so soft that it's not unlike foie gras. However, note that this delicacy might be sold out, so you might not get to taste it. To finish off the meal, why not try their [Ueno Tori no Noko Tori Paitan Ramen (745 JPY)]?
Open: [Weekdays, Day before National Holidays] 5:00 pm - 11:30 pm
[Saturday] 4:00 pm - 11:30 pm
[Sunday, National Holidays] 3:00 pm 11:30 pm
Average price: 3,300 JPY
Address: 4-10-5, Ueno, Taito-ku, TokyoMore Details
12. Kyushu Riki
This is an izakaya where you can enjoy ingredients produced in Kyushu. Kyushu is known as the "Kingdom of Animal Husbandry" because this industry prospers there. This izakaya obtains their main ingredients - such as horse meat, beef, and pork - directly from Kyushu. They use Kuro Satsuma-dori (jidori from Kagoshima Prefecture) in their chicken dishes. On top of enjoying the abundance of Kyushu flavors, you can also take advantage of courses that come with a 2-hour all-you-can-drink option (5,000 JPY, 7,000 JPY). If you want to taste the chicken at this izakaya, the [Jidori no Mizutaki] (6,000 JPY) hot pot course is recommended. The chicken meat here is so fresh that you might want to try it raw by ordering the [Super Fresh! Tori-wasa (600 JPY)] or [Tori no Aburi Tataki (730 JPY)] that has a seared surface.
Open: [Weekdays] Lunch 11:40 am - 2:00 pm (L.O. 1:30 pm), Dinner 5:00 pm - 11:30 pm (L.O. 10:30 pm)
[Saturday] Dinner 5:00 pm - 11:30 pm (L.O. 10:30 pm)"
Average price: [Dinner] 3,500 JPY
Address: 2F, 3-19-1, Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Source: hitosara (Japanese)
Ueno also has many sightseeing spots. Please use this list to find a place to have a drink in after seeing the sights!
Disclaimer: All information is accurate at time of publication.