The word Izakaya is coined from the word “I” (which means to stay) and “sakaya” which means (Sake shop). They are the Japanese counterpart for taverns and pubs from the west. Today, you’ll often find salaryman (working people in Japan) in these places, usually after working hours, on which they get a casual drink before going home after work.
Of course, Izakaya establishments also serve food. After your order, you’ll be given wet hand towels to help you wipe your hands. This has been an age-old custom in Japan, and it has been carried over through the years. In order to fully enjoy the experience, it is HIGHLY recommended to invite a group of friends, co-workers or acquaintances to make the mood more lively.
Here are some of the best Izakaya establishments in Ginza where you can enjoy good food, good drinks, and good company!
1. Ginza Ippashi (銀座いっぱし)
Ginza Ippashi is a great place to visit with friends and acquaintances. If you are planning to stay for a long time at Ginza Ippashi, it would be best to get the ¥2,000 all you can drink course for 2 hours. (all-you-can-drink is available with food course menus) If you are worried about getting rowdy, there are private rooms that are available for groups of people.
Address: 8-4-9 Ginza Chuo Tokyo
2. Ginza Shimada (銀座しまだ)
Ginza Shimada is a standing type Izakaya with no seats. The head chef of this Izakaya establishment trained in 5-star hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants, so you can be assured that the food and service are exceptional.
Address: 8-2-8 Ginza Chuo Tokyo
3. Kakoumiogi (佳肴みを木)
It would be best to get a reservation before you go to Kakoumiogi. Kakoumiogi is a very popular Izakaya establishment in Ginza, so it takes a bit of effort to visit this place. They have a wide selection of sake, and the food has a lot of variety as well. Definitely, a great place to enjoy a drink with friends.
Address: 2-2-4 Ginza Chuo Tokyo
4. Wine Kaiseki Ginza Hayashiya (ワイン懐石 銀座 囃shiya)
This is a small Izakaya that is found in Ginza. Aside from the sake drinks, this place is also well known for its hashed rice or Hayashi rice (ハヤシライス). The vegetables are also served fresh, and there is that crispy texture every time you take a bite. They also have a wide variety of wines produced in Japan.
Address: 3-8-13 Ginza Chuo Tokyo
5. Umakabai (馬かばい！)
Umakabai is just a few minutes walk from the Ginza Subway Station. What makes Umakabai unique from the other Izakaya’s is that it serves “Horse Meat Cuisines”. Surprisingly, their horse sashimi is very popular with the locals, and if you want to try something different and unique, it would be best to give this place a visit!
Address: 2-1-1 Yurakucho Chiyoda Tokyo
6. Tsukukichi (魚がし料理佃喜知)
Tsukukichi has been open since 1945, and they specialize in serving seafood cuisines. The taste of the food is quite exceptional, which is the reason why this establishment is very popular with the locals.
Address: 6-3-5, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Daini Sowaredo Building 3F
7. Shuseki Isami (酒席銀座いさみ)
Shuseki Isami has a wide selection of sake, beers, and syochu which goes well with their superb seafood and vegetable dishes. These are all purchased from the Tsukiji market on an everyday basis, so you are guaranteed to get the freshest and best ingredients for your Izakaya dining and drinking experience.
Address: 8-10-15 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
8. Hanadaikon (花大根)
Hanadaikon is an Izakaya that serve authentic Soba noodle dishes at lunch time. Their specialty are Kuroge Wagyu beef, Shabu-Shabu and Sukiyaki that is bound to satisfy your food cravings.
Address: Ginza Takahashi building B1F, 6-7-4, Ginza, Chuo-ku
9. Ginza Wanosho (銀座 和乃匠)
When you enter Ginza Wanosho, you’ll hear a soothing jazz music in the background. This creates a relaxing atmosphere which helps you unwind and enjoy the food and drinks that are served in this Izakaya. They specialize in serving seafood dishes, particularly fish that is broiled to perfection.
Address: 7 Chome-5-10 Ginza Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Website: http://www.wise-core.com/ginza-wanoshou/index.html (Japanese Only)
10. Ginza Sasahana (ささ花)
You’re going to enjoy authentic Japanese delicacies accompanied by a wide variety of beverages that came from all over the country. The bright interior design made with elegant bamboo furnishing creates an elegant yet relaxing atmosphere. The staffs are very friendly and often gives out advice, on which drink is the best accompaniment to your food.
Address: 1 Chome-4-9 Ginza Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Restaurant Data is as of November 2016
Thumbnail image is from Flickr