Izakaya is a haven for people who want to enjoy a few drinks after a hard day at work. You can even say that going to an izakaya is a part of Japanese culture, and if you are living in Japan, it’s almost impossible not to be invited to one of them by your friends. Each izakaya have their own specialty dishes, and some of them have a wide variety of drinks like wine, sake, and shochu both local and abroad.
Harajuku is a hub of activities, and the nightlife always brings out unexpected surprises. Contrary to popular beliefs, you can visit an izakaya even when you are alone. There are times when you even meet new friends when you visit these places. Nothing beats having a good time with a few drinking buddies, so make sure to take them to these 10 izakayas in Harajuku for a great time.
1. TRUNK KUSHI
TRUNK KUSHI is an izakaya stationed at the TRUNK Hotel that is located between Harajuku and Shibuya. They serve delicious grilled skewers (yakitori) that are a favorite staple food for people of all ages. An ingenious design of the hotel allows their foreign guests to enjoy a bit of the Japanese culture in a venue where they can go without straying too far from their accommodation. Aside from grilled skewers, they also offer other options like stir-fried noodles and vegetable salads. Beers and other alcoholic beverages are also available.
Address: 5-31 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Website: https://trunk-hotel.com/kushi/ (Japanese Only)
2. Kazusa Shinkichi (上総屋 眞吉)
Kazusa Shinkichi is a place to enjoy fresh seafood delicacies. There are plenty of dishes to choose from and it would be better if you bring some of your friends with you. They also have crab meat croquettes that are accompanied by a special sauce. This dish is one of their highly recommended items on their menu. Whether you like your fish simmered, fried, grilled or cut in sashimi slices, you can enjoy them all here at Kazusa Shinkichi.
Address: 2-19-16, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Website: https://www.shinkichisan.com/locations-harajyuku/ (Japanese Only)
3. Harajuku Gyozaro (原宿餃子楼)
Harajuku Gyozaro is all about gyoza. When you get there, you only have two options, steamed or fried and prepare to queue because this place is very popular. The other reason why people prefer to dine here is that it is reasonably priced. You can literally fill yourself up without worrying too much about your budget. With all the hustle and bustle of Harajuku, a place like this is a welcome treat for those who love to eat gyoza.
Address: 6-2-4, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
4. Kunsei Izakaya Maruho (燻製居酒屋まるほ)
Kunsei Izakaya Maruho offers something that you don’t actually eat every day, and that is none other than “smoked dishes.” Here you’ll find home-made specialties like smoked potato salad followed by smoked cheese, cod roe, mackerel, and tuna. These dishes are also best accompanied by strong drinks like shochu and sake to balance out the flavor. If you want to experience a feast of smoked delicacies, head straight to Kunsei Izakaya Maruho for an eye-opening experience.
Address: Tobita Bldg B1F, 3-21-21 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Website: http://www.nikaido-shuzo.co.jp/shop/maruho/index.html (Japanese Only)
5. Hattori (はっとり)
Hattori is a small restaurant located at an intersection of Harajuku and Omotesando. Their seafood specialties are fresh and delicious Hachijojima, an island in Tokyo, cuisine. Their menu has a good variety, you can play safe and order tempura and sushi, or let go of your inhibitions and order something you’re not familiar with like flying fish sashimi. Regardless of what you order, everything is delicious and you won’t regret going here for lunch or dinner.
Address: Hatsukadokan 4F, 6-4-1 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
6. Usagi (うさぎ)
Usagi is one of the places in Harajuku that serve Okonomiyaki and Monjya-yaki. They specialize in Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, so there are a few interesting items on their menu. You can order your favorite combinations like meat and cabbage, fried noodles, seafood yakisoba, or udon.
Address: Okura Building 1F, 1-22-1 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
7. Negibouzu (ねぎぼうず)
Negibouzu is one of those few izakayas who like to add something unique on their menu. Aside from the classic izakaya dishes that you may be familiar with like yakitori and sashimi, they went out of their way to bring the egg family into the mix. You can expect combinations like the fluffy red tomato omelet (with lots of tomatoes), negi (green onion) omelet, wasabi omelet, Akashi-style octopus omelet and many more omelet combinations that you had never heard of before. For those who love omelet, this is perhaps the izakaya that they can’t afford to miss.
Address: B1F, 3-20-21 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
8. Nagomi Gyoza (和味餃子)
Nagomi Gyoza is one of the hidden gems of Harajuku when it comes to gyoza. This is the place where everyone who loves to eat gyoza must visit at least once. It is a tiny restaurant that can only seat 5 people, but you can be sure that people are willing to queue just to enjoy what this restaurant has to offer. The major 3 items on their menu are katsuo (bonito) dashi dumplings and spicy miso yuzu dumplings, each boiled or fried, and dumplings in soup. You can order them separately or a combination of both. They have other side dish menus, too. The taste is enough to make you come for a second visit and chances are, you’re bringing someone with you as well.
Address: Harajuku ATM bldg., B1F, 1-21-15 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Website: http://dagashiya.jp/harajuku-nagomigyoza/ (Japanese Only)
9. Kushisuke (串助)
Kushisuke is an izakaya where you can appreciate the great things from small places. This small restaurant is famed for its yakitori (grilled chicken skewers) that is reasonably priced and very tasty. In fact, everything here is delicious and affordable that getting a seat during peak hours is a challenge in itself. Make sure to try their salted chicken wings and be surprised at its delectable taste.
Address: 3-24-3 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
10. Yakitori Fujimaki (焼き鳥 藤巻)
Yakitori Fujimaki is an izakaya where tourists and locals sit side by side and enjoy their delicious grilled skewers together. This is a very popular yakitori restaurant in the area, so expect it to be filled even if it’s not during peak hours. They have an English menu where you can pick your favorite grilled skewers and drinks to accompany them. Go ahead and try their vegetable skewers and bacon wrapped asparagus for a different kind of flavor.
Address: 1-14-2 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Data is as of June 2019
Thumbnail is from Flickr