From traditional tastes to the tastes of the people! 16 local gourmet dishes in the Kanto (Greater Tokyo) area

The Kanto region is centered around Tokyo, where you can enjoy tastes from all over Japan, and consists of the 7 prefectures of Tokyo, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Kanagawa, and Yamanashi. Edo-mae sushi and tempura are famous all over the country, but there are many local gourmet dishes that you can enjoy in a more lighthearted and fulfilling way. ANA carried out a project in collaboration with “Tastes of JAPAN by ANA,” which works to discover the most charming locations all over the country, and Trip Advisor, to introduce some of the most popular restaurants in Kanto based upon customer reviews.

Tastes of JAPAN by ANA -Explore the Regions-

“Tastes of JAPAN by ANA-Explore the Regions-” is a regional vitalization project that collaborates with the different prefectures in Japan to present the Land of the Rising Sun in all of its diverse glory. From December 2019 to May 2020, a special feature of the Kanto area will be introduced on ANA in-flight and lounge. Prior to that, since September 2019, we have been introducing attractive sightseeing information in the Kanto area, click it out here!

Popular local gourmet spots in Tokyo


Monjayaki is made by mixing cabbage and other ingredients with flour lightly dissolved in dashi (stock) and then fried. It’s similar to okonomiyaki, but it is eaten while the batter is still moist and glutinous. It can be eaten with various toppings, including mentaiko (salted cod roe spiced with hot red pepper), cheese, and baby star ramen. It is a local cuisine that was born out of a downtown candy shop.

Tsukishima Monja Street (Chuo)

This is a mecca for Monja with more than 50 specialty stores on a street of about 500m. You need to try and compare the sauces and toppings at each store. The mentai mochi cheese and tuna curry are classics, and there are also unique flavors like cream sauce and pepperoncino.

Photo by TripAdvisor member

Photo by TripAdvisor member

This street surprised me. I guess I was expecting a dark, ancient and somewhat rustic and noisy laneway with small eateries. Dont know why. But it is actually quite and quaint with lovely street lights. Lots of small restaurants serving Monjayaki. Choose carefully, as most seemed to allow smoking (something we struggled with in Tokyo with small children). Our hosts did not speak english – but no problems with a little sign-language. They were only too happy to help us figure out what we were supposed to do, and most encouraging with the kids who helped cook. We were really glad to make the effort to visit this small and sometimes overlooked area of Tokyo.reviewed by steve j

Dozeu refers to pond loach that has a slithery style of swimming. It has been popular around Asakusa as a highly nutritious food for regular people since the Edo period, when marine products were highly valued. Dozeu nabe is made by immersing the loach in sake and boiling it in a sauce. Yanagawa nabe is made by pouring whisked eggs into dozeu nabe.

Komagata Dozeu Asakusa Honten (Taito)

This is a long-established store that has upheld the tastes of Edo for more than 200 years. The loach is dunked in sake, boiled in a sweet miso and astringent sauce, and then topped with plenty of spring onions. The texture of the loach, which has soaked up the flavors, is fluffy and even the bones are soft enough to eat. It is rich in calcium and will give you a lot of stamina!

Photo by TripAdvisor member

Photo by TripAdvisor member

My brother and I came in pretty late, like 8:15pm, and the greeter told us there was no more western seating which we were so excited to not have! We sat on the floor in traditional style and asked what they recommend. We ended up with our own hibachi and a hot pot style cooking of mini eels. They were delish and the whole experience is one I’ll never forget!kreviewed by alyxxm

Popular local gourmet spots in Ibaraki

Dobu jiru (Anko hot pot)

In winter, high quality anko (goosefish) are caught in Ibaraki Prefecture. It is said that other than the bones no other part of this fish is thrown away and anko nabe (anko hot pot) is made by boiling the meat, skin, and offal with vegetables and soup. Dobu jiru is a hot pot cooked without water, using only anko liver and the moisture contained within the vegetables. It has a strong and unique flavour that is somewhat on an acquired taste.

Ajidokoro Omori (Oarai)

This restaurant is highly rated for its anko dishes served between October and March. The anko hot pot stewed with miso and dashi has such a condensed, delicious flavor that it makes you want to drink every last drop of the soup. For the dobu jiru, which requires a reservation, you can choose the diluted dashi, for first timers, or the more intense version with no dashi for more experienced patrons. The kaiseki (a set menu of selected food served in order), which includes ankimo (dish made with monkfish liver) with ponzu (juice pressed from a bitter orange) and kara age style fried anko are also popular.

Photo by TripAdvisor member

Photo by TripAdvisor member

(I had no idea such a delicious hot pot existed. Apparently, it was originally a fisherman’s dish, but I highly recommend it to anyone who once to fully appreciate the taste of anko. It is a luxury item that costs over 3000 yen, but it is worth it. I think that the zosui (seasoned rice-porridge with vegetables, fish, and other ingredients) eaten as the final dish of all kinds of hot pots are all delicious, but this hot pot’s zosui is particularly delicious and might be even better than the hot pot itself.)reviewed by pipeman2014
Hitachi Aki Soba

Northern Ibaraki Prefecture has been known as a place for soba since the Edo period. Amongst the soba served there, Hitachi Aki Soba is a brand that is known as the pinnacle of gen soba. Using the highest quality ingredients, these soba noodles have a fragrant taste and plump texture. It is also used in famous soba stores throughout the country.

Sobaen Satake (Hitachiota)

This restaurant prides itself on its Hitachi Aki soba made from in-house milled soba (buckwheat) flour. As soon as it enters your mouth the sweet flavor and the rich fragrance expands right to the back of your nose. The thickness of the noodles is varied like a lot of countryside soba. The rich texture of the noodles wrapped in soup is delicious. It’s highly recommended you try the tempura made using seasonal wild plants and homegrown vegetables.

Photo by TripAdvisor member

Photo by TripAdvisor member

(It seems the owner looks over the entire store and gives instructions, so the customer service is top-notch. Until now, I have visited only highly regarded and famous stores in Hitachi-Ota City and for me, in terms of taste, cost performance, customer service, store atmosphere, location, parking, etc., I think that this restaurant is fantastic and is the best overall.)reviewed by maxmaxtom

Popular local gourmet spots in Tochigi

Utsunomiya gyoza

Utsunomiya City is frequently able to proudly boast as being one of the highest consumers of gyoza in Japan and is known as a gyoza town. A feature of Utsunomiya gyoza is that it contains a lot of leek and cabbage and the authentic local way to eat them is with a sauce mixed with a lot of vinegar. Regulars are said to always order yakigyoza by saying just “yaki”, suigyoza by saying “sui” and agegyoza by saying “age”

Masashi Miyajimacho Honten (Utshunomiya)

This restaurant has been dedicated to gyoza for 50 years. The iron pan grilled gyoza achieve a superb collaboration of tender, thin top skin and a crisp grilled bottom layer. The crunchy crispness of the filling using plenty of vegetables is irresistible. It’s best enjoyed with the water dumplings floating in soup. Of course, take-out is also available.

Photo by TripAdvisor member

Photo by TripAdvisor member

If you want an authentic Japanese experience, check this place out! It is an easy walk from the train station and one street off the main road leaving the train station…. google maps will take you right there. The menu is simple…. steamed or pan fried gyoza . I recommend one of each. The price is very reasonable but be prepared to wait. There are only 10 or so seats around the counter but the wait is fun and very much worth itreviewed by bbgallag
Sano Ramen

Sano City is a ramen paradise with more than 100 ramen shops crowded into it. Sano ramen is characterized by a noodle making method in which dough using high-quality water and wheat is stretched using bamboo. The soup is soy sauce based and each store has their own original flavours, such as salt and miso. You can’t overlook the emergence of creative taste innovations.

Ramen Yamato (Sano)

A discerning shop that offers home-made noodles made using the traditional bamboo stretching method. The hiramen (flat noodles) made with a blend of three types of flour are firm, and smooth. It is perfectly complimented by the special soy sauce based clear soup. The stewed chashu (roast pork) that melts in your mouth is also superb.

Photo by TripAdvisor member

Photo by TripAdvisor member

When my Japanese friend found out that I was heading to Sano, she told me that “Sano ramen is famous, remember to try it!”

There are actually plenty of ramen places in Sano, but I came here as it was recommended by the man at my hotel front desk. Apparently the allure of Sano ramen lies in the hand-pounded noodles and the special water used to make them. Indeed the noodles were springy and delicious. They were served in a delicate broth with a generous helping of bamboo shoots and pork slices. I was surprised by how large the portion sizes were — my mother and I found that we ordered too much.

But one thing we absolutely didn’t regret ordering was the intriguing “”soya sauce ice cream”” (one generous scoop for 200yen). It reminded us of salted caramel ice cream, but better because it didn’t have the cloying taste that sometimes accompanies caramel flavour. Two thumbs up!reviewed by choralmelody

Popular local gourmet spots in Gunma

Mizusawa Udon

Mizusawa udon is a special product cuisine found around Shibukawa Ikaho Onsen, a renowned hot spring. Its roots stem from udon noodles that were served to worshippers of Mizusawa temple. The udon, made with pure water that springs from a marsh, is so white that it is almost transparent. They are slightly thick and firm and mainly served with soy sauce and sesame sauce.

Tamaruya (Shibukawa)

This is a famous restaurant for Mizusawa udon, founded in 1582 (Tensho 10), the same year as the Honnoji Incident. The 100% udon finished with Mizusawa water and natural salt has a fresh texture that goes down well. It is recommended that you try both the soy sauce and sesame sauce. They also sell raw udon that can be cooked at home, which is a great souvenir.

Photo by TripAdvisor member

Photo by TripAdvisor member

Like most visitors to the Misusawa Kannon, it wouldn’t be complete without a good udon meal which is famous in this area. We picked Tamaru-ya located like 50m before the flight of stairs leading to the temple. It was during the praying festive so the restaurant was packed but fortunately without reservation, the wait was less than 10mins. We had to write our names (using Japanese) on a waiting list so I am not sure if they recognise English but I think ordering wouldn’t be a problem for non-japanese speakers as they do have pictures of most dishes in menu.

The soup udon was unique and the sauce (to choose between two) for the udon served cold was special. The udon were kind of springy with good volume if that’s what you like. Also try the omelette (tamago yaki) which is nicely grilled and sweet and I think the fungi tempura is a specialty of the prefecture. The seating was tatami style and several interesting decorations inside the restaurant.reviewed by GaryY633

Toge no kamameshi

Kamameshi (a small pot of rice cooked with vegetables and chicken or seafood, and served hot individually) started as ekiben (boxed lunches sold at train stations) sold at Shinetsuhonsen Yokokawa Station. Vendors sold freshly cooked hot food by hand from the station platform to the train passengers when the train stopped. The deliciousness of Toge no kamamashi has attracted a lot of attention, and now boasts to have a national reputation as a gourmet representative of Gunma Prefecture.

Togeno Kamameshi Oginoya Yokokawa (Annaka)

This shop has been selling Toge no kamameshi since 1958, with a stated desire to provide a “warm and local lunch box”. More than 10 kinds of ingredients, including chicken, shiitake mushrooms, chestnuts and apricots are scattered throughout the boxed lunch like jewels. The container is Mashiko-yaki (Mashiko ware), and you can use it as an earthen pot to cook about 1 go (3⁄4 metric cups) of rice.

Photo by TripAdvisor member

Photo by TripAdvisor member

(Toge no kamameshi, that so many people know today, was born 60 years ago. While eating kamamesi, which has retained the same taste for many years, I realized that this restaurant has continued running since it was established 130 years ago. There is a collection stand for containers, showing that it has moved with the times and incorporated recycling and reuse. I hope that kamameshi continues into the future.)reviewed by yu-chann88

Popular local gourmet spots in Saitama

Buta miso don

Buta (pork) miso don consists of pork marinated in miso, meticulously fried and topped on rice. It is said that its roots stem from hunters in the Chichibu region preserving wild boar meat by applying miso to it. The firmness of the meat, which is different to that of gyudon (beef bowl), and the taste of the savory sauce is addictive.

Nosaka (Chichibu)

This is the shop where buta miso don originated. The pork is prepared with a homemade miso sauce and is complemented perfectly by white rice cooked with Chichibu water, which achieves a beautiful harmony. The meat grilled on the charcoal fire is juicy with the fat dripping to perfection. You can choose between normal, medium, and the special size depending on your level of hunger.

Photo by TripAdvisor member

Photo by TripAdvisor member

(Even the normal size I ordered was quite a large serving and the large size my husband ordered was overflowing with miso fried pork. There was a line for this donburi restaurant but we were served quicker than expected and the food was delicious.)reviewed by VEGA0305
Fry, Zeri fry

In Gyoda City, “furai” (“fry,” or fried food) doesn’t refer to regular fried food, but okonomiyaki-style dishes made by baking ingredients mixed into flour dissolved in water. Similarly, “Zeri fry” doesn’t refer to standard jelly, but to a dish made by deep frying kneaded potatoes or okara (soy pulp, a byproduct of tofu-making) without flour into a type of croquette without an outside layer. Both are homemade dishes with a history of around 100 years.

Kanetsukido (Gyoda)

Fried foods were a favorite snack for joko (female craftsmen) in the early Showa period, due to their filling nature. The Zeri fry in this picture are fried and covered in sauce, with a moist outside and creamy inside. Even if you are eating it for the first time, it gives you a strange sense of nostalgia.

Photo by TripAdvisor member

Photo by TripAdvisor member

Jelly fries are croquettes made from okara. The fry is like an okonomiyaki with no simple ingredients. Both are cheap and delicious but aren’t quite enough to make a full meal.reviewed by taro2015

Popular local gourmet spots in Chiba

Katsuura Tantanmen

An original ramen from Katsuura City that was devised to warm the bodies of fisherman who had been chilled to the bone by their work at sea. What makes it different from general tantanamen is that generous amounts of rayu (chili oil) is added to the soup instead of sesame paste. The added ingredients are generally onion and minced meat, and there are shops that add leek and garlic.

Ezawa (Katsuura)

This shop was founded in 1954 and is where katsuura tantanmen originated. The soy sauce based soup made with homemade chili oil has a superb taste with a richness that flows out from its spicy flavor. You can choose your level of spice all the way up until “very spicy”, but it’s best not to overdo it on your first try. If you drink the soup completely, the word “maido” (thank you) appears at the bottom of the bowl.

Photo by TripAdvisor member

Photo by TripAdvisor member

(I went into this restaurant not knowing how spicy it was, but I like spicy food, so I ordered quite spicy and it was too much for me. If you are a first-timer, you should order the regular level of spice. It was not only spicy, but the taste was very good.)reviewed by minnie1425

When it comes to a highlight of visiting Naritasan temple, eel dishes are at the top of the list. There are many specialty shops along the sando (the approach to the temple), and delicious smelling smoke from grilling rises from the storefronts and whets the appetite. You can enjoy the freshly grilled, plump meat coated with a generous serving of secret sauce. The honesenbei (fish bone crackers) and kimosui (soup with eel liver) are also a must try.

Kawatoyo Honten (Narita)

This restaurant is particular about “slicing eel fresh, steaming them fresh and grilling them fresh” on site. The connoisseur craftsman uses the finest ingredients to which he adds a mildly sweet sauce that has been passed down since the restaurant’s founding. The Unaju special, which uses 1.5 tail portions of fluffy grilled eel is a highly sought-after dish.

Photo by TripAdvisor member

Photo by TripAdvisor member

This place is actually filled with locals so I guess it’s pretty popular. The fish is prepared right outside the store and it’s pretty interesting to see how they take the fish apart. The sauce on the fish and rice isn’t too salty hence you can still taste the flavour of the fish. The multi-level building also looks quite nostalgic. Definitely recommend!reviewed by phychem

Popular local gourmet spots in Kanagawa

Shirasu don

If one thinks of Shonan’s specialty, one usually thinks of shirasu (sardine whitebait), which is caught in Sagami Bay between spring and autumn. You can enjoy the freshness of just caught fresh shirasu or enjoy the richness of boiled shirasu simmered in a large pot. Please note that fresh shirasu will not be available between January and March, when it is illegal to fish for them, or when the sea is rough.

Tobiccho Honten (Fujisawa)

This is a popular store in Enoshima, symbol of Fujisawa. In addition to the classic kamaage shirasu (iron pot boiled shirasu) and raw shirasu don, you can enjoy a lot of shirasu dishes such as the half-and-half raw and kamaage “double don”, and the shirasu kakiage don, with its massive kakiage (deep-fried mixture of vegetable chips and fish). The tatamiwashi (dried shirasu flattened like a sheet) is also recommended!

Photo by TripAdvisor member

Photo by TripAdvisor member

This restaurant specializes in shirasu (whitebait) dons mixed with other seafood, which we thought were both delicious and reasonably priced considering the large serving. We arrived about an hour before it closed and were seated immediately; they had run out of shirasu sashimi by this time though so we had to opt for the boiled shirasu instead, which were still tasty.Right below the restaurant they also sell other foods with shirasu such as croquets, senbei, dried snacks, etc which is also worth checking out as a quick bite to eat or souvenirs. (We absolutely loved the shirasu cheese balls they sold here!)reviewed by viviandarlin

Yokohama is a port town brimming with an international atmosphere. While you can enjoy food from various countries, Chuka man (Chinese buns) are popular because they can be easily eaten while walking around. Beginning from the classic pork filling, you can try other fillings such as shark fin, shrimp chili and black sesame. Refrigerated souvenir chuka man are also a must buy.

Yokohama Chinatown (Yokohama)

Chinatown, Yokohama is a gourmet spot in Kanagawa. There are many richly colored Chinese restaurants steaming nikuman (meat buns) at the storefront. Try to find your favorite while strolling and eating. If you ask Yokohama locals which store has the best nikuman you can’t stop them talking.

Photo by TripAdvisor member

hoto by TripAdvisor member

Fun and vibrant place that is full of life and colour. Rarely quiet this bustling centre of all things Chinese in Japan is a must see. A huge variety of shops and eateries selling delicious food at every step of the way.reviewed by Andrew K

Popular local gourmet spots in Yamanashi


This is a local dish from Yamanashi Prefecture that was loved by the eminent daimyo, Takeda Shingen. It is different to udon in that the stretched wheat noodles are immediately simmered in a pot without allowing them to sit. The nikuzure noodles (where, during cooking, the shape of the ingredients breaks down slightly) are mixed with miso sauce, and the unique thickened texture warms the body to the core. The added ingredients are mainly vegetables.

Houtou Fudou, Higashikoiji (Fujikawaguchiko)

This is a thriving store that has opened several stores around Lake Kawaguchi. The wide and firm homemade noodles are a perfect match for the rich special miso soup. It uses plenty of healthy ingredients such as pumpkins, mushrooms and wild plants. Add their secret condiment to get twice the flavor!

Photo by TripAdvisor member

Photo by TripAdvisor member

This restaurant has a distinctive architectural design which resembles a large cave. As a result, the acoustics has presented some problem with noises bouncing around. The signature dish is veggie noodles served in a large metal pot. The taste is quite nice. We also ordered horse meat and chicken giblets. Overall, the service is acceptable.reviewed by Hui W

This is a “B class gourmet” from Yamanashi Prefecture, which simmers chicken gizzards, hearts, liver, and kinkan (unlaid eggs) in a high heat. The chicken gizzards are coated in a syrupy sauce made by blowing off the moisture, which tightly condenses the flavor. If you use it as a snack while drinken sake, be careful not to get too carried away and drink too much.

Okuto Honten Kofu Ekimae (Kofu)

Torimotsuni was invented here around 1950, shortly after the war. The secret is to sauté the chicken with sugar and soy sauce and then finish it with a high heat while shaking the pan quickly. The crunchy texture of the gizzard, the moist texture of the liver, and the crisp texture of the kinkan creates a perfect harmony in your mouth.

Photo by TripAdvisor member

Photo by TripAdvisor member

Torimotsu, a chicken inner dish seasoned by soya and sugar is popular and awarded top rank in ‘B class gourmet’ contest in Japan. Class B means a daily humble dish still delicious. A line of visitors is seen on weekends.reviewed by riviere51

From seafood that evokes deliciousness just from their photos, to mountain culinary treasures and unique dishes that can only be understood once you start eating them. The Kanto area is full of diverse local foods. Why not take a trip and enjoy the authentic menu with your eyes and taste buds♪

Tastes of JAPAN by ANA -Explore the Regions-

“Tastes of JAPAN by ANA-Explore the Regions-” is a regional vitalization project that collaborates with the different prefectures in Japan to present the Land of the Rising Sun in all of its diverse glory. From December 2019 to May 2020, a special feature of the Kanto area will be introduced on ANA in-flight and lounge. Prior to that, since September 2019, we have been introducing attractive sightseeing information in the Kanto area, click it out here!