Typically, yokocho are ramshackle streets packed with small bars and eateries. Tokyo’s most popular ones are Nonbei Yokocho in Shibuya, Omoide Yokocho in Shinjuku, but yokocho have also been a popular theme for some of the city’s new developments. From this relatively new space in Shin-Okubo serving Korean cuisine to this retro food alley in Yoyogi.
The latest addition to the lineup of new yokocho in Tokyo is Kotora Komichi in Toranomon. Located in the basement of the Urban Toranomon office building, the 430sqm space is home to 12 new eateries.
The yokocho is decorated with elements resembling traditional Japanese festivals – think colourful parasols, lanterns and pinwheels – to create a nostalgic and relaxing atmosphere in the usually straight-laced business district.
There is no cover charge to enter, and prices for beer and highballs are the same at all 12 restaurants. To get an idea of what food and drink you can enjoy at Kotora Yokocho, check our four picks below.
When dropping by Okinawan restaurant Churayoi Shangri-la, opt for some homemade oden and a refreshing Shikwasa Sour. The drink is made with plenty of frozen shikwasa, also known as citrus depressa, a tart green citrus fruit native to Okinawa.
This yakiniku restaurant is originally from Sendai in Miyagi prefecture and serves thinly-sliced beef tongue yakiniku. That might not sound delicious, but the barbecued beef tongue is a local speciality of Sendai.
Take a seat at the counter and enjoy the oddly-named Japanese dish jingisukan, where slices of mutton and vegetables are grilled on a slotted dome-shaped cast iron grill right in front of you. Particularly popular in Hokkaido, the name of the dish is the Japanese pronunciation of the name of Mongol emperor Genghis Khan.
This izakaya specialises in seafood and all of its fish and shellfish are caught fresh each morning in the coastal town of Manazuru in Kanagawa prefecture. To provide the freshest seafood available, the eatery teams up with the local fishery and ama (female divers who collect shells) associations. You can look forward to sashimi and a variety of grilled dishes. Pair your meal with the shop’s signature sour that’s made with Manazuru citrus fruits like lemons and oranges.
Kotora Yokocho runs a special Noodle Yokocho promotion every day at 12noon, with all 12 stores providing different noodle dishes during lunchtime.
For more information, see Kotora Yokocho’s official website.
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