Tokyo’s Newest Yokocho Alleys: The Best Izakaya Bar Hopping
Opening on February 20th, 2020, Hibikoji (日ゞ小路) is a “neo-yokocho” in the Hibiya Kokusai Building and is inspired by the many yokochos in Japan, such as Shinjuku Golden Gai and Omoide Yokocho.
It features several izakayas where you can enjoy gourmet Kyushu cuisines such as yakitori, okonomiyaki, gyoza, and seafood, accompanied by local sake and an authentic food stall atmosphere. It’s close to the sightseeing spots of Ginza and Hibiya Park and is affordable enough that you can hop between a few eateries during your visit.
What is Hibikoji ”日ゞ小路” ?
Hibikoji is divided into two areas - Shitamachi (下町) and Kyushu (九州) .
The former trans-lates as “downtown” and includes an izakaya and two restaurants while the latter features seven stores where you can taste dishes from the Kyushu area.
It’s de-signed as a barhopping destination, with the option to walk while eating from a variety of stores or settle in for a drink at one. Lunches cost around 800 yen at each store, making Hibikoji an affordable place to dine.
Nine out of the ten stores featured are appearing in Tokyo for the first time, so you’re guaranteed a new culinary experience that you won’t find elsewhere in the city.
― Kyushu area “九州エリア”
Parlor Jarinko “パーラーじゃりンこ“
Jarinko Mori "じゃりンこ盛り" (500 yen)
Hamaguri no Tsukamidori "ハマグリのつかみ取り" (880 yen)
They are specializing in seafood, this if the first Parlor Jarinko store to open in Tokyo, with its motto being "fresh and cheap"!
The fish is sourced direct from Kagoshima, with highlights on the menu being the Jarinko Mori "じゃりンこ盛り" (500 yen), which features five different kinds of sashimi, and Hamaguri no Tsukamidori "ハマグリのつかみ取り" (880 yen), their clam specialty.
You can catch the clams yourself before having them cooked by Parlor Jarinko's expert chefs.
Shokudo Tsutsumu “食堂つつむ“
This cafeteria has a nostalgic ambiance and specializes in homemade meats and horse mackerel. Don’t miss the opportunity to try their Kurobuta Gyoza "黒豚餃子" (480 yen), a black pork dumpling that’s served with a delicious dipping sauce.
Kurobuta Gyoza "黒豚餃子" (480 yen)
There are around 20 seats in the cozy dining room, with 10 situated at the coun-ter where you can watch their chefs in action.
This standing bar is another “first” for Tokyo’s dining scene and has rapidly become popular with local women. One of their most enticing menu items is the Mentaiko (seasoned cod roe) and Cheese Ajillo "明太子とチーズのアヒージョ" (490 yen), a spicy cod roe dish that is served with a soft baguette to soak up the flavors.
If you are looking for more affordable yet good food, then smoked mackerel “鯖スモーク” (190 yen) is highly recommended.
Smoked mackerel “鯖スモーク” (190 yen)
The social atmosphere of HAKATA ME-GUSTA makes it ideal for meeting peo-ple, and a different sake from Fukuoka is featured each month.
If you’re after authentic shochu and cuisine from Kagoshima, we recommend heading to TAGIRUBA to try their Chaburi no Sashimi "茶ぶりの刺身" (700 yen). Chaburi is a Kagoshima brand of yellowtail that’s fed tea to give it a unique flavor.
There are also around 40 different types of shochu available, including Original Craft Shōchū (Japanese traditional hard liquor) .
Chaburi no Sashimi "茶ぶりの刺身" (700 yen)
If you prefer to eat a large meal, you can dine at Satsuma Butasakaba Hachi, which specializes in Chamiton pork from Kagoshima. Their Atsugiri Rosu Katsu (“thick-sliced pork loin cutlet”) is a filling option and costs 1,200 yen.
Once you’re full, grab a drink at Seishun Jidai "青春時代" to enjoy the retro Japanese at-mosphere while singing karaoke with the locals.
Seishun Jidai "青春時代
― Shitamachi area “下町エリア“
Kushiyaki Tsugune “串焼きつくね“
If you’re craving skewers, head to Kushiyaki Tsugune whose first Japanese store is located in the Shitamachi area. It features just 16 seats and specializes in tsu-kune (chicken meatballs) that are served on skewers with a sweet soy sauce.
Try their Ebi Nira Tsukune "えびにらつくね" (150 yen per skewer) or Uma Shio Tsukune "うま塩焼きつくね" (130 yen per skewer), which has a delicious salty flavor.
Atsuatsu Teppan Chains “熱々鉄板チェインズ”
Okonomiyaki fans should dine at Atsuatsu Teppan Chains “熱々鉄板チェインズ”, which does an incredible Hiroshima-style pizza known as Hiroshima Yaki “広島焼き” (700 yen). Cooked on an iron plate in front of you, it’s a fun dining experience that can be enjoyed while sipping on sake.
Nikomi “煮込み” (380 yen)
Also in the Shitamachi area is Taishu Sakaba Torippa “大衆酒場トリッパ” , which has an authentic izakaya atmosphere.
Highlights on the menu include Satsuma Chirandori Momo Tataki “薩摩知覧どりももたたき” (380 yen) and Nikomi “煮込み” (380 yen), both of which feature their signature Satsuma chick-en and homemade sauces that were perfected well before the business opened.
Access and information
Location: Hibiya International Building B2
11:30 am to 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm to 10:30 pm on weekdays and 11:30 am to 7:30 pm on Saturdays (closed on Sundays and public holidays)
*Opening hours may differ for some stores.
Directly connected to Uchisaiwaicho Station on the Toei Subway Mita Line or three to five minutes’ walk from Kasumigaseki Station on the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line, Chiyoda Line, and Hibiya Line.
More information is available on the Hibikoji website at http://hibikoji.jp/