Want to know more about Omoide Yokocho in Tokyo?
Omoide Yokocho, also known as the Memory Lane in Tokyo, is one of the most popular places in the city for food and drinks. It’s famous for its izakayas where you can get traditional Japanese food in a unique environment.
Down below you can read more about Omoide Yokocho in Tokyo and useful information before visiting:
What is Omoide Yokocho?
Omoide Yokocho is one of the most popular spots in Tokyo when it comes to food experiences.
It’s an alley known for its izakayas, which is a type of informal Japanese pub where you can grab some food and drinks.
In Omoide Yokocho there are around 60 different izakayas with a variety of local food. Each izakaya has just a few seats so you can easily communicate with the owner of the pub, also known as the ”master”.
It sure is an interesting food experience in Tokyo, so make sure to visit.
Entering Omoide Yokocho you’ll see lots of lit lanterns and smoke coming out from the izakayas. Almost every pub serves yakitori (grilled chicken skewers), so this place is always a bit smoky.
During spring and autumn the memory lane is usually decorated with colorful autumn leaves and sakura cherry blossom flowers, which adds to its magical atmosphere.
Dining in Omoide Yokocho
When you’re visiting Omoide Yokocho, make sure to visit one of the izakayas to eat some local food. There are several izakayas to choose from, but my best tips is to go where you see the locals eating. Then you’ll know that the food is good and prices are reasonable.
Just stroll back and forth until you find a pub that looks interesting.
What should I order?
Yakitori is the most popular thing to eat here. Nikomi is also common to eat, which is a thick stew made from beef tendon and vegetables.
If the chef speaks english, I would ask if he or she can recommend something delicious to eat.
When it comes to the drinks, I can recommend you to taste local Japanese beer or some sake. It’s always a good combination.
Do they have vegetarian food?
Yes, they have some vegetarian food to order. However, not every izakaya offer it.
Go to a place where they have different kinds of vegetable/mushroom skewers. The vegetable skewers are really good, and so is the grilled tofu. It’s really yummy and will fill your tummy!
How much does it cost to eat in Omoide Yokocho?
The prices varies depending on what you want get, but the skewers cost between 100-300 yen each.
Alex and I had just a light meal with a variety of skewers, as well as some grilled tofu and one large beer that we shared. I think it all cost around 4000 yen (33 euro) for us both, which I think is a reasonable price for what we got.
Some places got menus in English, and then it’s a bit easier to keep track on how much everything costs. At other places (like the one we went to), you just choose what you want to eat and then you’ll get the bill after.
Many tourists don’t ask before how much it will cost, and then they get surprised when getting the bill.
Always ask if they have a menu, or how much it costs. If a couple of thousand yen doesn’t really make a difference to your wallet, then I would just order whatever and pay for it.
It’s a unique and cool experience eating in Omoide Yokocho, so you cannot really put a price to it. Just expect it to be a little bit overpriced, and you will not be disappointed.
Is the food good?
Yes, at the places we have been to the food has been really fresh and yummy.
I cannot speak for all izakaya restaurants in Omoide Yokocho, but I can recommend going to those restaurants where you see local people eat. Then you know the food is good!
How to get there
Some people say its hard to find Omoide Yokocho, and some people say it’s super easy. However, if you follow these directions you shouldn’t have a problem finding the famous Memory Lane in Tokyo.
First you have to go to Shinjuku Station, which is possible with both the metro and JR train. From there, it’s easiest if you use google maps to find Omoide Yokocho, but if you don’t have a pocket wifi during your stay, you can follow these directions:
From Shinjuku Station West Exit
It take about a minute to walk to Omoide Yokocho from the west exit of Shinjuku Station. When going outside the station you’ll have the Keio department store on the left hand side and the Odakyu department store right behind you.
Walk to the right.
In just a minute you’ll see the UNIQLO building on the corner. Right after the UNIQLO building you take right and then you’ll see the entrance on the left hand side of the road.
From Shinjuku Station East Exit
When you’ve stepped out from the east exit of Shinjuku station you walk to the left until you see a pedestrian underpass on the left hand side.
Follow the underpass and follow it to the right. Straight forward from there you’ll see the entrance of Omoide Yokocho.
Down below you have a photo of the entrance. Just note that this is how the entrance look from the other side of the alley. However, the green neon sign is the same on both sides, just so you know what to look for when trying to find this place.
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More about Omoide Yokocho
Omoide Yokocho started out as a illegal black market after World War II. Back then it was a dangerous place to visit, but most people didn’t have a choice since it was here they had both food and supplies.
Later on this area developed into a drinking quarter with a more permanent structure – most bars were separated by a single wooden panel.
Omoide Yokocho had this type of structure until 1999, when a big fire destroyed big parts of the area. It’s from this event that Omoide Yokocho got its nickname, Memory Lane.
Map of Omoide Yokocho
Down below you have a map of Omoide Yokocho in Tokyo. If you have a pocket wifi during your stay it’s easiest to find it using google maps.
Do you have more questions about Omoide Yokocho in Tokyo? Leave a comment below!