You’ll eat that standing up? Get a taste of Japanese culture and try some stand-up dining!
|Japanese Food Culture Born in the 1600s: Tachigui||Tachigui Soba Noodles|
|Tachigui Sushi||Tachigui Takoyaki Bar|
|Tachigui Steak||Tachigui Yakiniku|
|Tachigui Italian & French||Tachigui Top Class Cuisine|
Tachigui, translated as “eating while standing,” is one important custom of Japanese cuisine. Around the 1600s in the Edo period of Japan, a style of eating was born that met with the needs of the time for some people to eat quickly, which started mainly with food stalls offering meals such as sushi and soba (buckwheat noodles).
And so business progressed and diversified throughout time up to the present day. Of these foods, there are many crazy enough to make you say, “Seriously? You’ll even eat this standing up?” Since you’ve come all the way to Japan, why not try some of this unique dining? Alright, now it’s time to introduce some of Japan’s “tachigui.” Here are some delicious foods from the best known restaurants!
The original tachigui meal of Japan is without a doubt, soba. Even now this is the most familiar form of stand-up dining. In order to slurp until just before your train leaves, soba tachigui restaurants are usually found clustered on the platform.
The appeal of tachigui soba lies in speed and thrift without compromising quality or flavor. The most famous shop for tachigui soba is “Nadai Fuji Soba.” Some of the shops have only stand-up eating counters, while some have only seats, and some others will have both options available so that those who want to relax and slow down during their mid-meal can be accommodated as well. Regardless of whether you’re standing or sitting, the speed and quality won’t waver. Nadai Fuji focuses on serving fresh “nama soba” that are boiled upon order and are also found in convenient locations around train stations open 24 hours a day making for an especially comfortable and easy to use environment for travelers.
But beware the food ticket system that you might be unfamiliar with! First, put your money into the ticket machine and push the button for your desired meal. Then you pass your ticket to the staff. Many shops will have pictures on the machines, but some will have only Japanese words. If you’re unsure what to do just ask one of the staff or another person standing in line.
The menu is cheap! Recently, alcohol and snacks are also being sold in certain shops so be sure to give it a try!
Tentama Soba (fried tempura and egg): 470 yen
Mori Soba (cold noodles with dipping sauce): 300 yen
Nadai Fuji Soba（名代 富士そば）
Phone No.: +81-3-6304-2236
Open: 24 hours a day
Open all year round
Restaurants: Over 100 stores found in Tokyo, Saitama, Kanagawa, and Chiba
Sushi is the representative top-grade cuisine of Japan. Throughout Japan, you can find expensive high-level sushi restaurants, as well as affordable kaitenzushi (conveyor belt sushi). Actually, sushi also became popular along with soba during the beginning of the tachigui boom in food stalls around the Edo period. Though there aren’t as many tachigui as kaitenzushi restaurants, you can still find many tachigui restaurants around Japan. You can even find them in major international transportation hubs like Narita and Haneda airports.
Here, we’ll introduce, “Standing Sushi Bar Uogashi Nihon-ichi” which has many restaurants and is easy to use.
Uogashi Nihon-ichi is one of the extremely rare sushi restaurants whose staff goes directly to the auctions (auctioneers call out cheap prices and those who offer the highest price can buy the fish) at Tsukiji and Ota fish markets first thing in the morning to make successful bids on the freshest of products to send to each of its stores. In Uogashi Sushi, expert chefs carefully hand-form delicious sushi from the “Edo-mae-zushi” menu which people in Tokyo have been enjoying ever since the Edo period. Nigiri sushi is offered starting at a cheap price of only 75 yen.
Chu-toro (medium-fatty tuna): 300 yen
Madai (red sea bream): 150 yen
Tachigui Sushi Uogashi Nihon-ichi（立ち喰い寿司 魚がし日本一）
Phone No.: +81 3-3544-7571 (Nippan Corporation)
Hours: 7:00 – 23:00
Open all year round
Restaurants: 22 restaurants found in Tokyo
Here is one more delicious and affordable tachigui sushi restaurant that boasts a popular reputation, Hinatomaru.
（Source：getnavi）Inside, the restaurant has a friendly atmosphere to relax in. The space is modest, but all the more so puts you face to face with the sushi chefs allowing you to see them take orders from the showcase to your plate with great speed. Green tea and gari (pickled ginger) is offered on the counter so you can take it freely as you like. The prices are unbelievably cheap! The secret to which is wholesale seafood group corporations. This allows one to eat fish for the same price that it was bought for at the fish market.
Chu-toro (medium-fatty tuna): 240 yen
（Source：食べログ）Iwashi (sardine): 70 yen
Phone No.: +81-3-5806-4222 (Hinatomaru Corporation)
Open: 11:30 – 22:00 (last order at 21:40)
Open all year round
Restaurants: 4 restaurants found in Asakusa, Kameido, Suidobashi
Japan’s famous octopus dumpling treats for takeout or eating while taking a stroll, takoyaki.
“Tsukiji Gindaco Highball Sakaba” is a restaurant that is a fusion between takoyaki standing dining and a bar.
The refreshing highballs served here are a mix of whisky and soda. Nothing seems to go better with piping hot takoyaki than a chilled highball. But you can also get beer and cocktails as well as many other drinks, so if you find yourself around this small restaurant, be sure to drop by for a drink and bite to eat.
Familiar takoyaki toppings can be found such as “cheese mentaiko” and “teriyaki egg” along with other delightful treats like fried foods and gyoza as well as a wide variety of small snacks to go with your drink like grilled squid. We highly recommend bringing some friends for a party.
Tsukiji Gindaco Highball Sakaba（築地銀だこハイボール酒場）
Phone No.: 0120-87-5577 (Calls only received from within Japan)
Open: Monday – Thursday 16:00 – 1:00 (am next day) (last order 24:00), *Friday 16:00 – 2:00 (am next day) (last order 1:00am), Saturday – Sunday – Holidays 12:00 – 21:00 (last order 20:30)
Open all year round
Restaurants: 24 stores located throughout Hokkaido, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Osaka, and Okayama
Opened in 2013 in Ginza is the restaurant drawing endless customers, “Ikinari! Steak.” This restaurant is the pioneer of tachigui steak in Japan and has opened up restaurants all over the country.
The restaurant serves a wide variety of meat dishes such as hamburger steaks and yakitori, but without a doubt the top-class king of the menu is beef steak. The true pleasure of the “Ikinari! Steak” restaurant is enjoying luxurious steak amid the light atmosphere of tachigui. And because it is tachigui, the prices are reasonable! Meals are served in a speedy fashion so it’s perfect for busy travelers and businessmen.
Inside the restaurant, red brick walls make for a relaxing at-home atmosphere. Standing shoulder to shoulder while filling oneself with steak amid the lively chatter is a new sensation with its own measure of entertainment. First come in and get started by ordering the meat you crave by gram weight depending on how hungry you are.
Fillet Steak 300 g cut × 9 yen = 2,700 yen excluding tax
Rib Roast Steak 400 g cut × 7 yen = 2,800 excluding tax
In addition, bargain prized steaks are offered during lunchtime on weekdays where you can get rice, salad, and a 300 g wild steak all for a shocking 1,350 yen!
For those who say, “After 300 g of steak how could I possibly have room for rice?!” just let the staff know when you order that you don’t need any and 100 yen will be taken off your bill!
Phone No.: +81-3-6274-6529 (Ginza Roku-Chome Restaurant), +81-3-6302-0929 (Shinjuku Nishiguchi Restaurant), +81-6-6210-4929 (Osaka Hozenji Restaurant), *For other restaurants check the guidance service on the official website.
Open: 11:00 – 23:00
Open all year round
Stores: 90 stores located around Japan
After steak comes the yakiniku bbq. Tachigui-style yakiniku is also new to Japan and started gaining attention in 2009 with “Rokkakai” restaurant in Kanda, Tokyo.
Nowadays, the most popular restaurant drawing endless lines of customers is the first, “Tachigui Yakiniku Jiromaru” opened in 2014.
This restaurant is not just about the stylish tachigui, but also the internationally loved Japanese beef offered for ridiculously cheap prices. Here, you can find famous branded beef from various regions around the country like Miyagi and Yamagata, and can get all different kinds of cuts of meat from 30 yen a slice. The interior of the restaurant is decorated with unpainted wood and the chef dressed all in white greets you from across the counter. The meat cuts that have been brought in that day are labeled by wooden tags and hung on the back wall making it feel almost like you’re in a sushi restaurant. Enjoy cooking on your own little personal grill in the easy, relaxed atmosphere of a tachigui while chatting with the chef ordering whichever slice of meat tickles your fancy.
Instead of receiving mass plates of meat at your average yakiniku restaurant, try eating just exactly what you want, which will also be a lot nicer on your wallet!
A4-rank sirloin slice: 240 yen excluding tax
From the left, bara ita (short rib meat) (A3-rank Miyagi Beef: 90 yen excluding tax), tontoro (fatty pork) (80 yen excluding tax), hire (fillet) (A4-rank Tochigi Beef: 290 yen excluding tax), buta harami (pork skirt steak) (80 yen excluding tax)
Restaurant: Tachigui Yakiniku Jiromaru（立ち喰い焼肉 治郎丸）
Address: TC Dai-29 Kabuki Bldg. 1F, Kabuki-cho 1-26-3, Shinjuku（新宿区歌舞伎町1-26-3 TC第29かぶきビル1階）
Phone No.: +81-3-3680-3292
Open: 11:00 – about 5:00 am next morning
Open all year round
Official Website: None
Stores: Various stores in Tokyo and Kanagawa
Italian and French cuisine means top class in Japan. The restaurants responsible for bringing such style to tachigui are “Ore-no-Italian” and “Ore-no-French.” Starting with mainland Asia, these restaurants have opened in many places outside Japan so more and more people are learning about this special culinary experience.
The concept of these restaurants is having first class chefs who have polished their skills at distinguished restaurants and famous hotels, offering outstanding meals made from luxurious ingredients for surprisingly low prices. Live jazz is often played in some of the restaurants. Here is one place where you can just sink into elegance.
The inside of the restaurants are modeled after a stylish Spanish bar and have a special ambiance with the chatter of customers along with the live atmosphere of the open kitchen. If we’re talking food, then it’s got to be the “Rossini” and “Omar Ebi” lobster, and for drinks, the “Ore-no-Awa” champagne is a must have especially as your glass is filled to the brim. But be careful because these delicacies sellout quick, so best to order anything you wish to have right as you get in.
Sautéed beef fillet and foie gras with black truffle sauce Rossini: 2,980 yen excluding tax
Sautéed whole Omar Ebi lobster: 1,980 yen excluding tax
Phone No.: +81-3-5537-2630 (Ore-no Corporation)
Open: 16:00 – 23:30 (last food order 22:30, last drink order at 22:45)
*Saturday, Sunday, holidays 15:00 – 23:00 (last food order 22:00, last drink order 22:15)
Set Holidays: No set holidays
Stores: About 30 stores in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Osaka, and Fukuoka
Finally, here we’ll introduce some tachigui restaurants that will make you say, “Are you serious!?” Perhaps you already know about this prominent standing bar and top class restaurant located in Tokyo’s gourmet dining capital, Ginza. Opened since 2012 is the famous restaurant noticed by its endless lines, “Ginza Shimada.”
The owner, Shimada Hiroshi got started in a Kyoto cuisine specialty restaurant in Azabu Juban called, “Yukimura” which consistently earns 3 stars in the Michelin Guide. The greatest feature of this restaurant is being able to taste genuine Japanese cuisine forged from such distinguished training for such low prices in Ginza. But of course, it’s not just about the taste. Just across the counter you can enjoy watching the work of a master unfolding before your very eyes.
There are just four seats available, but if you came for some fun then standing is the way to go. However, just being able to get into one of the 10 standings at the counter is difficult enough as it is. But that’s also part of the fun!
Please come and try some of the many fancy dishes like “Karasumi (dried mullet roe) Soba” born from the most skilled of hands in the business!
Karasumi Soba: 1600 yen
Kujonegi and Suppon Nabe (Leek and Softshell Turtle Soup): 1800 yen
Address: Takasaka Bldg. 1F, Ginza 8-2-8, Chuo, Tokyo（東京都中央区銀座8-2-8 高坂ビル1F）
Phone No.: +81-3-3572-8972
Open: 17:00 – 23:30 (Last Order 23:00)
Closed: Sundays and Holidays (otherwise no scheduled holidays)
Did you like this article? If you think our article is interesting, share it with your friends, and make sure to LIKE our Facebook page. What encourages us the most are your LIKES!
Hideaki Nakayama Reporters