Kamameshi Haru Asakusa Honten

Iron pot rice in the back streets of Asakusa

Mandy Bartok
Mandy Bartok   - 3 min read

Being one of Tokyo's prime tourist spots, there is no shortage of eateries to choose from in the Asakusa district. Sushi, yakitori, succulent sukiyaki and fine French food are all within a short walk of the Senso-ji area. If you're on the hunt for something a little different, however, it's worth seeking out Kamameshi Haru Asaskusa Honten just a block off of one of the covered arcades.

As the name suggests, the restaurant specializes in kamameshi, or kettle rice. It refers to rice that has been cooked in a cast iron pot, usually with added ingredients such as chicken broth, minced meat, shrimp, fresh crab, snow peas or pieces of egg omelet. Kamameshi used to be eaten communally from the same pot; at Kamameshi Haru, you can have an order all to yourself.

Kamameshi Haru opened in 1926 and today remains open every day for both lunch and dinner. The menu (there is an English copy available) offers several combinations of kamameshi. If seafood is your thing, definitely try the shrimp or crab options, or the hot pot that incorporates both of those, as well as scallops and salmon roe. For non-seafood lovers, there is also a chicken-only option. (Vegetarians may want to seek lunch elsewhere.) The menu also offers sashimi and several fried appetizer options, from the typical plate of tempura to smashed shrimp dumplings to deep fried crab claws. If you've really built up an appetite, they also offer two kaiseki courses for ¥5500 and ¥6500. 

Kamameshi isn't a fast food, with each hot pot taking on average twenty minutes to cook. The pots themselves are surprisingly deep, allowing for about three to four rice bowls' worth of food. They restaurant even offers take-away kamameshi in case you want to pack your iron pot to go.  

Seating at Kamameshi Haru is mostly at regular tables, but there is tatami seating at low tables available for a handful of parties. They also have a few highchairs for younger kids.

To find Kamameshi Haru, take a left at the main intersection where Nakamise-dori's stalls go from both sides of the street to just the right side. Walk down, past the Chingodo Temple, until you reach the 5-way intersection at Roku Broadway. Take the spoke furthest to the left and walk down three blocks, passing through the covered arcade. The restaurant is on the right, with a Japanese sign out front and plastic food samples in the window.

Mandy Bartok

Mandy Bartok @mandy.bartok

Japan resident for 9 years, with time spent in Okinawa, Kumamoto and Tokyo.