At Yurakucho's Sanchoku Inshokugai (産直飲食街), a small group of restaurants have been bringing regional specialities and cuisine to the heart of Tokyo since 2010. In this bustling zone under the railway arches adjacent to Yurakocho station, this tightly-knit cluster of 7 unique izakaya restaurants serve locally sourced regional dishes from up and down the country.
From Hokkaido-raised wagyu beef, Kumamoto’s specialty horsemeat, fresh Shizuoka seafood and Touhoku pork to ramen with gyoza, shellfish from Shikoku and chicken from Kyushuu, your gastronomic senses certainly won't be disappointed at Sanchoku. The name loosely means "Farm-fresh izakaya street", referring to the 7 establishments and their regionally sourced menu offerings.
With the exception of Umakabai, all these restaurants are somewhat remarkably open 24 hours a day. In addition, being run by the same group, it doesn't matter if you want to order from the neighbouring restaurant's menu. Want seafood and ended up at the ramen counter? Just call for the Uomaru menu and witnedss your food orders whisked down the alley and delivered straight to your table. Without further ado:
Specialising in Hokkaido-raised wagyu beef, Gyumaru focuses on serving local specialities and Onuma beef dishes. One of the highlights is the Onuma sliced beef serving of pound steak, but many other dishes can be enjoyed here including beef stew, menchi katsu, and many teppanyaki and beef skewer options.
Uomaru Honten (魚◯本店)
Focusing on seafood from the bays of Shizuoka prefecture, here at Uomaru you can enjoy the best of Japanese cuisine – try the sashimi platter, maguro tuna, mackeral, sakura shrimp kakiage and more. Also available is number of local dishes unique to Shizuoka, including grilled eel, fried black hanpen and Fujinomiya-style yakisoba.
Mutsumi brings Tohoku delicacies to Tokyo. Comprising Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Akita, Yamagata and Fukushima, this breadth of coverage is certainly reflected on the menu. Try Sasuke pork from Iwate, kiritanpo skewers from Akita, imoni potato and meat stew from Yamagata, Aomori shellfish and so on, all washed down with local alcoholic options – craft beer from Miyagi, red wine from Iwate and Aomori cider.
Robata Kaimaru (炉端貝〇)
Here at Robata Kaimaru, you can try shellfish from the Shikoku region. With a range of fresh shellfish gracefully on display, try clams, oysters, turbo shell sazae, razor clams, barnacles and a whole lot more. They also serve regional specialities from as far as the central Chugoku area, including Imabari yakitori and fried fugu.
Choinomi Gyouza (ちょい呑み餃子)
If ramen and gyouza are more your thing, Sanchoku Inshokugai won't disappoint here either! The menu here includes hitokuchi (one bite) gyouza and gyukotsu ramen, gyukotsu char siew men and several more options, and the setting is more akin to a traditional ramen shop, compared to the other izakaya listed here.
Here at the Kyushu Tsukushiya izakaya, they serve a range of delicacies from across the Kyushu region, including chicken skewers, raw tsukune, chicken tataki and, last but not least, kujira from Nagashima-dejima. Also worth trying is the spicy konyaku noodles from Miyazaki prefecture – definitely something a little different!
Serving horsemeat from Kumamoto, the menu at Umakabai serves baniku in a variety of styles, including sashimi (yes, raw), sukiyaki, grilled and as a stew. Naturally, a selection of local Kumamoto-style dishes are also available to order.
If the variety and atmosphere of Sanchoku Inshokugai appeals to you, definitely drop by to sample what is on offer here! Each izakaya's drinks menu is also tailored to the cuisine on the menu, so you can truly experience a large swath of regional Japanese cuisine and culture in one sitting.