Asakusa is a prime example of Tokyo’s shitamachi districts - the downtown, alleyway-riddled areas of Tokyo’s lower side, and the lantern-lined Hoppy Street is an atmospheric highlight too good to miss. Known for festival-feels and an old-school vibe, it has a reputation for cheap drinks, great stew and an ever-busy crowd that will make your night one to remember.
What is Asakusa’s Hoppy Street?
Hoppy Street is an 80m-long street filled with a collection of izakaya (Japanese pubs) and bars serving cheap drinks and food. The street is named after a drink known as Hoppy, which is a very weak drink similar to beer (but around 0.8% strength). The drink was popular with those who couldn’t afford beer and is now served either alone, with shochu (a stronger Japanese alcohol) or as a mixer in cocktails.
The street is a thriving spot with bars spilling out onto the street and customers made up of visitors and regulars alike. The festive atmosphere is a great draw and it’s a great spot to try a slice of Japanese nightlife.
Where is Hoppy Street?
Hoppy Street is on the west edge of the Sensoji Temple Complex, behind Denboin Gardens. You can access it via either of the Asakusa Train Stations, but it is closer to the Tsuba Express Station by a couple of minutes. As the street runs along the West edge you can approach it via the final left turn along Nakamise Dori (the busy shopping street approaching Sensoji) or by going into the complex and turn left towards the Pagoda and continuing past it to the first crossroads.
The Best Places to Eat in Hoppy Street
While it may be named after the eponymous alcoholic beverage, the street is also known for its special beef stew and is sometimes called ‘Nikomi-dori’ (beef stew street). Each dining spot has its own recipe and part of the fun will be trying a few to find your favourite.
Tanuki: A Longstanding Favourite
Tanuki have been serving for over 40 years and have a mix of indoor and outdoor seating with a friendly tanuki to greet you at the door. Their food counter has rows of skewered options on display with hanging traditional-style paper menu options on the walls. Many yakitori options are available, with a simple but popular rich stew featuring beef tendon and konyaku (a firm jelly made from konjac starch) cakes.
- Name: Tanuki (たぬき)
- Address: 2-chome-5-12, Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo
- Location: Tanuki is at the very North of Hoppy street, on the corner.
- Opening Hours: 15:00 - 22:00 (Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri) 11:00 - 22:00 (Weekends)
- Regular Closing Days: Wednesdays, Thursdays
Koji: Stew Cooked Five Times
Another longstanding favourite, the lantern-strung izakaya is a staple of the famous street. Their top dishes are of course the beef stew, which is boiled five times to perfect the flavour, while fried nato is an unusual one to try at least once.
- Name: Koji (浩司)
- Address: 2-chome-3-19, Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo
- Location: Koji is towards the North of Hoppy Street, on the Sensoji Side of the street.
- Opening Hours: 15:00 - 23:00 (Weekdays) 09:00 - 23:00 (Weekends)
- Regular Closing Days: Mondays
Motsukushi: A Little More of What You Like
Opened by neighbouring monja-specialist (a griddle dish popular in Tokyo). It’s a relatively new restaurant to the street but already popular. For seafood fans, they receive deliveries from Tokyo’s busiest fish market each morning while yakitori (grilled chicken) fans won’t be disappointed either. Try their tasting platters for stew which include miso pork and two beef options (stewed tendon and salt).
- Name: Mostukushi (もつくし)
- Address: 2-Chome-3-16, Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo
- Location: Motsukushi is towards the south end of Hoppy Street, on the Sensoji Side and opposite Tsukushi.
- Opening Hours: Currently 11:00 - 20:00
- Regular Closing Days: None
Shochan: Serving for 70 Years
Offering mostly outdoor seating with a few counter spots indoors, this small stew store has a reputation for serving the best Nikomi on the street. Opened in 1951 they’ve certainly had time to perfect it, and many celebrities have visited to try it over the years. Their stew is topped with a hearty slab of tofu and is as hearty as it gets, with the bean curd offering a light counter-texture.
- Name: Shochan (正ちゃん)
- Address: 2-Chome-7-13, Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo
- Location: Shochan is beyond the north end of Hoppy Street, on the Sensoji Side and opposite just past the Richmond Hotel.
- Opening Hours: 13:00 - 22:00 (Weekdays) 10:00 - 22:00 (Weekends)
- Regular Closing Days: Tuesdays
How to get to Asakusa Hoppy Street
Hoppy Street is a two-minute walk from the Tsukuba Express Asakusa Station (Exit A1) on the Tsukuba Express Line. Alternatively, it’s a 5-minute walk from the main Asakusa Station which is close to the Sumida River. Tawaramachi Station on the Ginza Line is an eight-minute walk away but may be better during crowded events or special occasions.
This station is on the Ginza and Asakusa Metro Lines as well as the Tobu Skytree and Nikko- Kinugawa Lines. It is easily accessed directly from Tokyo Station on the Ginza Line (via a short walk to the connected Nihonbashi or Kyobashi Stations) to Tawaramachi. From Shibuya, you can also take the Ginza Line (40 minutes) and from Shinjuku you can catch the Chuo Line to Kanda and switch to the Ginza Line from there (35 minutes)
- Name: Hoppy Street (ホッピー通り)
- Address: 2-chome-3-19, Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo
- Location: Hoppy street is located on the border of the west edge of the Sensoji complex.