Delve into the famous Sukiyaki restaurant "Asakusa Imahan" in Tokyo! Revealing the secrets of its popularity

"Asakusa Imahan" is a representative of sukiyaki restaurants, so famous that most Japanese people have heard of it at least once. In this article, we thoroughly investigate the history of Asakusa Imahan, its commitment to beef, popular menus, and services for foreign tourists. We will delve into the secrets of Asakusa Imahan's popularity.

※The products and their prices (tax included) introduced in this article are all as of October 2023. The content may have changed, so please check the official website for details.

A long-established restaurant among long-established restaurants! The famous sukiyaki restaurant "Asakusa Imahan"

"Asakusa Imahan" is famous for its sukiyaki. The "Asakusa Imahan Kokusai Street Head Restaurant" we are introducing this time is located on Kokusai Street, a 12-minute walk from Exit A4 of Asakusa Station on the Toei Asakusa Line. Founded in Meiji 28 (1895), it is a long-established restaurant among long-established restaurants, inheriting a traditional taste that has continued for over 120 years.

The restaurant was founded in Meiji 28 (1895) when the founder, Hantaro Takaoka, moved from Okayama to Tokyo, focused on livestock work, and opened a beef pot restaurant on Azumabashi in Sumida Ward, Tokyo.

In the Meiji era when it was founded, beef pot became a big boom due to the influence of civilization and enlightenment, and it is said that poor quality beef that was not suitable for eating was also on the market.

"Asakusa Imahan" procured and provided fresh and safe beef from a government-licensed beef slaughterhouse in Imari Village, Shibashirogane, Minato-ku, Tokyo during the Meiji era. To convey the provision of safe and secure meat, the character "Ima" (今) from Imari Village (今里村) and the character "Han" (半) from the founder's name (伴太郎) were taken to become "Imahan" (今半).

Kobe Beef Sukiyaki Kaiseki

There is not just one restaurant using the name "Imahan" though. In addition to the "Asakusa Imahan" introduced this time, there are others, but each is a separately managed restaurant.

In addition to the "Asakusa Imahan Kokusai Street Head Restaurant", the "Asakusa Imahan" restaurant has another store, "Asakusa Imahan Kirakutei" in "Eat Paradise" on the 7th floor of the Isetan Shinjuku Main Building. It is a new store of "Asakusa Imahan", where you can casually taste steak and hamburger in addition to the signature menu "Asakusa Imahan-style Sukiyaki".

Collaborating with two ranches to provide meat from rare female "Kobe beef"

"Asakusa Imahan" uses meat from female Japanese Black cattle carefully selected from all over the country, but the most recommended is "Kobe beef". Kobe beef is a world-renowned brand of beef that only the "cream of the crop" that meets certain quality standards can claim. Japanese beef is known worldwide for its high quality and delicious taste, but the Kobe beef used at "Asakusa Imahan" is exceptional. Its characteristic is that the marbling (fat content) has such a low melting point that it melts at human skin temperature, allowing you to enjoy the harmony of finely textured, subtly sweet red meat and the flavor and aroma of the fat. In addition, Asakusa Imahan carefully selects only female cattle, which have good fat content and a depth and richness of flavor in the red meat, from the rare Kobe beef. Female cattle's Kobe beef is rare and not often found on the market.

"Asakusa Imahan Kokusai Street Head Restaurant" has been authorized as a designated registered store by the Kobe Beef Marketing & Distribution Promotion Association.

Furthermore, in order to be able to provide high-quality Kobe beef from female cattle on a stable basis, Asakusa Imahan has contracted with two farms, "Taniguchi Farm" and "Morimoto Farm", to provide the highest grade of Kobe beef from female cattle throughout the year.

Not only the beef, but also the vegetables and the broth, have a unique commitment to the shop. Asakusa Imahan selects and uses ingredients from the most delicious production areas at that time so that you can enjoy the deliciousness of the vegetables. The broth is kept simple without any extra ingredients so that you can enjoy the sukiyaki.

The most popular lunch is "Sukiyaki Lunch Gozen"

Sukiyaki Lunch Gozen (4,950 yen)

Hyakunen Gyudon (Limited to 20 people per day, 1,980 yen)

"Steak Donburi (Sirloin)" (Limited to 20 people per day, 2,970 yen)

The most popular item on the lunch menu (11:30-14:00) is the "Sukiyaki Lunch Gozen" (4,950 yen). It's the most affordable course to enjoy the signature menu "Asakusa Imahan-style Sukiyaki". The set includes an appetizer, sukiyaki, rice, Akadashi soup, and pickles. Even if you're eating it for the first time, you can feel at ease as the staff in kimono will prepare the sukiyaki in front of you.

In addition, there are affordable bowl menus such as "Hyakunen Gyudon" with tofu and konnyaku soaked in flavor, and onions as an accent (limited to 20 people per day, 1,980 yen), and "Steak Donburi" with a perfectly grilled steak (limited to 20 people per day, 2,970 yen).

Himeji Wagyu Gozen 15,180 yen

The most popular item on the grand menu, which is served regardless of the time from 11:30 to 21:30 (L.O. 20:30), is the "Himeji Wagyu Sukiyaki Gozen" (15,180 yen). The set includes an appetizer, a starter, Himeji Wagyu Aburi Sushi, Himeji Wagyu Charcoal Grilled Dice, Himeji Wagyu Sukiyaki, Rice, Akadashi, Konomono, and dessert. The charm is that you can enjoy the high-quality Himeji Wagyu not only in sukiyaki but also in aburi sushi and dice steak.

The characteristic of Asakusa Imahan-style sukiyaki is to "boil it as if you were grilling it". By not overcooking and quickly heating, you can enjoy the deliciousness of the ingredients, including beef. The point is not to overcook the meat for shabu-shabu, just like sukiyaki.

Also, the lunch menu offered at "Asakusa Imahan Kokusai Street Head Restaurant" is affordable but does not accept reservations. Even on weekdays, a line starts to form around 10:30, and by the opening time of 11:30, there is already a long queue. Unlike ramen shops, sukiyaki and shabu-shabu take time to eat. Once it's full, you'll have to wait for a long time, so if you're short on time, come early.

*The grand menu is scheduled for a price revision in the future. The price of "Himeji Wagyu Sukiyaki Gozen" may change.

The interior of "Asakusa Imahan Kokusai Street Head Restaurant" is filled with the scent of tatami mats and incense, and offers a wide range of multilingual services

3rd Floor Grand Hall

Asakusa Imahan has prepared pops on "How to make sukiyaki" and "How to make shabu-shabu" in English, Chinese, and Korean, so you can experience making sukiyaki and shabu-shabu while looking at the pops. Of course, the staff will help you, so feel free to ask if you have any problems.

Left: 2nd Floor Private Room "Komagata"

The interior of the restaurant is designed to evoke a sense of Japan, with tatami mats, the scent of incense, and service in traditional Japanese clothing. As a sukiyaki restaurant established in the Meiji era, it uses Western-style furnishings in places, aiming to create a retro-modern atmosphere.

1st Floor Chair Seating / Raised Tatami Seating
2nd Floor Special Room "Fukuju"

2nd Floor Special Room "Shirasagi"

With a variety of seating options, including traditional Japanese tatami rooms, private rooms with sunken kotatsu tables, special rooms with chairs, casual table seating, and raised seating areas, we recommend making a reservation by phone if you have a seating preference.

Enjoy souvenirs and bento boxes at the hotel too!

Left: "Beef Tsukudani" (from 594 yen), Right: Sukiyaki Warishita (918 yen)

The most recommended souvenir is the "Beef Tsukudani" (from 594 yen), which was born from the voices of visitors who said, "I want to take this Asakusa Imahan taste home." The secret broth and the umami of the beef match perfectly, and it is recommended as a companion to rice or alcohol. It can be stored at room temperature for 9 months from the date of manufacture if unopened, but foreign tourists are generally prohibited from taking beef products home, so please eat it at your hotel. The "Sukiyaki Warishita" (918 yen) is also recommended. If you have ingredients such as beef and vegetables, you can easily enjoy "Asakusa Imahan-style Sukiyaki" at home even after returning to your country.

Kasane Sukiyaki Bento (2160 yen)

Also, in department stores (Ginza Mitsukoshi, Isetan Shinjuku, etc.) and stations (Tokyo Station, Ueno Station, etc.), there are bento box sales areas of "Asakusa Imahan", where you can easily enjoy the traditional taste. Popular products include the "Kasane Sukiyaki Bento" (2,160 yen) and the "Beef Bento" (1,296 yen).

They strive to provide heartfelt service in every dish and bowl, so that customers from both Japan and abroad who visit Asakusa Imahan will think, "I'm glad I came to Asakusa Imahan" and "I want to come again". They also have staff who can speak English and Chinese, so feel free to visit!

Spot Information

  • Name: Asakusa Imahan Kokusai Street Head Restaurant
  • Address: 3-1-12, Nishi-Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 111-0035
  • Access:
    • Immediately from Tsukuba Express Asakusa Station Exit A2
    • 5 minutes walk from Tokyo Metro Ginza Line Tawaramachi Station Exit 3
    • 10 minutes walk from Tobu Line Asakusa Station Matsuya Exit
    • 12 minutes walk from Toei Asakusa Line Asakusa Station Exit A4
  • Business hours: 11:30 to 21:30 (Last order 20:30, Lunch time is 11:30 to 14:00)
  • Closed: Open daily
  • Budget:
    • (Lunch) 2,000 yen to 10,000 yen / about 4,000 yen
    • (Dinner) 10,000 yen to 30,000 yen / about 15,000 yen
    • (* If it is more than 5,500 yen (including tax) per person, there is a 10% service charge)
  • Credit card: Available
  • Official site:
  • Reservation method: Lunch: No advance reservation, Dinner: Reservation by phone (03-3841-1114)


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