Restaurants & Cafés


Located down a side street off Waseda-dori, approximately a five-minute walk from Takadonobaba in the direction of Waseda, Aikawa have both table and koagari (raised tatami-floored) seating and can accommodate up to about eight customers. Aikawa specialises in eel and the most popular dish is their unaju, which comes in six different sizes – referred to by a ranking system that uses the Japanese words matsu (pine), take (bamboo), ume (plum), kiku (chrysanthemum), aoi (mallow), tsuru (crane), kame (turtle). As you move up the scale, from matsu to kame, the size of the eel increases – with tsuru and kame both including two whole eels. Aikawa’s specialty is their katayaki – whereby, for an extra ¥110 the shop will grill the eels using a special method that gives them an extra firm texture. At first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking that these katayaki eels are burnt, however, don’t be fooled by their appearance because rather than tasting bitter, this special cooking process makes the eels more aromatic and gives them a crispier skin and a lighter, more delicate centre. The sauce has a sweet yet clean flavour and the rice is of a good firm consistency. Other popular fares here include grilled eel livers and eel bone senbei (Japanese-style crackers).


1-17-22 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Transport Takadanobaba station (JR Yamanote Line, Tokyo Metro Tozai Line, Sibu Shinjuku Line)

Telephone 03 3200 3717

Open Tue-Sat 11.30am-1.30pm (LO), 5-6.30pm (until stock is sold out) / Mon and other varying days

Admission Unaju: Matsu ¥1,900; Take ¥2,100; Ume ¥2,300; Aoi (one and half eel) ¥3,200; Kame (two eels) ¥4,200; grilled eel livers (2) ¥760


Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.

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