Izakaya in Ueno & Yanesen

In business since 1925, Shinsuke has honed the concept of an ideal izakaya (Japanese pub-eatery) to perfection: long cedar counter, 'master' in happi (traditional short coat) and hachimaki (traditional headband), and smooth-as-silk daiginjō (premium-grade sake). The menu, updated monthly, includes house specialities (such as kitsune raclette – deep-fried tofu stuffed with raclette cheese) and seasonal dishes; note portions are small. Reservations recommended.

Also, unlike other storied izakaya that can be intimidating to foreigners, the staff here are friendly and go out of their way to explain the menu in English.