asakusa imahan

japanese beef prepared to japanese standards

Asakusa Imahan is an established business specializing in beef. All one needs to do is take a peek at their meticulously packaged gift boxes of beef to know that this place takes their meat very seriously. And people appreciate it. The line out the door consists of locals and visitors alike, and they often sell out of certain options and sets by midday. The restaurant has been around for generations (tracing back to 1895, with this location operating since 1928), and continues to maintain a relentless commitment to beef-centered Japanese cuisine.

Most known for sukiyaki and shabu shabu, the restaurant stays true to tradition, serving sukiyaki with raw egg yolk to dip the delicate slices of meat and rice and noodles to round out the meal for shabu shabu. The prices for sets come at a range, from moderately priced cuts of beef to premium Kobe beef at twice or three times as much. For more of a casual meal, they also have gyudon and prepared sets that come fully cooked and beautifully plated. No matter what level you opt for, the exquisite presentation and treatment of the dining service remains consistent, respectful in that Japanese way.

While the Asakusa location is the main one and has become an integral part of the neighborhood, Imahan does have outposts throughout Tokyo. They also sell the beef gift sets at department stores throughout Japan (and yes, this is an appropriate and cherished gift in Japan).

the details

Address 3 Chome-1-12 Nishiasakusa, Taito City, Tokyo
Website https://www.asakusaimahan.co.jp/english
Yelp https://www.yelp.com/biz/浅草今半-国際通り本店-台東区
Hours 11:30 – 21:30 every day
Price $$$-$$$$ – lunch sets start at 1500¥ (~$15), dinner starts at 8000¥ (~$80) with the highest grade sets going up to 25000¥ (~$250)
Aesthetic old school Japanese, warm humble tones but a grand looking building, and kind of weirdly feels like a Japanese spa

good to know

Go here for: beef done right

Order this: wagyu sukiyaki set

Amount of time to spend: about an hour or so for a nice sit down meal 

When to come: earlier the better, there’s usually a line during peak meal hours, and they sell out of a lot of menu items (some of their lunch sets are limited to 20 a day)

Getting here: The restaurant is right on top of the Asakusa Station (Tsukuba Express train), or about a 6 minute walk from the Tarawamachi Station (Ginza line)

Other things to note: 

  • They take reservations, which can be helpful during peak meal times (both lunch and dinner).
  • There are many different options for seating, from tatami seats to standard tables and booths, private dining rooms and shared dining spaces.

Last visited: May 2018

Last updated: July 2020

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