restaurant_menu Eat & Drink


place2 minute walk from Exit A3 of Kiyosumi-shirakawa Station

Hatsune yakitori in Kiyosumi-shirakawa: delicious food with a warm welcome

Published: April 5, 2017

A Flavour Of Old Edo

Shiryokan Street in Kiyosumi-shirakawa is a charming avenue of traditionally designed buildings just two minutes walk from the station. On the left, as you approach from the station, is the inviting wooden-beamed facade of Hatsune.

Ducking under the noren curtain and sliding open the door, one is greeted by an interior that speaks of tradition and comfort, of simple but lovingly-prepared food that represents a lifetime of experience in yakitori, Japanese grilled chicken skewers.




A Woman’s Touch

The spotlessly clean restaurant features a wooden counter topped with a colourful display of flowers and a couple of solid tables and bench seats in the back. Cosy and comfortable.

Behind the counter stands Ryoko-san, the gracious manager, who runs the restaurant with only one assistant. A charming smile and a warm welcome; one somehow knows the food will be delicious before one has eaten a single mouthful.




Taste Sensation

And so it proves. As the irresistible smell of chicken grilled over charcoal spreads and the ice-cold beer is poured Ryoko-san tells of her life making yakitori for the neighbourhood. “You can judge a yakitori restaurant by its tsukune ( chicken meatballs )”, she says. Hers are perfectly round and crisply golden brown on the outside yet crunchy and juicy on the inside.


The original sauce or tare ( pronounced tareh ) is light but deeply-flavoured, developed over the course of half a century. The liver is exquisite too, softly melting in the mouth.


The menu features the traditional styles of yakitori together with some more unusual ones such as seseri ( chicken neck ), hatsumoto ( heart ), sori ( a medallion of chicken thigh ) and tsukimi ( chicken meatball served with egg yolk for dipping ).

An English menu, created by Ryoko-san’s daughter, is also available.




A Walk In The Park

Hatsune is a few minutes walk from Kiyosumi Garden, a 19th.century stroll park designed on classical lines and an oasis of green tranquility in the area.


What better way to enjoy an afternoon in Koto-ku than a slow walk around the ponds and under the trees, followed by an evening of superb yakitori in a warm and friendly atmosphere?




editor:Stephen Spencer