The University of Tokyo’s Komaba Campus is tucked away in a quaint neighborhood with amazing local food. Read on to find out some of the best places to eat around Komaba Campus!
The University of Tokyo, often regarded as Japan’s most prestigious institute of higher education, has 5 main campuses: Hongo, Komaba, Kashiwa, Shirokanedai, and Nakano. For the first two years, all undergraduate students study under the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Komaba Campus.
If you haven’t already, check out the three-part Komaba Campus Tour written by Mona!
Despite the fact that Komaba is sandwiched between Shibuya and Shimokitazawa (two of Tokyo’s most popular hang-out spots) the neighborhood is surprisingly quaint, with an abundance of greenery, traditional stores, and quiet hideouts.
Having lived in Komaba for over two years, I would like to share with you some of my favorite eateries – all just a few minutes walk away from Komaba campus!
All 4 places are extremely popular amongst students at the University of Tokyo and are often visited during lunch breaks, or before and after class.
So here are some of my favourite eats around Komaba Campus. Hope you aren’t all too hungry!
Hishidaya is a famous teishokuya (定食屋, set-meal shop) offering a variety of Japanese set meals with some rice, miso soup, and fresh pickled vegetables on the side.
Hishidaya is extremely popular, having appeared in numerous television shows and newspaper articles. It would be unusual to not see a large line in front of the store. What sets Hishidaya apart from the rest of teishokuyas is its fresh ingredient topped with its home-made sauces. My favorite dish is the number-one-ranked Shougayaki: stir-fried pork with onions, ginger, soya sauce, cooking wine, and mirin. The Maguro-yaki (pictured above) is my friend’s favorite dish – she likes the combination of the soft chewy Tuna combined with the zesty green Scallions.
The menu is reasonably priced at around 1,000 to 1,300 yen ($10 USD) and the portions are rather on the large side – perfect for students. As Hishidaya’s menu changes daily depending on their sourced ingredients, keep an eye out on the large black billboard outside!
2. Samurai Ramen
Ramen is known as the soul food of Japan, and few shops dish out a bowl as hearty and comforting as Samurai.
Samurai Ramen specializes in Yokohama-style Iekei ramen: a new style that has been rising in popularity thought Japan. Founded in 1974 by Mr. Yoshimura when he tried mixing the Hakata-style Tonkotsu (pork bone) broth with the Tokyo-style Shoyu (Soy Sauce) broth, Iekei ramen is famous for its complex depth of umami and delicacy in each bowl.
Samurai’s Yohokama Iekei ramen comes with cha-siu pork, chopped leek, spinach, seaweed, and egg. You can customize the saltiness and fattiness of the soup to your likings. The noodles are rather on the thicker side, making them extra chewy and really nice to slurp on.
Each bowl ranges from 700 to 1,200 yen, ($6 – $11 USD) depending on the toppings involved. A must-try bowl if you are ever visiting the Komaba area!
3. Little Curry Shop
If you are looking for the most value for your money, this is it.
Little Shop’s Curry is known to be extremely tasty and at the same time, LARGE! The normal size weighs 1.3 kilograms and the large size weighs a whooping 2 kilograms!
What I recommend at Little Shop is their ‘Special Curry’, which has a zenbunose (全部乗せ; Everything-on the-menu) of all toppings. There is a surprising amount of vegetables – green peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes – that goes well with the Deep-fried Pork Cutlets and Chicken.
The curry, itself, is Japanese-style, meaning it is neither too salty nor spicy. There is a hint of bonito stock and soy sauce that provides depth to each curry despite the absence of spice.
The curry is very affordable, starting at 540 yen for the basic option ($5 USD). The Special Curry goes for 800 yen ($7 USD). An upsize to the large option for 150 yen ($1 USD) is very much worthwhile as you get twice the amount of toppings.
4. Le Ressort
Last but not least, Le Ressort is a premium bakery that has excellent options for both savories and sweets.
Every time I walk past this bakery, I can smell the buttery croissants and danish pastries from the other side of the street.
The pastries are not too expensive, ranging from 200 to 400 yen ($1 – $3 USD) per piece. Some popular items from the menu include the Almond Croissant, Melon Pan, Pistachio Cream, and the Cambert and Leg-ham Sandwich.
However, what I recommend most here is the classic baguette (pictured). When you buy it in the mornings, the baguette is still warm and toasty to the touch. Side them with a few pieces of cured ham, cream cheese, and olives and you have yourself a classy lunch!
The University of Tokyo’s Komaba Campus is located in a wonderful neighborhood. A rather quiet hideaway from the bustling centers of Shibuya and Shimokitazawa, Komaba has many quaint local stores that offer amazing food for student-friendly prices!
I love living in the Komaba neighborhood and think it is one of the best areas for foreign students in Tokyo to settle in. The next time you are visiting The University of Tokyo’s Komaba Campus, I highly encourage you all to try out some of the local specialties!