Japanese curry is not like Indian or Southeast Asian curry - it’s an entire genre in its own right. At its worst, it’s thick, one-note, and too salty, like it came straight out of a store-bought curry roux mix. But at its best, it’s a gloriously flavourful, umami-packed sauce with gently spicy depths – all without setting your mouth on fire. There are probably as many variations as there are stars in the sky!
The most popular "1 Day’s Worth of Vegetables” curry, with two stewed chicken drumsticks alongside. - image © Florentyna Leow
Curry is universally loved by Japanese people, and it’s also one of the most comforting, inexpensive meals around. Tokyo has thousands of curry restaurants, and we’d be hard-pressed to list all of them – you could spend several months eating curry for every meal and still not even get through half the city!
These are just a few of our favourite curry restaurants. They’re reasonably priced, delicious, and easily accessible. Give them a try on days when only a hot curry will hit the spot!
- camp (Shinjuku; budget)
Craving vegetables in Shinjuku? Head on over to camp for a hearty, healthy, veggie-packed bowl of Japanese curry.
- Mokubaza (Harajuku; budget)
Mokubaza’s keema curry is the heavenly holy trinity of stewed meat, melted cheese and egg yolk. It’s a great way to fill up while exploring Harajuku or Shibuya.
- Mi no Ringo (Harajuku; budget)
Mi no Ringo’s keema curry is saucy, soul-warming, and spicy - a perfect lunch break on a chilly autumn day in Harajuku.
- Mandara (Jimbocho; budget)
Jimbocho is famous for two things: bookstores and curry. After book shopping in Jimbocho, fortify yourself with some fabulous keema and chicken curry at underground Indian restaurant Mandara.
- Chantoya Coconut Curry (Jimbocho; budget/ moderate)
Chantoya Coconut Curry in Jimbocho looks like your average gorgeous Tokyo cafe, but it serves some fabulous coconut curries. If you’re in a hurry or just want to eat at home instead, they have a take-out window and delivery options.
- Karē wa Nomimono (Akihabara; budget)
Curry rice isn’t pretty, but it is soulful and immensely satisfying. Karē wa Nomimono in Akihabara serves voluminous plates of curry rice that’s pure comfort food on every level.
- Hinoya (Akihabara; budget)
For a gut-busting, deeply flavourful plate of curry rice, look no further than Hinoya in Akihabara. A single meal might smash your calorie count for the day with toppings like cheese, deep-fried pork, and buttered corn – but it’s so good that you just won’t care!
- Joto Curry (Akihabara; budget)
Japanese-style curry rarely gets better than Joto Curry. Head over to the Akihabara outpost of this beloved Osakan curry chain for a hearty plate of curry that’s sure to blow you away.
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Tokyo Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Tokyo guide
- Check Tokyo accommodation availability and pricing on Booking.com – usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Tokyo
- You can buy a Japan SIM card online with Klook for collection on arrival at Tokyo Narita or Haneda airports. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Compare airline flight prices and timings for the best Japan flight deals.
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass – here's why it's worth it
- A prepaid Suica card makes travelling around Tokyo much easier - here's how
- Get esssential travel insurance for Tokyo – World Nomads is well-regarded (and here's why)