If you love eel and you’re feeling adventurous, head over to Ganso Unatetsu in Shibuya. This hole-in-the-wall unagi specialist serves skewers using all parts of the eel from head to tail. Grilled over charcoal, it’s a real treat for eel-lovers!
Ganso Unatetsu - image © Florentyna Leow
Reducing food waste isn’t a new idea – most restaurants already practice that to keep food costs low. With unagi, though, it’s a different story. Many restaurants serve primarily the meaty part of the eel, and much of the rest can go to waste in many cases. An unagi restaurant that that has head-to-tail offerings is therefore rather welcome: no part of the animal is thrown away. One such place is Ganso Unatetsu in Shibuya, a hop and a skip away from the station.
This hole-in-the-wall unagi specialist has been in operation since 1957, and they’re most well known for their charcoal-grilled eel skewers. These skewers comprise all parts of the eel, from the head to the innards to the fins, grilled with salt or soy sauce-based seasonings. Naturally, there’s plenty of sake on the menu to wash it all down too! Note that the skewers are only offered at dinnertime.
Those who prefer more traditional cuts of eel – i.e. the thick slices of eel meat – on rice should order one of the variations on unaju (rice and unagi in a lacquer bowl). You can either have a single layer of eel or a double layer, depending on how deep your pockets feel that day.
One of the most interesting offerings on the menu is the una-chazuke. This consists of a bowl of rice topped with tea and grilled eel, which makes for a surprisingly elegant twist on the usual rice bowl. This isn’t a full meal in itself, but it’s a great way to finish off a dinner of skewers and sake.
For more Tokyo unagi choices, see our Best Unagi in Tokyo page.
1F Cosmo Shibuya-kan, 2-8-8 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0043
〒150-0043 東京都渋谷区道玄坂2-8-8 コスモ渋谷館1F
Monday-Thursday: 11:30am-3pm, 4:30pm-10:30pm
Friday and the day before national holiday: 11:30am-3pm, 4:30pm-11pm
Saturday: 11:30am-3pm, 4:30pm-9pm
Closed Sunday and national holidays
Train: 1-minute walk from the west exit of Shibuya Station on the Keio Inokashira line.
Official website (Japanese)
Read customer reviews of Ganso Unatetsu on TripAdvisor.
Tokyo Restaurants Reservation Service:
You can reserve tables hassle-free at over 300 Tokyo restaurants with GoVoyagin's Tokyo Restaurant Reservation service.
Where Are These Places Located?See these places on the Truly Tokyo Google map:
- Open the Tokyo map
- You will see the list of places on the left hand side. (Click the 3-line icon in the top left corner if not). Scroll down or use the map search (the magnifying glass icon) to find the place you want.
- Click the name of the place in the list. Its location pin will be highlighted on the map.
- Map pins are color coded - BLUE: Hotels / Ryokan / Guesthouses | VIOLET: Ryokan | PINK: Places to Eat | GREEN: Shops | YELLOW: Things to See and Do
- If you're using the map on your phone, open the map and then search for the name of the place. The map will then zoom in on its location.
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.
- It's essential you have travel insurance for Tokyo - we recommend World Nomads