Where to Try Your First Grilled Eel in Japan, According to the Locals

You can't go wrong with these choices.

There are several things you just have to try when you’re in Japan: the ramen, the sushi, and of course, the unagi or eel. There are three ways you can enjoy the 
hitsumabushi, an aromatic grilled eel dish. First, try it as is. Next, eat it with yakumi (a combination of spices made for unagi). Lastly, enjoy it as an ochazuke, a rice dish that is drizzled with hot tea or soup stock. 

In Japan, one of the best places to try grilled eel is in Nagoya. Here, we share six of the best restaurants that serve 
hitsumabushi or chopped eel on rice in the area.

Hitsumabushi Uya Meieki Store

Located on the west side of Midland Square, 
Hitsumabushi Uya Meieki Store carefully chooses eels that are juicy and thick. Depending on your mood and budget, you can order the regular-sized Uya Hitsumabushi (¥3,080), the smaller Hime Hitsumabushi (¥2,050) or the family-style Uya Oke, which comes in three sizes: Matsu (5 people for ¥16,200), Take (4 people for ¥12,960), and Ume (3 people for ¥9,720)—all of which come with a clear soup with eel liver. 

Hitsumabushi Uya Meieki Store is located at 4-4-16, Meieki, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya City, Aichi. They’re open from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on weekends.


A long-established eel restaurant that has been in operation since 1960, 
Unatoyo highlights the original flavor of the eel by balancing the rich yet mellow taste of the eel.

Unatoyo is located at 3-40, Toyooka, Mizuho Ward, Nagoya City, Aichi. They’re open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends.

Hitsumabushi Nagoya Bincho

Hitsumabushi Nagoya Bincho, you can enjoy your eel as the locals do. The sauce, which is created using local soy cause and sweet sake, permeates the eel deeply, giving it a thick flavor. The plump rice that comes with the dish is also cooked with full care. You can find this restaurant inside the historic Dai Nagoya Building and close to Nagoya Station.

Hitsumabushi Nagoya Bincho is located at 3-28-12, Meieki, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya City, Aichi. They’re open from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.


, located near Horikawa River, is a chicken and eel restaurant that first opened in 1899. Here, selected eels are grilled perfectly and basted with a sweet and thick sauce that matches the weather in Nagoya. Try it with yakumi that is made with wasabi and green onions.


Miyakagi is located at 1-2-13, South Meieki, Nakamura Ward
, Nagoya City, Aichi. They’re open from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m and 5 p.m. to 9:40 p.m.


If you’re feeling indulgent, try the charcoal-grilled blue eel at 
Unafuji. Crisp on the outside and plump and juicy on the inside, it comes with a sauce that’s simple and thick, which only serves to enhance the taste of the eel. The restaurant is located near Tsurumai Park, a park known for its beautiful cherry blossom trees. 

Unafuji is located at 1-1-4, Shirokane, Showa Ward, Nagoya City, Aichi. They’re open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily except Wednesdays and the first and third Tuesdays of the month.


Not far from Sakae City is an up and coming eel restaurant that dedicates their eel to the god of 
Ise Shrine. Try their Jou-hitsumabushi. The mellowness of the egg yolk and rich flavor of the eel will make you ask for seconds.

Unaginoshiromura is located at 1-18-41, Higashi Ward, Nagoya City, Aichi. They’re open from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m and 5 p.m to 10 p.m daily. On Sundays and holidays, they’re open until 8 p.m only.

Provided by Japan Walker™, Walkerplus™, and Tokai Walker™ (23 April 2018)

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