Isen Honten - Best Tonkatsu in Ueno

Restaurant: Isen Honten (井泉 本店)

Phone: 03-3834-2901

Address: 3-40-3, Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo

Nearest Station: JR Ueno Station

Open Hour: Mon, Tue, Thu - Sat from 11:30 to 20:50 (L.O 20:30) Sundays and holidays from 11:30 to 20:30 (L.O 20:00)

Close: Wednesday

Price Range: [Lunch]¥1,000~¥1,999, [Dinner]¥1,000~¥1,999

Credit Card: N.A

Seats: 50 seats

Isen Honten has been around Ueno for more than 80 years now which is famous for its extremely tender pork cutlet that you can even cut it in half by using chopsticks. Being able to "cut with chopsticks" is one of the best compliment a food can get when we want to express the tenderness of the food. The birth place of the Tonkatsu sandwich, where you would often find them at the train stations, is here at Isen Ueno which you might have tried them before in the past.  When you are in Isen, there are several good choices on the menu you would have to decide which one to order from Yawaraka Tonkatsu that is super tender pork cutlet prepared with low heat, Toku Rosu Katsu to enjoy the delicious standard pork cutlet that represents the 80 years of history, and of course the Katsu Sandwich which has already become well known in Japan.  The sauce they are using probably has some sourness in it unlike most of the Tonkatsu restaurants that offer relatively sweeter sauce, but it is absolutely marvelous.  The decor, on the hand, leaves the ambience of Showa times that reminds locals of good old times of Japan which seems quite retro for such famous place. The restaurant also has a very good service, and you can see the employees here works very hard. Even though the building is old, the restaurant is kept tidy and these are the reasons why it has been the most loved restaurant since its foundation on 1930. When you are in Ueno, make sure to meal here. 

Picture Guide to the Restaurant

・Total distance: 850m, 11 mins (on foot)

・Starting Point : JR Ueno Station, Central Gate

・Steps to follow : 1 - 14 

1. Facing Ueno Station Central Gate ticket gate, turn around and start your way.  Make sure Information Center is on your left hand side.  

2. Walk straight for about 80m and you will find Hirokoji Exit ahead of you.    

3. Go outside from Hirokoji Exit.  You will find a crossing ahead of you in 30m.  

4. Cross the street and make a right turn.   

5. Walk straight for about 80m unitil you reach the intersection.  

6. When you reach the intersection, make a left turn.  

7. Walk straight for about 150m and you will find a junction.  

8. When you find a junction, take the left street.   Walk straight for another 450m until you reach the big intersection. 

9. When you reach the intersection, cross the street and make a right turn.  

10. Walk straight for about 100m and you will find an intersection ahead of you.  

11. After you reach the intersection, cross the street.  

Keep walking straight for another 150m before you make a left turn.  

There is a bus stop before you make a left turn.  

12. After you pass the bus stop, you will find a narrow street to your left.  


Make a left turn.  

13. Walk straight for another 60m and you will find your destination to your left.  

14. Enjoy your meal at Isen Honten (井泉 本店)!

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