3 Places in Tokyo to Enjoy Chanko-Nabe, One of Japan’s Best-Known Winter Dishes

  • In Japan, food in winter is synonymous with nabe, or Japanese hotpot. Nabe dishes contain seafood or meat, along with a generous helping of vegetables. These ingredients are boiled together in a special pot, right at the dining table. The diners all eat together and serve one another; it is a style of dining that warms both your body and your soul.
    There are many different kinds of nabe in Japan, including sukiyaki, shabushabu, and oden. However, the dish we are going to introduce today is chanko-nabe. Chanko-nabe is famous for being the staple of sumo wrestlers, and is an extremely healthy and well-balanced dish.

    Among the chanko-nabe restaurants we will show you, some even have their own sumo rings that have been used in real matches, so you can surround yourself with Japanese culture at the same time as enjoying good food.

    Kappo Yoshiba

    In the center of this restaurant there is a real, 4.55-meter-wide sumo ring, steeped in history.
    You will definitely want to get a ringside seat here. At 7.30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, sumo wrestlers will perform a traditional sumo song.

    Japanese notation:割烹 吉葉
    Hours:11:30~14:00 17:00~22:00
    Holiday:Sun. Holiday
    average price/person:9,000JPY

    Chanko Tomoegata

    Here you can enjoy the following four kinds of chanko-nabe, in the privacy of your own tatami-mat room:
    • Chicken and soy sauce flavor
    • Salty chicken flavor, with the chef’s own pilchard dumplings
    • Japanese horse mackerel dumplings and seafood, boiled in plain water and served with “ponzu” dipping sauce
    • Seafood in a blend of four kinds of miso, in the style of yose-nabe

    Japanese notation:ちゃんこ 巴潟
    Hours:Weekday 11:30~14:00 17:00~23:00(L.O.22:00) / Weekend 11:30~14:00 16:30~23:00(L.O.22:00)
    average price/person:4,500JPY

    Sumo chaya Terao

    This restaurant is run by a sumo family. The owner’s grandfather was the 25th yokozuna, the highest rank in sumo, and his father held the rank of makushita, the third-highest sumo division.
    The most popular dish here is curry chanko, and they also serve the more standard flavors of soy sauce chanko, miso chanko, salt chanko, and “mizutaki” chanko, which is boiled in plain water and served with “ponzu” dipping sauce.
    You can also enjoy chanko-nabe by yourself for lunch.

    Japanese notation:相撲茶屋 寺尾
    Hours:Tue. 11:30~13:30 17:00~22:00 / Sat. Sun. Holiday 17:00~22:00
    average price/person:4,500JPY