Edo Cuisine in Asakusa
Savor Edo-period cooking
where restaurant culture was born.
If the definition of eating out is a meal outside of your home, then you are by definition always eating out when you travel. It is impossible to separate the two.
The precursor to Japanese restaurants was Sensōji Temple’s Nara-style chameshi (or tea rice) in the Edo Period, from 1603 to 1868.
At the time, there were many large-scale fires in Edo (now Tokyo) that left the city in ashes; so much so that at the time, the city was called "Edo of the Great Fire." In order to revive the burnt towns, many men were sent to work in Tokyo, living away from their families. Since people were cautious to prevent large scale fires, there were few who cooked in their homes and eating out was a central part of their life. Asakusa was one such district within the city which served as a shopping neighborhood that collected the delicious seasonal foods representing Tokyo.
After years of war, there were 270 years of peace in Japan, allowing people to enjoy life to its fullest. The result of the positive-thinking mindset brought about the development of a food culture.
In Asakusa there are many restaurants that were established close to 200 years ago. In this guide we will wander this neighborhood focusing on "Edo cuisine," which is said to be the origin of modern day Japanese food.