ueno rec's for sushi, ramen, other favorites - with no reservations required
So I posted asking for advice on Shinjuku a few days ago, but because I've only got time for dinner and then a late-night meal, I took advice and am staying in Ueno instead. Easier to get to and from NRT.
I searched the board for "Ueno" going back two years, and found nothing.
I'm betting that there is probably actually plenty written on the board about Ueno restaurants, but maybe without the word "Ueno" in the reviews? But I don't know what else to search for.
All of which brings me to my question: Your favorite places in Ueno? I want a great sushi meal that I don't have to make a reservation for, and late-night ramen. But if you told me about some killer robata, or whatever else, I'd be open to trying something new, too.
Closer to Ueno Station is better, but I can walk 15-20 minutes too.
Ueno station (JR, not Keisei) has an adjoining shopping/dining complex called Atre. Inside Atre alone, there are some very good options and they're all open late.
Sushitsune - Very good sushi, and the prices are reasonable. Mostly counter seating.
Ichiran - A branch of Hakata Tonkotsu ramen chain, with amazing broth. Been to other locations, never eaten at this one, but I'm sure it's just as good.
Konaya - Specialize in curry udon.
There is a small, hyper local chain of three sushi places called Kanpachi Sushi in that area- http://www.kanpachi.co.jp/ . I would think you could walk into any of them. I haven't been. I've just looked them up right now. Or you can go through the various sushi postings and shoot down to Ginza/Shimbashi for the more highly acclaimed ones.
The areas south of Ueno Station under the train line are bustling with all kinds of places that it might not be necessary to have a destination in mind and simply more fun to walk around. The Ameyocho street market has some outdoor stall type places set up in Okachimachi that do horumon and yakittori and other downmarket izakaya stuff. The one famous one is called Daitoriou ( 大統領). You might want to consider doing sushi for dinner, having some drinks and a few skewers at the street places, and then if you are up for it, try Ichiran in the station for breakfast.
For chowworthy sightseeing, along the Ameyokocho side streets are interesting specialty shops that sell fresh or dried seafood, tea, all kinds of sundries. There are a couple of cool senbei (rice snake) emporiums that I like to go through. There's one that is modern and like a snack chip heaven. There is also a large international underground food market as well as some larger above ground markets that are fun to check out.
As far as other stuff to do, there is a large Bic Camera electronics shop, a Tokyu Hands hobbiest department store, and a huge toy store (can't recall the name.). On the hill above the station is a statue of Japanese folk hero Saigo Takamori, a small Edo museum, and a relic marshland as part of Ueno Park. You can look all this up. It's a good neighborhood to goof around in for a night. If you come back to Japan, you can do Shinjuku and other more well-known destinations.
Whatever you get into, hope you can report back as the Narita layover question pops up not infrequently and clearly requires more on the ground intel.
In Ueno, more in Okchimachi, i usually go to mom and pop place sushi Yoshi ; price is reasonnable, ... Now, if you want to have a crazy night, go to Ginza. The only place I go without reservation is sushi Kusumi. You wont find anything on the Tabelog, it is rather known through mouth to ear. A bit like a club for fans of sushi... Sushi are edo style, and so are their original sushi. Here below the links i could find about that place. It is located on the building of Swaroski(shop, in the 1st floor) in the namiki street.. so here are the links
Actually, as it is a rather confidential place, I suggest you ask your hotel to make a reservation on your behalf... so here are the links
Ramen wise there's Ichiran as chowmouse mentioned above. It's a chain spot though and not a remarkably amazing one at that. Far from horrible though and the Ueno branch is the best location.
As I said in the other thread, there's an Ippudo as well but I would try to hit Mouko Tan Men Nakamoto. It's a spicy broth but don't let that put you off. It's tasty as hell and more than one dimensional.
Located in Okachimachi in a little Ramen Alley just south of Ameyayokocho.
Sorry for the long link, the original site is in Japanese. 10 minute walk from the station. Straight shot down through Ameyayokocho.