Small shojin ryori (Buddhist cuisine) restaurant with a Michelin star. Open Mon-Sun 12:00pm-1:00pm, 5:30pm-7:30pm.

Venue map for Itosho
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8 Reviews

First Review by eatinggreen


Points +203

14 Nov 2023

Expensive, tasty, too much food.

We had an amazing evening at Itosho with some of the best vegan food I've ever eaten. Some of these dishes are just incredible flavours and felt well worth the (steep) cost. My only criticism, making this more of a 4.5 than a 5, is that there was simply too much food. I over-ate at points assuming that the next dishes would be smaller, only to find even bigger ones! Definitely pace yourself, don't feel obliged to eat everything.



Points +18

12 Aug 2023

Mr. Michael Armstrong

Amazing traditional Buddhist meal in a beautiful location with staff that treated us like family. The meal cost a small fortune, but everything was tip top.

Pros: Great food, Traditional environment with floor seating, Multiple course meal (two hours)

Cons: Expensive, Two hour lunch, Only floor seating available


Points +110

12 May 2022

Perfect for food and Japanese culture lover

Only in Japan can you get this type of personalized cuisine experience. The chef comes in person for each meal and explains in Japanese what it is. It is delicious and extremely diverse. The homemade sobas are simply unbelievable. The sake too was delicious. Only mistake we made was to take the 10 courses meal which is really too much (at least for us) and forced us to not being able to eat everything.
We will surely go back to celebrate events or invite friends to taste what vegan food can be at its best.
Have been back there several times since that first review and always been enchanted. 8000 JPY course is more than enough to satisfy your appetite and delight your pallet.

Updated from previous review on 2020-06-23


Points +431

11 Oct 2019

Ichiban! Best meal & experience in Japan

A small traditional restaurant serving set menus of Buddhist shojin ryori. We chose the 8,000JPY per person menu, but there were also 9,000 and 10,000JPY menus. Must reserve and choose your menu at least a day in advance.

Our host greeted us on his knees with a deep bow, we removed our shoes, and he showed us to our private room. There were only 2 dining rooms from what we could tell. The room was simple and elegant with a low table (be prepared to sit on the floor) and tatami mats. We had an amazing 10 course meal where each offering was more delicious than the last. Each dish was like a work of art. Simple, but exquisite. We left feeling full and satisfied, including my husband who eats a lot.

The host speaks limited English, but explained the basics of each dish and had a little bit of a conversation. He was very friendly and attentive, and the ritualistic and detail-oriented way he presented the dishes was a big part of the experience. The restaurant was very quiet and serene, so most of our conversation was just above a whisper.

Overall, this was a top experience for us and likely one of the best meals we have ever had. At the end of our experience, the host walked out with us and then stood in the rain bowing to us until we were all the way to the end of the street and turning the corner.

Our hearts (and stomachs) are very full.

Pros: All vegan, and delicious inventive dishes, Wonderful, authentic Japanese experience , Kind and friendly host

Cons: Expensive, but worth the cost for us, We wished it never ended


16 Apr 2022


16 Mar 2023

Do you remember how you booked a reservation for this restaurant? I found a website called ikyu that seems to allow me to make a reservation, but it will only let me select "2 people" and I am a solo traveler.


Points +104

03 Nov 2018

Really special

A tiny shojin restaurant tucked away on a side street in Azabu-Juban that is amazing in the most humble ways possible. There’s nothing there to get in the way of enjoying course after course of delicate, subtle flavors and textures. There’s no music playing, just simple decor, simple but gorgeously plated food. The chef/owner does everything, from greeting to goodbye. If you don’t know Japanese, he speaks just enough English to explain each course, then he leaves you plenty of time to eat. We were there for two hours and it flew by. There’s a reason this place got a Michelin star, and its not because its fancy, its because its not.

Pros: The food, The owner/chef, The simplicity


Points +68

11 Apr 2018

amazing, not to be missed

we were taken to this small and out fo the way restaurant. It is a set menu and probably cost a bit BUT, absolutely amazing. from when you walk in and the chef/owner is kneeling to greet you, to the end when he stands outside till you arrive at the end of the street and waves you goodbye, it is special. The food is beyond description and changes depending what he has that day, there seem to be three types of banquet. But we were totally full. The presentation is amazing, the taste fantastic. I am running out of superlatives to express the food and ambience. oh by the way it is a traditional Japanese house, so shoes off, sit on the floor. He knows some English but its the food that matters.

Pros: the presentation, the food, the service

Cons: sit on floor can be hard for those not used to it, can be hard to find even with google,


Points +19

17 Mar 2018

Itosho -- one of the best meals ever

Went there today with my wife and son. The food was amazing, and they were very accommodating. My wife has a sesame allergy, and they easily adjusted the menu for her. For our six year old son they didn't require us to pre-order a course. They just said let us know what he'll eat as we bring things out and we'll bring by more of it out. The course was very filling and each dish was meticulously prepared and flavorful. A must try place!


Points +608

07 Sep 2014

Overpriced for what it is

We visited Itosho on a special occasion and had been really looking forward to trying something new - our regular shojin joint is Bon so inevitably it got compared. Unfortunately the comparison was not in Itosho's favour.

The austere vibe here makes it slightly more zen than what is ideal for a special occasion - simplicity that verges dangerously towards the realm of plain boredom. Which is ok if the food is fabulous, but it's equally as plain. Probably more true to the cuisine's origins, but for a meal at this price point, we were still a bit hungry at the end and were less than overwhelmed by what we had seen.

If you are looking to try Buddhist temple cuisine in Tokyo your best bet is Bon, which is up there with the very best (in fact it's really hard to beat). Other than that, Kyoto is where it's all at.

Pros: authentic, tokyo location (there aren't many)

Cons: too simple for a special meal, over-priced, we left feeling hungry

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