Tsukune Samurai – Sakanoue

Grilled chicken and traditional arts

By Japan Travel   May 14, 2018 - 2 min read

Located in Shibuya's Maruyamacho area on a charming backstreet, Tsukune Samurai Sakanoue reinvents the traditional yakitori izakaya by throwing traditional performances into the mix.

Tsukune Samurai Sakanoue's specialises in freshly-made chicken meatball skewers—nama tsukune—served alongside paired Japanese sake set to a samurai-themed backdrop in this Hatago-style Japanese inn. Using fresh chicken delivered each morning, Sakanoue's chicken skewers guarantee maximum flavour across a variety of cooking styles that promise the perfect blend of Japanese food and culture.

Grilled chicken meatball skewers alongside Japanese sake bottles
Grilled chicken meatball skewers alongside Japanese sake bottles

Dishes on offer include a charcoal-grilled chicken platter (1,580 yen) using different cuts delivered fresh that morning, assorted tsukune (880 yen, served with garlic, plum and shiso accompaniments) and assorted vegetable tsukune (350 yen each: asparagus, tomato and mozzarella / 380 yen each: fresh ginger, Eringi mushroom).

For those willing to try, the manager is happy to recommend a unique Japanese sake pairing for each dish, from Akita's Aramasa Ecru Junmai to Aramasa Hinotori Junmai Plain that can provide the perfect accompaniment to some of the tsukune dishes.

Tenshinryu Samurai Dojo

On weekends, Sakanoue transforms into an interactive stage, with fully-fledged performances as well as opportunities to experience the basics for yourself.

The performance includes demonstrations of sword-drawing and various styles by masters of the Tenshinryu Hyouho school of martial arts, as well as spoken explanations of what is a samurai and an insight into their daily lives. Guests can choose from a selection of techniques to try for themselves in a workshop setting, including sword-drawing, throwing shuriken and how to appreciate the essence of the sword.

Samurai show demonstrations at Tenshinryu Samurai Dojo
Samurai show demonstrations at Tenshinryu Samurai Dojo

The samurai shows are held every weekend, a fully narrated English program available on Sundays (bookable here) from 13:00–14:30.

Simple performances are held on weekday evenings too, including a calligraphy demonstration.

Getting there

Tsukune Samurai Sakanoue is about a 10 minute west of Shibuya station in the Dogenzaka direction.

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Kim B 10 months ago
Food and a show! I'll have to remember this when we have guests in Tokyo.