Delicious Onigiri Rice Balls and Ochazuke Right Inside Shinjuku Station! Get a Taste of Traditional Japan in Tokyo!

Ochazuke has long been loved in Japan as somewhat of a fast food. It’s a simple and easy dish made by pouring tea or dashi broth over a bowl of white rice.

However, a visit to “Ochazuke Onigiri Yamamotoyama” located in the EATo LUMINE complex inside JR Shinjuku Station is bound to change your image of the simple dish.

While maintaining the dish’s convenient aspect, you’ll discover higher-grade types of ochazuke with carefully selected ingredients at the restauirant.

Ochazuke at Ochazuke Onigiri Yamamotoyama

Dashi broth that reflects the commitment of a long-established shop

Ochazuke Onigiri Yamamotoyama is run by Yamamotoyama, a company founded in 1690. Known for selling tea and nori seaweed, Yamamotoyama is one of Japan’s most renowned long-established businesses. With such a long history, they have stringent standards for selecting ingredients and are committed to quality.

Ochazuke Onigiri Yamamotoyama's exterior

Ochazuke Onigiri Yamamotoyama’s exterior

For their ochazuke, they use a unique blend of “tea dashi” made from hōjicha (roasted green tea). The broth is prepared by blending dashi made from carefully selected bonito, kombu, and shiitake, which is steeped overnight.

Ochazuke Onigiri Yamamotoyama's Tea dashi

“Tea dashi”

In the “firing” process that dries and enhances the flavor of tea leaves, the stems and leaves of the hojicha are processed separately.

This results in a hojicha without harshness that retains its flavor even when combined with dashi.

There’s a particular reason for using bonito, kombu, and shiitake in the dashi. Combining three different umami components adds a richer depth to the tea dashi.

Ochazuke Onigiri Yamamotoyama's tea cashi

This carefully crafted tea dashi, a specialty of this long-established tea merchant from the Edo period, is available for refills.

You can even enjoy the tea dashi on its own to savor its rich flavor and umami.

Unique toppings to pair with the tea dashi

It’s surprising how well the tea dashi pairs with all the toppings offered at Ochazuke Onigiri Yamamotoyama.

One example of that is the “Roast Beef Chazuke.”

Roast Beef Chazuke at Ochazuke Onigiri Yamamotoyama

“ローストビーフ茶漬け,” Roast Beef Chazuke 1,500 JPY (tax included)

The lean beef used for the roast beef is simply seasoned with just salt and pepper.

The roast beef itself is of such high quality and can be deliciously eaten as a roast beef bowl without adding the tea dashi.

Roast Beef Chazuke at Ochazuke Onigiri Yamamotoyama

Adding the tea dashi transforms the flavor, greatly enhancing the richness of the gravy sauce.

Roast Beef Chazuke at Ochazuke Onigiri Yamamotoyama

Yet the aftertaste remains clean thanks to the hojicha-based tea dashi.

Ochazuke using tuna, a staple of Japanese flavors

In addition to the Western-style roast beef ochazuke, there is also a tuna ochazuke that reflects Japanese tradition.

Ochazuke Onigiri Yamamotoyama offers a “Tsuke-Maguro (Marinated Tuna) Chazuke”, with a twist on tuna.

Tsuke-Maguro (Marinated Tuna) Chazuke at Ochazuke Onigiri Yamamotoyama

“漬けマグロ茶漬け,” Tsuke-Maguro (Marinated Tuna) Chazuke 1,350 JPY (tax included)

The marinade for the tuna is based on white soy sauce. The restaurant adjusts the proportion of seasonings and marinating time daily to avoid it becoming too salty.

White soy sauce, with its pale amber hue, is used to preserve the natural color of the tuna, allowing it to shine through.

Tsuke-Maguro (Marinated Tuna) Chazuke at Ochazuke Onigiri Yamamotoyama

Paying attention to the appearance of the dish as much as its taste just makes it all the more delicious.

Such meticulous attention to detail is characteristic of a long-established shop such as this.

Onigiri rice balls featuring high quality nori seaweed for takeout

Besides ochazuke, Ochazuke Onigiri Yamamotoyama specializes in onigiri (rice balls) with twelve different fillings, available for takeout.

Rice balls at Ochazuke Onigiri Yamamotoyama

You can also dine in, with freshly made “Onigiri Rice Ball Sets” available. These sets allow you to choose two fillings from the twelve options.

Rice balls Ochazuke Onigiri Yamamotoyama

“おにぎりセット,” Onigiri Rice Ball Set 680 JPY (tax included)

There are two unique fillings only available at Ochazuke Onigiri Yamamotoyama. First is the “Yamamotoyama Nori-Seaweed Tsukudani Paste x White Small Fish with Japanese Peppercorn.”

The rice balls use “Norino,” a seaweed tsukudani (seaweed simmered in soy sauce) sold by Yamamotoyama.

Norino has a notable rich sweetness and good aroma, filling your mouth with the authentic flavor of nori.

When combined with the chirimen sanshō (the small white fish and Japanese peppercorn in the name), it provides a refreshing aftertaste.

As Norino is quite sweet, it mellows the spiciness of the chirimen sansho.

Rice balls Ochazuke Onigiri Yamamotoyama

“のりの×ちりめん山椒,” Yamamotoyama Nori-Seaweed Tsukudani Paste x White Small Fish with Japanese Peppercorn, take-out: 330 JPY à la carte (tax included)

The second of these store-exclusive rice balls is the “Yamamotoyama Nori-Seaweed Tsukudani Paste x Plum Chips,” which also uses Norino.

The ume (plum) chips have an exquisite crispy texture, creating a textural contrast with the smoothness of the Norino.

The sourness of the ume chips and the sweetness of the Norino complement each other particularly well.

Rice balls Ochazuke Onigiri Yamamotoyama

“のりの×梅チップ,” Yamamotoyama Nori-Seaweed Tsukudani Paste x Plum Chips, take-out: 330 JPY à la carte (tax included)

Ochazuke Onigiri Yamamotoyama: a tea merchant’s commitment since the Edo Period

Yamamotoyama continues to provide new value for nori seaweed and tea both domestically and internationally without being bound by tradition.

At its core is the desire to “propose new ways to enjoy delicious tea and nori seaweed.” This sentiment is very evident in the deliciously designed menu and store design of Ochazuke Onigiri Yamamotoyama!

Ochazuke Onigiri Yamamotoyama's exterior

If not using a train, an entrance ticket of 150 JPY (tax included) is required to enter the station


Store name お茶漬けおにぎり 山本山
Ochazuke Onigiri Yamamotoyama
Address Inside the ticket gates of JR Shinjuku Station (west ticket gate direction), 3-38 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo B1F
Access Shinjuku Station(SJK) Within Shinjuku Station
  • JR Yamanote Line(JY17)
  • JR Saikyō Line(JA11)
  • JR Shōnan Shinjuku Line(JS20)
  • JR Chūō Line Rapid(JC05)
  • JR Chūō Sōbu Line(JB10)
Phone number Unlisted
Reservations Not accepted
  • Cash
  • Credit cards(American Express・Diners・Discover・JCB・Master・VISA)
  • Transportation-related electronic money(Suica, etc.)
  • QR code payment(Alipay・au PAY・d Payment・J-Coin Pay・PayPay・Rakuten Pay・WeChatPay)
Service charge/Table charge None
Hours Take-out 7:00-23:00
Dine-in 8:00-23:00(last order 22:00)
Closed No holidays
excluding EATo LUMINE holidays
Seating 10 counter seats
Smoking All seats are non-smoking
Official website
Other information
  • A ticket vending machine system is available with Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean languages only
  • Allergy-friendly menus are available; vegan, vegetarian, and halal menus are not available
  • Wheelchair-accessible
  • Take-out service is available, delivery service is not available
  • Luggage storage space is available if the restaurant has open spaces for it
  • Wi-Fi is not available
  • Posting of food photos and videos on customers’ personal SNS accounts is allowed
  • Separate billing is allowed

※Menu contents, prices, store information, etc. are current as of June 2024.