Discover Beef Katsu in Akihabara! Juicy Beef Cutlet Restaurant Ichinisan Shows There’s More to Katsu Than You Think!

Japanese cutlet dishes, known as “katsu,” are widely recognized today even overseas. As of 2023, among international visitors to Japan, there is a growing popularity for gyūkatsu, or Japanese beef cutlet.

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Located in Akihabara, “Gyūkatsu Ichinisan (hereinafter, Ichinisan)” is a popular restaurant with lines forming even before opening. It’s not uncommon to see the line waiting to get in composed mostly of foreign tourists.

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Gyūkatsu Ichinisan’s exterior

Diners can enjoy searing rare beef cutlets themselves

Ichinisan places a great emphasis on the customer’s experience, including the joy of searing the rare beef cutlet right in front of them. Thanks to positive word-of-mouth, the restaurant has gained popularity, attracting visitors from overseas.

The fact that it has grown into such a popular spot solely through word-of-mouth is a testament to the high quality of its cuisine. One of the reasons it continues to captivate many is its signature dish, the “Gyukatsu Set.”

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“牛かつ定食(かつ1枚),” Gyukatsu Set 1,630 JPY (tax included)

At Ichinisan, the beef cutlet is made using Australian sirloin. The frying time is a brief one minute.

The coating, finely powdered, imparts a crispy texture even with the short frying time. The meat is served rare, providing a moist and melt-in-the-mouth tenderness.

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After serving, the restaurant follows a style where customers sear the beef cutlet themselves on a heated stone slab before eating.

It’s recommended to sear each side of the meat’s surface for about 10 seconds.

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The prepared condiments offered include three varieties: wasabi and soy sauce, mountain wasabi (horseradish) sauce, and rock salt.

When eaten with wasabi and soy sauce, the sweetness of the meat is complemented and really brought out by the spiciness of the wasabi.

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The mountain wasabi sauce is a blend of grated onion and homemade sauce with added mountain wasabi. It has a rich flavor that complements not only the beef cutlet but also goes well with the barley rice served with the set.

Just one piece of beef cutlet generously coated with the mountain wasabi sauce and you won’t be able to stop eating the barley rice due to its deliciousness.

When eaten with the rock salt, the savory aroma of the seared meat becomes even more pronounced.

The saltiness enhances the sweetness of the meat, making it a recommended choice for those who want to fully savor the umami of the beef.

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The restaurant provides instructions on how to eat in Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean, ensuring that even those trying beef cutlet for the first time can feel at ease and explore the three different ways of enjoying it.

This attentive service from the restaurant may be one reason why it attracts so many international visitors.

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Menus include explanation of the meal and instructions on how to eat it in four different languages

Why not enjoy adding a side dish for just 300 JPY?

At Ichinisan, customers can add one side dish for an additional 100 JPY to their set meal.

The available options are “Tororo” (grated mountain yam), “Mentaiko” (spicy cod roe), and “Warabi Mochi” (bracken-starch mochi dumplings). You can also add all three side dishes to your set meal for an additional 300 yen.

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“とろろ,” Tororo (left) “明太子,” Mentaiko (right)

It’s recommended to pour the tororo over the barley rice, as it adds depth to the rice’s simple flavor.

As for the mentaiko, it is a tasty side dish with a spicy kick. Like the tororo, it pairs exceptionally well with barley rice as a topping.

Finally, enjoying the warabi mochi as dessert is a satisfying treat that ties the whole meal together satisfyingly.

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“わらび餅,” Warabi Mochi

Choosing one side dish that suits your taste is perfectly fine, but Ichinisan recommends adding all three together.

By alternating bites of barley rice, beef cutlet, soup, and side dishes, you can really take in and appreciate the combination and expansion of flavors.

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Ichinisan continues to operate with the vision of making beef cutlet a representative part of Japan’s food culture.

In many other countries, when people think of Japanese cuisine, tempura and sushi often are the first to come to mind. Even within the realm of cutlet dishes, tonkatsu is likely the first association for many foreigners.

The restaurant aims to further promote the presence of beef cutlet in the Japanese culinary scene, and hopes to develop it to the point where people will say, “When people think of Japan, they think of beef cutlets.”

With so many international diners coming to visit Ichinisan in search of their unique beef cutlet, the future where “Japan means beef cutlet” might not be too far away.

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Ichinisan’s interior


Store name 牛かつ 壱弐参
Gyūkatsu Ichinisan
Address Watanabe Building B1F, 3-8-17 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Access Suehirochō Station 2-minute walk from Exit 3
  • Tokyo Metro Ginza Line(G14)

Akihabara Station(AKB) 7-minute walk from Akihabara Electric Town Exit
  • JR Yamanote Line(JY03)
  • JR Keihin-Tōhoku Line(JK28)
  • JR Chūō-Sōbu Line(JB19)
  • Tsukuba Express(TX01)
  • Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line(H16)
Phone number Unlisted
Reservations Not accepted
  • Cash
  • Cash credit cards(Master・VISA)
  • Transportation-related electronic money not accepted
  • Electronic money not accepted
  • QR code payment(Alipay・au PAY・Bank Pay・d Payment・J-Coin Pay・PayPay・Merpay・WeChat Pay)
Service charge/Table charge None
Hours 11:00-22:00(last order 21:00)
Closed No fixed holidays
Unscheduled holidays
Seating 11 seats
7 counter seats, 4 table seats
Smoking All seats are non-smoking
Official website None
Other information
  • Menus are available with English, Chinese, and Korean language
  • Please ask staff about allergy-friendly menus; no vegan, vegetarian, or halal menus
  • Wheel-chair accessible (there is no elevator)
  • Take-out and delivery service are not available
  • Luggage storage space is available
  • Wi-Fi is available
  • Posting of food photos and videos on customers’ personal SNS accounts is allowed
  • Separate billing is not allowed

※Menu contents, prices, store information, etc. are current as of November 2023.