Japanese Patterns of Design

Chanko Nabe: 5 Best Restaurants in Tokyo, Sumo Wrestler’s Best Meal

Chanko Nabe with a lot of vegetables
Chanko Nabe with a lot of vegetables and fish in it (Vege Garden)

Chanko Nabe – It is a power source of sumo wrestlers to keep them big and strong. Loads of vegetables, mushrooms, tofu, seafood, chickens… It’s one total health hot pot you could ever imagine. Let’s dig in 5 Popular Chanko restaurants in Tokyo.

Brief History of Chanko Nabe

Sumo no Torikumi by Hokusai
Sumo no Torikumi by Hokusai (日文研データベース)

Chanko has originally explained all the food sumo wrestlers eat, but generally, when we say Chanko, it means Chanko Nabe.

Supporting a lot of wrestlers, huge food expenses were trouble, but Chanko resolved that problem. It’d be cheaper to cook Chanko instead of cooking many dishes, also it is much easier to cook and even healthy.

When it is time to eat, wrestlers got together and that makes them feel close.

The place sumo wrestlers eat is considered to be quite important next to a training room. It usually is located right next to a training room. To be a successful sumo wrestler, training and Chanko are two most important factors in sumo-wrestlers lives.

Young sumo-wrestlers prepare Chanko for all of them, and whoever is good at cooking Chanko would have a great opportunity to open a Chanko restaurant after they retire sumo wrestling.

There are several theories where we call the pot, Chanko. One popular one is because we call father “Chan” and pupil “Ko”, since the father and pupil have meals together, combine it and becomes the word “Chanko”.

Usually, Chanko Nabe restaurants are run by retired sumo wrestlers, therefore, you can taste authentic Chanko which is full of nutrition.

Chanko Tomoegata

Chanko Tomoegata, front view
Chanko Tomoegata, front view (tabelog.com)

Chanko Tomoegata was opened more than 30 years ago at the site of Tomotsuna-Beya.  Japanese chef made Chanko sophisticated and so good. They use the vegetables and seafood in season. You would enjoy Chanko in a calm atmosphere.

Chanko Tomoegata, Miso Chanko
Chanko Tomoegata, Miso Chanko (tabelog.com)

You can choose the soup from chicken, miso, salt and soy sauce. If you like to try zousui (rice) or ramen at the end, salt is definitely the choice. Ramen with salt based soup tastes just like the ones we had back in time, simple Chinese noodles with a lot of black pepper in it.

Chanko Tomoegata, Miso Chanko
Chanko Tomoegata, Miso Chanko (tabelog.com)

ちゃんこ 巴潟 – Chanko Tomoegata
Address: 2-17-6 Ryogoku, Sumida-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Phone: +81 3-3632-5600
Hours: 11:30AM-2PM 5PM-11PM
Sat. Sun. Holidays 11:30AM-2PM 4:30PM-11PM

Kappo Yoshiba – 割烹 吉葉

Yoshiba, front view
Yoshiba, front view (tabelog.com)

There you will find a Sumo wrestling ring in the center of the restaurant. The mainframe of Miyagino-Neya still remains. It’s an absolute attraction for Sumo and old Japanese architecture lovers.

Yoshiba, Dohyo
Yoshiba, Dohyo (the Sumo Wrestling Ring)

They provide you rich entertainment like Sumo traditional folk song, Tsugaru-Jamisen (three-stringed Japanese lute
of Tsugaru), Yoshiba-Yose (storyteller’s theater), Live grand piano performance. You can enjoy Japanese traditional culture, both great food, and entertainment at the same time. This is something you cannot experience anywhere else.

Yoshiba, Yoshiba-nabe
Yoshiba, Yoshiba-nabe (tabelog.com)
Yoshiba, Yoshiba-nabe closeup
Yoshiba, Yoshiba-nabe closeup (tabelog.com)

Kappo Yoshiba – 割烹 吉葉
Address: 2-14-5 Yokoami, Sumida-ku, Tokyo 130-0015, Japan
Phone: +81 3-3623-4480
Hours: Lunch 11:30AM-2PM
Dinner 5PM-10PM

Sumo-Jaya Terao – 相撲茶屋 寺尾

Sumo-Jaya, Terao, Terao Pic
Sumo-Jaya, Terao, Terao Pic (tabelog.com)

Terao used to be a very popular sumo wrestler for his handsome looking and his strength. You can choose the soup from Soy Sauce, Salt, Miso or Curry.  You can enjoy the soup with rice, noodles or udon after you finish meat and vegetables.

Sumo-Jaya, Terao, Chanko
Sumo-Jaya, Terao, Chanko (tabelog.com)
Sumo-Jaya Terao, Syoyu Chanko
Sumo-Jaya Terao, Syoyu Chanko (tabelog.com)

Address: 2-16-5 Ryogoku, Sumida-ku, Tokyo 130-0026, Japan
Phone: +81 3-5600-1466
Hours: 5–10PM (+ Sat. Sun. 11:30AM-3PM)
Closed: Mon.

Chanko Dining ami Ryogoku So-Hoenten- ちゃんこダイニング 安美 両国総本店

Chanko Dining ami, front view
Chanko Dining ami, front view (tabelog.com)

Chanko Dining Ami delivers you the very taste of Isegahama-Beya which is known for its delicious taste.

Chanko Dining ami, Isegahama-beya Chanko
Chanko Dining ami, Isegahama-beya Chanko (tabelog.com)

They have wide varieties of liquor, Japanese sake lovers would love it. Perhaps “Ami” is the restaurant where you can eat Chanko lunch at the most reasonable price in Ryogoku area.  You can choose from soy sauce, miso or kimchi soup for Chanko.

Chanko Dining Ami, Miso Seafood Chanko
Chanko Dining ami, Miso Seafood Chanko (tabelog.com)
Chanko Dining Ami, Niku Chanko
Chanko Dining ami, Niku Chanko (tabelog.com)

Address: 3-26-6 Ryogoku Shinwa Bldg 2F, Sumida-ku, Tokyo 130-0026, Japan
Phone: +81 3-5669-1570
Hours: 11AM~2AM
Closed: Open Everyday

Chanko Kirishima

Chanko Kirishima, front view
Chanko Kirishima, front view (tabelog.com)

Chanko Kirishima is a little upscale one among many Chanko restaurant. Best try to have lunch, which is reasonable and so tasty.

Mutsu Oyakata who used to play sumo as Kirishima is running this Chanko restaurant. It’s close to Kokugi-Kan and pretty popular restaurant, you want to make sure you reserve your table in advance.

Chanko Kirishima, Miso Syoyu Chanko
Chanko Kirishima, Miso Shoyu Chanko (tabelog.com)

You can try unique plates like huge sumo croquette here.

Chanko Kirishima, Chanko
Chanko Kirishima, Chanko (tabelog.com)

Chanko Kirishima – ちゃんこ 霧島
Address: 2-13-7 Ryogoku, Sumida-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Phone: +81 50-5590-4484 (Reservation)
+81 3-3632-8710 (Information)
Hours: Mon.- Sat. 11:30AM-11PM
Sun. Holidays 11:30AM-10:30PM
11:30~22:30(L.O.22:00)
Closed: Open Everyday

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