T’s Tantan ($, Japanese Noodles, T's たんたん 東京駅京葉ストリート店, 🌱)
Before the border closures T’s was also open for breakfast, and hopefully it will be again soon.
Located along Keiyo Food (underground) “Street”, inside the Japan Rail ticket gates of Tokyo Station, but not inside the shinkansen ticket gates. If arriving by subway, it’s necessary to leave the subway system and enter the JR (Japan Railway) system by any one of its ticket gates (which is free with a Japan Rail Pass). If you arrive by shinkansen (the high-speed train) then leave the shinkansen gates but not the final JR gates.
From within the JR ticket gates, follow signs to the Keio Line, and then to the Keio (underground) “Street”. Walk down Keio Street almost to the end. Starbucks will be on your left. T’s Tantan is well signposted (in green) on your right, shortly after Starbucks, just before the end of the ‘street’. There is usually a long queue, but it moves fast.
If you don’t have a rail pass or a JR ticket, you’ll need to either buy a platform ticket (¥140, valid for two hours and available from the counter) or use your Pasmo/Suica card at the automated ticket gates.
directions (probably won’t work inside Tokyo Station due to lack of GPS signal)
Great Japanese food, inexpensive, with fast and efficient service.
Tokyo’s most famous vegan restaurant, popular even among non-vegetarians.
Inexpensive take-outs available.
This is fast food, so it’s important to eat and move on reasonably quickly.
|T's Tantan's namesake noodles are mostly served like this, but there are many flavours and other variations.|
T’s Tantan is undoubtedly Japan’s most popular and most famous vegan business and is the only eatery at which virtually all vegan (and vegetarian) visitors to Japan dine at least once and usually several times. After the owner’s oldest child left home, she decided to open a restaurant (T’s Jiyugaoka, which I recommend visiting on the way to Yokohama) to serve the kind of healthy food that she liked to eat herself and cook for her family. It was so successful (despite being in an underground basement well off the tourist trail) that when a special health-focussed food “alley” (the underground Keio Street) opened inside Tokyo Station she was invited to open a store. She came up with the idea of a fast, healthy, inexpensive but still very Japanese menu, and it was such a success that what started out as a retirement project has now become the career she never planned, having spent most of her adult life raising a family.
|The Ueno Station branch offers a slightly different menu, including this casserole with vegan cheese.|
She has since opened branches in Ueno Station (recommended in that itinerary) and also one at Narita Airport, Tokyo’s main international airport. She also sells packaged ramen (available in the stores) and bento boxes at Haneda International Airport.
While the focus is its namesake tantan (a type of thin noodle, commonly confused by foreigners with ramen), seasonal dishes come and go.
|While they can be eaten in the store, these sandwiches are great for taking out.|
2Foods ($, Japanese, Western, Donuts, 🌱)
Yaesu Underground Shopping Street/Mall (also called Yaechika Shopping Mall/Street), B1
Follow signs to the Yaesu North Entrance (of Tokyo Station). 2foods is on the right just before the ticket gates (or the left if coming out from the ticket gates).
directions (probably won’t work inside Tokyo Station without GPS)
Surprisingly realistic versions of traditional Japanese and Western animal-based foods.
They might be too realistic.