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Tokyofoodcast’s fastfood lunch picks under ¥400

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This post is also submitted to the Japan Blog Matsuri hosted at frugalista japan in August, “Frugal Tips for Living in Japan”.

The other day, I was sitting at CoCoIchi for a quick lunch and realized that ¥400 could can get me a relatively decent lunch around Tokyo. So, I decided to pull together a post with my fastfood lunch picks under ¥400. Just because I’m being cheap, doesn’t mean I don’t have some standards; my requirements are: 1) a place to sit, and 2) some water with the meal. I did not include the usual coffee shops, bakeries, or burger places I occasionally stop at.

1. Small size cold Ontama Bukkake for ¥294 at Hanamaru Udon

Ontama Bukkake 294 yen at Hanamaru Udon

Ontama Bukkake

Hanamaru Udon offers Sanuki region style udon which has a more al dente feel than the regular thick flour base pasta. Also the Sanuki style may be served with just one basic topping or many toppings to fill this simple meal with flavors.

At Hanamaru, customers can choose from large, medium, small amount of noodles-then toppings. Finally, choose between the salty soy-based sauce just enough to coat the noodle or broth that fills the bowl.

For ¥294, I get simple Ontama Bukkake with soft boiled egg where the yolk has a poached egg texture, cold al dente noodles, soy-based sauce topped with kakiage, negi, and grated ginger. I can care less about their tempura, but sometimes, I add either kezuribushi or hiyayakko. Kezuribushi topping used to be free, but sometime this year they started to charge ¥32 for a pack. With that extra kezuribushi pack, it is still under ¥400!

Hanamaru udon has counters and tables to sit at, and this cafeteria style udon joint is often very crowded. Hanamaru has 250 shops around Japan.

Hanamaru English Menu

2. Two onigiri and miso soup for ¥400 at Omusubi Gonbei

Onigiri at Gombee 400 yen

Omusubi Gombei lunch

You can get assorted onigiri, miso soup, and side dishes at Omusubi Gonbei. Usually they have a small seating area and a service station for self-served water. My choice for lunch one day was kombu onigiri, okaka onigiri and miso soup for ¥400.

Omusubi Gonbei has 30 shops around Tokyo. According to their website, No preservatives or artificial coloring are added to their food. There are other similar omusubi shops around the city.

Omusubi Gonbei website (Japanese)

3. Half Beef Curry with a drink for ¥400 at Curry House CoCo Ichibanya

CoCoichi Half Curry 400 yen

Half Beef Curry with a drink

Usually shortened to just CoCoIchi, this worldwide franchise operation originally started in the Nagoya area. This is basically the standard fastfood curry for Tokyofoodcast from back in our Nagoya days. I even brought some CoCoIchi curry packs for my friend who moved back to the US after living so long in Nagoya!

For lunch, I usually order very simple Half Beef Curry for ¥400. It comes with a glass of juice of your choice. CocoIchi is not cafeteria style, and you are seated either at the counter or a table.

With over twelve hundred franchisees in Japan and overseas, you’ll find these shops almost everywhere. Page 6 of multi-language menu shows the Half Beef Curry with a drink.

CoCo Ichibanya Multi-language Menu

Things can be expensive in Japan, but I think this is a pretty good lunch list for a whopping ¥400. If you raise the bar a bit to 500, there are so many restaurants to choose from you can’t miss them!

Hanamaru Udon

Hanamaru Udon Sign

Omusubi Gombei

Omusubi Gonbei Shop


CoCo Ichibanya Sign


9 Responses to “Tokyofoodcast’s fastfood lunch picks under ¥400”

  1. I love Hanamaru – it’s my go to place for cheap eats in Japan!

    Now I have to get out and try some of the others on this great list…

    Posted by Shane | August 19, 2009, 2:02 pm
  2. Thanks, that’s really useful. I like onigiri, but I don’t trust the ones in the conbini. You need some strange preservatives to keep rice looking good for that long.

    Posted by William | August 19, 2009, 2:10 pm
  3. Hi Shane, Your tempura and udon set at Hanamaru is delux!

    Posted by Et-chan | August 20, 2009, 5:40 pm
  4. Hi William, I am not sure what goes in the onigiri at combini, but lists of food additive are always so long and makes me wonder…

    Posted by Et-chan | August 20, 2009, 5:52 pm
  5. Delicous! looks like it doesn’t even matter that your saving money. Also glad to see another matsuri entry.

    Posted by Will | August 20, 2009, 8:49 pm
  6. Thanks! I enjoyed your kaitenzushi post for J Blog Matsuri.

    Posted by Et-chan | August 21, 2009, 5:29 pm
  7. But why no mention of Matsuya’s awesome Fresh Tomato Curry with complimentary miso soup for just 290 yen?!


    Posted by john turningpin | August 22, 2009, 10:10 pm
  8. Hi John, That’s pretty good deal – curry and miso soup for 290 yen? Can’t beat that.

    Posted by Et-chan | August 23, 2009, 1:55 pm


  1. […] Et-chan at TokyoFoodCast is even cheaper than Shane, and shows us what to eat in Tokyo for less than 400 yen! Blimey, who said living in Japan is expensive?! […]

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