Since 1910, Jiyuken in Namba has been serving up its wildly popular old-school curry rice with a twist: you don’t get to mix the curry into the rice. If you’re not keen on curry, don’t worry - they have other options too!
Jiyuken- image © Florentyna Leow
Curry rice is traditionally served with sauce poured on top of piping hot rice. But sometimes even something as obvious and natural as that can be modified. Jiyuken, a restaurant in the Namba district, has been serving their famous plates of curry rice since 1910. What sets them apart from the rest is that the curry is already mixed into the rice when it arrives in front of you. Apparently, it stems from a time without electric cookers: the founder mixed rice with hot curry to keep it warm. Luckily, this took off with diners!
Jiyuken- image © Florentyna Leow
They’re especially famous for the curry rice with a raw egg on top, which you stir into the rice when it arrives, along with an optional dash of Worcestershire sauce. Know that you might want a little more protein on the side - like an extra order of tonkatsu. Otherwise, this is a dish that’s strictly for carb-lovers, since the curry itself is mostly sauce, with a few pieces of onion and tiny slivers of beef. It’s worth trying at least once; it was even featured on Anthony Bourdain’s show No Reservations - which is a pretty worthwhile endorsement!
That Jiyuken is so famous for their curry belies the fact that there’s plenty else on the menu. For instance, there’s hashed beef with rice, fried chicken, ham salad, and potato salad. They even serve some kushikatsu - the Osakan speciality of battered, deep-fried skewers! The omurice, or tomato rice wrapped in an omelette, is a tasty, child-friendly option.
3-1-34 Namba, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, 542-0076
Closed Monday, or the following Tuesday when Monday is a national holiday
Subway and Train: 2-minute walk from exit 11 of Namba Station.
Official website (Japanese)
:: Read customer reviews of Jiyuken on TripAdvisor.
Where Are These Places Located?See these places on the Inside Osaka Google map:
- Open the Osaka map
- You will see the list of places on the left hand side. (Click the 3-line icon in the top left corner if not). Scroll down or use the map search (the magnifying glass icon) to find the place you want.
- Click the name of the place in the list. Its location pin will be highlighted on the map.
- Map pins are color coded - BLUE: Hotels / Ryokan / Guesthouses | VIOLET: Ryokan | PINK: Places to Eat | GREEN: Shops | YELLOW: Things to See and Do
- If you're using the map on your phone, open the map and then search for the name of the place. The map will then zoom in on its location.
Osaka Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Osaka guide
- Check Osaka accommodation availability and pricing on Booking.com - usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too.
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Osaka
- You can buy a Japan SIM card online from Klook for collection on arrival at Osaka's Kansai International Airport. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router.
- View my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Compare flight prices and timings to find the best Japan flight deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with the Japan Rail Pass - here's why it's worth it
- Get a prepaid Icoca card to make travelling around Osaka easy - here's how.
- Find out why it's essential you have travel insurance for Japan - we recommend World Nomads.