Waikiki Yokocho Brings Authentic Japanese Food Hall Experience


Kim Barroga

The shoyu house ramen from Baikohken, located on Ramen Road.

Waikiki Yokocho is an alleyway dining experience found similarly in Japan that provides a unique concept called “Yokocho.”

From authentic prepared Japanese dishes to the high-quality standard of service and ingredients, Waikiki Yokocho is a definite go-to spot for Japanese food, drink, and dessert.

The Japanese hall is divided into three sections: Noren Street, Edagawa Terrace, and Ramen Road. All sections of the establishment provide a wide variety of small restaurants with many food selections to choose from.

Noren street features eight restaurants. Within the section, there are a variety of dishes to try. Choose from authentic sushi to tempura, okonomiyaki (Savory Japanese-style pancake), shabu-shabu, Japanese curry, and a wide range of specialty meats to grill, also commonly referred as yakiniku.

Edagawa Terrace contains four “engawa[s]” or sections with sitting areas, and a lounge to complement a drink from the cafe or bar. Within this area, it offers a warming experience with a cafe and a bar to start off or end the experience. This area also offers an open terrace space with a center view of the interior architecture of Waikiki Shopping Plaza, which connects to Waikiki Yokocho.

Ramen Road consists of four ramen restaurant options that serves their own unique take of flavors, from differently textured noodles to hot savory broths. The goal of this section is to recreate a nostalgic feeling of Japan’s Edo period, combined with modern design, where you can enjoy the taste of authentic ramen of Japan.

Waikiki Yokocho is a maze of narrow alleys lined with restaurants along the perimeter of the building.

Through the many restaurants lined among the alley, each restaurant provides an energetic ambiance with aromatic dishes that fill the air, tempting visitors to try one restaurant to the next.

Waikiki Yokocho is comparable to Shirokiya, located in Ala Moana, but instead of food kiosks with a mass seating lined around the outer parts of the food village walk, Yokocho is comprised of dine-in restaurants. The two are very similar in terms of its concept. Waikiki Yokocho is rather emphasized on the freshly made food, and the dining experience to complement all the delicious food and drink.

The hard part may be picking through the many restaurants offered in the alley of Waikiki Yokocho. Planning where to start and determining where to end is a food fun adventure to enjoy.

I’ve decided to try Baikohken, located on the Ramen Road section. The menu consists of three types of ramen dishes: shoyu, shio, and miso based broths. My specific choice was the featured shoyu house ramen that was listed first on the menu, topped with two large pieces of soft chashu pork, green onions, and bamboo shoots, under a bed of curly noodles. The chashu (braised pork) meat was very lean and as stated on the menu the meat is marinated overnight, which is not hard to believe because the texture and flavor were amazing.

Additional toppings from soft boiled eggs, additional pieces of chashu pork, bean sports, corn and more are offered to enhance the ramen experience.

Kama’aina discounts are also available at participating establishments. Be sure to bring a valid Hawaii I.D.

Follow @Waikikiyokocho on Instagram to stay updated on the latest deals, featured events, and extended menu options.

Waikiki Yokocho is open daily from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m., located in the Waikiki Shopping Center at 2250 Kalakaua Ave., Lower Level 100 across the Royal Hawaiian Center.

Parking options are walking distance of Waikiki Yokocho include Waikiki Shopping Plaza Parking. Hourly parking rates are offered during the day and flat rate parking in the evening and the weekends.

Parking rates daily and during the evening on Sunday to Thursday: from 6 p.m. – 12 a.m., Friday & Saturday: 6 p.m. – 2 a.m., until the time of exit, is $2.50 per half hour accepting cash only.

On weekends during the day on Saturday & Sunday: 6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. is a $7 flat rate but also cash only.

Another parking option is Waikiki Business Plaza Parking, located right across the street from Waikiki Yokocho, on Kalakaua Avenue on the left side of Seaside Avenue.