ICHIBANYA: Home to the Most Famous Japanese Curry Rice | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan
ICHBANYA: The Most Famous Curry Rice Restaurant

ICHIBANYA: Home to the Most Famous Japanese Curry Rice

By Guidable Writers Sep 7, 2016

ICHBANYA: The Most Famous Curry Rice Restaurant

Curry rice is one of the most popular dishes in Japan and it’s very easy to cook, it also does not takes much money for buying ingredients. You only need ingredients such as potatoes, onions and carrots etc. According to some information, curry rice was introduced by the British Navy in Japan during the 1860s to 1900s. The Japanese Navy found that curry rice is a very ideal meal for Japanese because it’s possible to cook a large quantity and can also nourish their health. They adopted curry rice for the meal in the Japanese navy at that time and curry rice was gradually consumed widely in Japan.

スクリーンショット 2016-09-06 13.04.02(Reference: http://biz.travel.yahoo.co.jp)


ICHIBANYA or Curry House CoCo Ichibanya is the most famous curry restaurant chain in Japan. ICHIBANYA was founded by a Japanese businessman named Tokuji Munetsugu in 1978 in Nagoya. The founder Munetsugu was born in Ishikawa, but he didn’t know his parents and he was in an orphan in Hyogo until he was three years old. After that, Munetsugu was adopted in Nagoya, however, Munetsugu’s poor life didn’t changed because his stepfather didn’t have any steady jobs for a long time. Munetsugu and his stepfather got only a little money by collecting garbage and sold them as their means for living. Munetsugu began to live with his stepmother again after his stepfather died when he was 15 and Munetsugu’s hardship still continued until he graduated from school and got to work after all.

スクリーンショット 2016-09-06 13.07.17
(Reference: http://taspy.jp/25827)


Munetsugu’s life had gradually changed when he got married to his wife, Naomi in 1972. After the marriage, Munetsugu and his wife started the first restaurant and called it “Buccuss” in Nagoya in 1974. They already started their real estate agency before opening “Buccuss”, but Munetsugu decided to give up the real estate job because he was more interested in the restaurant business.

In 1975, Munetsugu opened his second restaurant in the same area in Nagoya, they started to add the curry rice made by Munetsugu’s wife, Naomi to the menu. Surprisingly, the curry was getting popular and Munetsugu and his wife decided to open their own curry restaurant in Nagoya and changed the name to Curry House CoCo Ichibanya.

スクリーンショット 2016-09-06 13.04.59
(Reference: http://taspy.jp/25827)

Today, CoCo Ichibanya or CoCo Ichi has more than 1177 branches in Japan. Coco Ichi curry has also many varieties, such as stewed chicken curry rice, pork or chicken cutlet curries. The menu book has more than 7 languages for foreigners on the web, so it’s very convenient too.