Japanese Restaurant with Locations Worldwide Opening First US Location in Watertown

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The following information was provided by Boylston Properties and the Wilder Cos.:

Cluck yeah! Boylston Properties and Wilder proudly announced today that Japan’s Yuki Watanabe and Tori Jiro Executive Chef, Chef Mizushima will be serving up their world-famous “Yakitori” at Arsenal Yards. With over 60 restaurants in Japan, Hong Kong, The Philippines and Italy, Yuki Watanabe will open his first U.S. restaurant at Arsenal Yards, bringing iconic Japanese staples to Greater Boston’s next hottest neighborhood.

When Tori Jiro Founder Yuki Watanabe graduated from college, he was torn between the decision of job hunting or starting his own business. His favorite food in college was yakitori, a popular Japanese meal that consists of bite sized pieces of chicken on skewers cooked over charcoal. One day he was watching a TV show about one of the most famous yakitori restaurants in Tokyo. He was intrigued, so he visited the restaurant and was amazed by their yakitori. He pleaded with the owner to train him so he too could build a successful yakitori restaurant. With this clear ambition, Mr. Watanabe set out to make the very best yakitori in Japan and did just that. He now serves his famous yakitori in four countries across the globe and will soon be treating the U.S. to the international sensation, along with a variety of authentic Japanese foods and beverages. 

“Tori Jiro is unlike anything else in the area and fits in well with the unique vibe that we’re creating at Arsenal Yards,” said Bill McQuillan, Principal at Boylston Properties. “We’re pretty pumped that Yuki chose to introduce his yakitori to the U.S. at Arsenal Yards — it really speaks to how cool the neighborhood is going to be.” 

Some of Yuki Watanabe’s hottest dishes include Sumibiyaki, char-broiled yakitori and Karaage, chicken that’s fried to perfection, crispy on the outside and unbelievably juicy and tender on the inside. For those looking to take a ride on the wild side, Tsukune is right up their alley; homemade chicken meatballs grilled slowly over charcoal fire with Mr. Watanabe’s top-secret Tare sauce, served with a special yolk mixture to land the perfect dunk.

“Similar to Tori Jiro, Arsenal Yards’ character reflects a careful balance of modernity and paying homage to its rich, cultural history,” said Kerry Dowling, Senior Vice President, Leasing at Wilder. “We’re proud to bring unique and diverse dining options to East End Watertown and Tori Jiro will fit right in with the eclectic experience we’re building at Arsenal Yards.”

“Boston is one of my favorite cities and I was looking to open my first U.S. location somewhere nearby that had the action of the city with a welcoming neighborhood feel” said Yuki Watanabe, Founder of Tori Jiro. “We’re excited to be a part of the growth of East End Watertown and to share a taste of Japan with Arsenal Yards.”

With initial openings planned for late 2019, by 2020 Arsenal Yards will be a thriving new neighborhood comprised of over one million sq. ft. of development including 250,000 sq. ft. of shopping, dining and fitness, as well as fresh groceries from Roche Bros. and a seven-screen cinema, The Majestic at Arsenal Yards. Additionally, Arsenal Yards will include 200,000 sq. ft. of creative office and life science space, 300 contemporary residences and a 150-room Hampton by Hilton.

Tori Jiro joins future neighbors Shake Shack, City Works Eatery and Pour House, Condesa Restaurante Mexicano, Tender Greens, Pokeworks and Chipotle in opening at Arsenal Yards throughout the next two years. Additionally, the neighborhood’s retailers and businesses will include SQZ Biotech, Marshalls, The Home Depot, Gap Outlet, Old Navy, Santander, T-Mobile, European Wax Center and Ulta Beauty. 


Boylston Properties is a Boston-based real estate developer of mixed-use places including retail, residential, hotel, corporate, and lab buildings. With four decades of experience and a contemporary vision, their distinctive projects have become part of Greater Boston’s new urban landscape. For more information, please visit www.boylstonproperties.com.


Wilder is a Boston-based real estate development, management, and leasing firm specializing in the positioning of retail properties. Privately held and owner managed, Wilder’s mission has been and continues to be to create vibrant shopping places that meet and exceed the expectations of customers, retailers, and investors. From lifestyle centers, urban properties, and community centers to mixed-use developments and super-regional malls, Wilder has developed, managed, and leased more than 2 million square feet of retail properties throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. The company continues to have a diverse portfolio of properties throughout the East Coast. For more information, please visit www.wilderco.com.


Yuki Watanabe established Dining BEBE in 2007, the predecessor of the present Tori Jiro after being trained by the top yakitori chef in Japan. In 2008 Sanctuary Inc. was established and the first Tori Jiro opened in Tokyo. Now, Sanctuary Group operates more than 60 locations internationally and is comprised of different Japanese brands and concepts including Tori-Jiro yakitori restaurant, Akira Ramen bar, Kushi Tanaka fried skewers restaurant, Dandadan dumpling bar, among others. Sanctuary Group’s main mission is to create happiness through providing quality foods in a customer-oriented environment.

2 thoughts on “Japanese Restaurant with Locations Worldwide Opening First US Location in Watertown

  1. Super exciting news! Frank Pepe’s, Pokeworks, Tender Greens and now the first US branch of this yakatoki place. Whoever is in charge of bringing these restaurants to Arsenal Yards is doing an incredible job. Now all we need is a chef-y Armenian restaurant to give a shout-out to the folks who built this ‘hood the first time around.

  2. I am excited to try these newcomer restaurants, but let’s not forget that we have many local independent restaurants serving terrific Japanese fare. Let’s show them some support, too.

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