It is undeniably true that Japan is the heaven for sushi lovers because it is the place of origin for sushi. If you’re travelling to Tokyo for a japanese food adventure, these sushi restaurants in Tokyo are definitely your best choices!
1. Sushi Saito
Sushi Saito is being rewarded with three Michelin stars continuously for 5 years. It was founded by Takashi Saito that primarily serves sushi. It is being described as “the best sushi restaurant in the world” by Chef Joël Robuchon, who got the most Michelin stars in the world. It has several branches around the world, such as Malaysia and Hong Kong. In order to ensure the freshness and quality of food, Chef Saito would go to Tsukiji market daily to purchase the ingredients. Different from other sushi restaurants that seek innovation, Chef Saito tends to preserve the traditional style of sushi. This is because Chef Saito was once being judged by his customers, who told him that he should not make innovative changes to the sushi. Chef Saito is well known for making Edo-style sushi, where he prefers a smaller cut of fish, blended with sea salt and milder red vinegar in his rice. Besides, his tuna sushi, abalone, octopus, eel and purple sea urchin are also popular among the customers. Due to Sushi Saito’s great reputation and limited space in the restaurant, it is super difficult to get in. Thus, it’s recommended to make reservations few months before going there in order to successfully secure a place.
Location: 1-4-5 Roppongi 1F Ark Hills South Tower, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Hours: Lunch 12:00~14:00, Dinner 17:00~23:00 (Closed on Sundays)
Kyubey is founded by chef Hisaji Imada in 1935, who was well-known for being the creator of gunkan-maki. He was also the first person who used uni(sea urchin) and ikura(salmon roe) as one of the ingredients in making sushi. Kyubey’s sushi was so delicate that it’s been ordered twice by President Obama when he visited Japan. Another thing to mention is chef Takashi Saito has once worked in Kyubey Ginza to hone his skill when he was still a newbie in the sushi world. Kyubey is suitable for you if you seek to walk-in instead of making reservations!
Location: 7-6, Ginza 8-chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo.
Hours: Lunch 11:30~14:00, Dinner 17:00~ 22:00 (Closed on Sundays and Holidays)
3. Tsugu Sushimasa
View this post on Instagram
Some of the highlights from the #omakase at #TsuguSushimasa . #sushi #botanebi #hirame #awabi #ankimo #shirako #Hokkaido #oyster #shako #amadai #kegani #hairycrab #wakasagi #tempura #otoro #nigiri #saba #akagai #uni #ikura #kuruma #ebi #tamago #Shinjuku #Tokyo #Japan #Asia #MrInternational
The highlight of Tsugu Sushimasa is the strong taste of vinegar in the rice. Different from the usual Japanese restaurants, Tsugu Sushimasa focus more on the texture of rice because they believe that rice is the essence of all the sushi. Their secret of making good rice is by using Aakazu brewed from the sake lees instead of the normal rice vinegar, which has a stronger taste and gives the rice a brownish appearance. In Japanese, the word Tsugu means success or inherit, which explains that Tsugu Sushimasa has been passed on for three generations. If you’re not a fan of sashimi and raw fish, Tsugu Sushimasa is definitely your choice because it serves sushi topped with grilled fish and seafood.
Location: 8 Arakicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo.
Hours: 18:00~2:00 (Closed on Sundays)
4. Ichibancho Teruya
Ichibancho Teruya is a traditional sushiya where you can sit at the counter to witness the process of chef preparing the sushi. In Japan, this special service is only available if you can speak Japanese. Surprisingly, you can get an opportunity to witness the process of sushi preparation in Ichibancho Teruya even if you can’t speak Japanese. This is because Chef Teruya can use English to communicate with the customers as he was grown up in New York. Chef Teruya excels in preparing nigiri, where the sushi is being topped by raw fish and seafood. If you’re looking forward to get a counter seat, be sure to make reservations beforehand because there are only 8 counter seats in the restaurant.
Location: 15-15 Ichibancho SA Bldg B1F, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo.
Hours: Monday to Friday Lunch 11:30~14:00, Dinner 16:00~22:30. Saturday 11:30-14:00 (Closed on Sunday)
In 2017, Sushi Masuda was being rewarded for 2 Michelin Stars. Chef Masuda’s main motto in serving dishes is to ensure the freshness or the ingredients. Thus, Chef Masuda chooses the best fish that is specially caught daily and is particular about the texture and moisture of the rice and other ingredients. Not only that, all the sushi is served at a controlled temperature to ensure a perfect blend of the texture and tenderness. Masuda has been popular since the visit of President Obama. Thus, you’re recommend to make reservations before going there.
Location: B1F,5-8-11, Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Hours: Lunch 12:00~14:00, Dinner 17:30~22:00 (Closed on Sundays)
6. Sushi Fujita
Sushi Fujita is located near the Higashi-Ginza Station. Since it’s always visited by foreign visitors, its staff can speak fluent English. Sushi Fujita provides a wide variety of choices, which include specially made sushi, two chef courses and several a-la-carte dishes. The rice here is specially added to taste with homemade sauce and the tamagoyaki is also a must-eat dish.
Location: 1F, Niiyama Bldg., 3-13-5, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo.
Hours: Lunch 11:30~14:30, Dinner 17:30~23:00 (Closed on Tuesdays)
7. Sushi Dai
Needless to say, Sushi Dai’s ingredients are the freshest of all due to its excellent location at the Tsukiji area. Sushi Dai is especially well-known for its Edo-style sushi, which results in the long queue in front of its restaurant. Since Sushi Dai has moved to a new place, it now provides stools for its customers rather than standing in a long queue at the old location. Each set of sushi meals merely cost around 2,000-3,000 yen while the Omakase (chef course) which that consists of nigiri sushi, a roll, eggs, and a bonus sushi costs around 4,000 yen. The freshness of food plus the good value of price would definitely make you feel worthwhile for the long queue!
Location: Toyosu, 6 Chome−5−1, Koto City
Hours: 10:30 a.m. ~4:00 a.m. next day, Monday to Saturday; 11:00 a.m. ~10:00 p.m. on Sundays and national holidays
8. Ginza Sushi Kanesaka
Sushi Kanesaka is a Michelin star restaurant located in the Ginza district. Its interior is being traditionally decorated, which gives customers a feeling of travelling back time to the ancient period. The interior design is so artistic that it is decorated with flowers in flower vases of the Muromachi period. Sushi Kanesaka primarily serves Edo-style sushi, which is Japanese authentic sushi with fresh ingredients bought daily from the Tsukiji Market. The signature dish here is the cooked swordfish with Japanese radish where it is tender and buttery without covering the freshness of the swordfish. Although the cost is a bit pricey, but the wonderful merge of top-notch Japanese rice and the fresh ingredients would definitely make it worthwhile.
Location: B1/F Misuzu Bldg, 8-10-3 Ginza Chuo-ku, Tokyo.
Hours: Lunch 11:30~13:00, Dinner 17:00~22:00
9. Asakusa Sushi Ken
Asakusa Sushi Ken is the first restaurant in Tokyo that serves Halal sushi, which means Muslim visitors can also savour the sushi there. The ingredients for making sushi changes according to the seasonal changes. Chef recommendations include the broiled large toro (tuna belly) sushi, boiled live prawn sushi, omelet sushi and pickles roll.
Location: 2-11-4 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo.
Hours: Lunch 11: 30~16: 00, Dinner 16: 00~23: 30 Monday-Saturday; Lunch 11: 30~15: 00, Dinner 15: 00~22: 00 on Sundays and national holidays
10. Sushi Take
One of the highlights of sushi take is the chef is a female. It is completely different to the male chefs that we usually see in the Japanese restaurants. Her knife skills are trained to perfection and she excels in serving silver fish and shellfish. The advantages of eating here are the affordable price and the easily made reservations.
Location: 7-6-5 Ginza Ishii Kishuya Bldg 4F, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 17:00~23:00 (Closed on Wednesday)
All in all, it’s better to make reservations before going to these sushi restaurants because some are really difficult to get in!
A freelance Chinese columnist/translator currently living and working in Tokyo, Japan. I’m fascinated to see new places and experience the beauty, food and people of different regions. I travel from time to time around Japan and love to share all these experiences.