Obviously, if you love sushi, Tokyo is probably your number one foodie vacation destination, but Tokyo is a big place! There are plenty of excellent sushi restaurants–and plenty of great ones at that. But for seriously fresh sushi, there might be no better place than right off the boat.
And if you want sushi right off the boat, you’ll want to head to Tsukiji-shijo, also known as Tsukiji Fish Market, the “biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world.” While that might sound a bit daunting, worry not! Today, we’re going to visit four Tsukiji-shijo sushi restaurants with none other than our very own Mr. Sato!
As you can probably guess from the photo below, Mr. Sato is quite the sushi-lover, which means we can (probably) trust his taste in raw fish, even if we’re not always sure about his fashion choices. Check out the culinary adventure that Mr. Sato and Nakano, another RocketNews24 writer, embarked on early one morning to find the best sushi in Tsukiji-shijo.
Our first stop on the Mr. Sato Mouth Fun Sushi Ride in Tsukiji-shijo is Daiwa-sushi, the second most popular, if you judge by the number of people lining up to eat. In fact, if you want to get in when they open at 5:30 am, you’ll want to join the other folks who start waiting around 5 am. While that’s a few hours before anyone should be awake in our book, it certainly would be a delicious way to start your day. A meal, which consists of seven pieces of sushi and a bowl of rice, will put you back 3,500 yen (about US$29 plus tax).
While Sushi Dai might be considered the best sushi restaurant by many travelers, Mr. Sato seems to think Daiwa-sushi is equally excellent. “This is delicious! It’s just as good, and if you hate waiting in line [Nakano had to wait for two hours at Sushi Dai], why not just come here?”
Here are a few photos of the sushi you can find at Daiwa-sushi.
After that delicious-looking meal, you might think there wouldn’t be enough room for more sushi, but you’d be wrong! Here’s our next restaurant, Iwasa-zushi.
Iwasa-zushi, which has apparently seen even the CEO of Amazon.com stop by as a customer, is quite popular with foreign tourists, like all of the other establishments in Tsukiji-shijo. The price is the same as Daiwa Sushi at 3,500 yen, but you’ll get 12 pieces of sushi and a bowl of rice instead of seven.
Each piece is apparently a little small, so if you’re not a voracious eater, this would be a good place for you. However, unlike some sushi places, Iwasa-zushi doesn’t give you one piece at a time. Nakano noted that the restaurant hands you three at a time, which might not be ideal if you like to sit and savor your sushi on by one.
Even served three-at-a-time, Iwasz-zushi looks like it has some tasty food!
Now it’s time to head to our next stop on the tour: Okame!
Okame is known to fans of Tsukiji-shijo sushi as a bit of a hidden gem–and Mr. Sato definitely agrees that the restaurant serves some delicious food. Here, the price is a slightly higher at 3,900 yen (about $33) for 12 pieces. For the final two pieces, you can choose whatever you’d like to eat.
Nakano described Okame as having a very traditional taste, and Mr. Sato heaped praise on the establishment’s chuu-toro (medium-fatty tuna). “This chuu-toro is truly delicious! It might be very best right now,” our favorite gourmand said, though apparently Nakano was a much bigger fan of Daiwa Sushi.
Check out a selection of Okame’s sushi below!
And now for our final stop on this Tsukiji-shijio sushi tour: Yamazaki!
LikeIwasa-zushi, the sushi atYamazaki is a little on the small side, but here you’ll get 12 pieces for 3,900 yen (about $33) with the “Kiku” (chrysanthemum) set. The sushi was up to Tsukiji-shijo standards, with the bluefin tuna apparently being the stand-out item.
Check out some photos of Yamazaki’s sushi below!
So, of the four places Mr. Sato showed us today, which was his favorite? Well, here’s his ranking! Of course, this is the Mr. Sato ranking–it’s not an official or objective list by any means.
2. Sushi Dai
In the end though, all of them are excellent–you can’t go wrong stopping at any of these establishments. And just heading down to Tsukiji-shijo is an experience in itself, so you’ll hardly be losing out no matter what you choose.
But these are only a part of the sushi restaurants that Nakano and Mr. Sato visited. Keep an eye out for the follow-up with even more tantalizing photos soon!
All images © RocketNews24