What are the best sushi places in Japan

Raw fish is not for everyone, but sashimi, maki and especially the popular California rolls are firmly on the menu for many. In every major city there are now several sushi restaurants that are bursting at the seams, especially on the weekends. Healthy fast food as the basis for an exuberant party night or also perfectly suited for an important business lunch - sushi is a real all-rounder.

But is our sushi just as typical and original as it is in Japan? I have myself in Tokyo go in search of clues and look for the best sushi the city and a real Japanese fish market.

Sushi in Tokyo: raw fish in its most beautiful form

You love it or you hate it - there is often not much in between. But that's no wonder, because raw fish just doesn't taste good. There is also a large selection of delicious sushi rolls that taste fantastic with tofu or mushrooms and other vegetables.

Since 19th century there is sushi in Tokyo. Back then, rice enriched with vinegar (Shari) was supposed to preserve the fish and keep it fresh longer - today the additional acidity might be superfluous, but it is precisely the mixture of sweetness, salt and acidity that makes the rolls so tasty. Edomae Sushi is the name of this original form of rice rolls, in which fish and all other ingredients are usually boiled or pickled in order to keep them longer. Only with the spread of cooling options did the variants with raw fish become popular.

Tsukiji Fish Market: A Mecca for sushi lovers

Anyone who has already been to Tokyo has definitely not missed it, including a detour to the famous one Tsukiji fish market close. There is an incredible selection of fresh fish here. Of course, tuna is very popular and is sold over the counter here for exorbitant prices. Some parts of the market are not open to tourists, but in others every visitor can watch the goings-on from 9 a.m. and maybe buy fresh seafood for themselves. Incidentally, 120 people per day can exclusively attend the Tuna auction to be there. But you have to be ready at the Kachidoki Gate at the fish information center at 5 a.m. and secure a spot (unfortunately this is not possible at the moment).

Info: On October 11, 2018, the inner fish market moved to Toyosu, the outer market is still in Tsukiji. You can take part in the famous tuna auctions in Toyosu again from January 15, 2019, in Tsukiji this is no longer possible.

5 of the best sushi restaurants in Tokyo

Eating sushi in Tokyo is like eating currywurst in the Ruhr area. There are just too many shops and restaurants where the fish tastes fantastic. To make the choice a little easier on site, here are 5 of the best sushi restaurants in Tokyo.

Sushi Dai: Right on the fish market

Between 5 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon, sushi lovers come straight to the fish market to try the “best tuna of their life”. On some days it can happen that you have to wait a few hours to finally be able to try. There are only 10 seats and the selection may vary depending on the daily offer. But the atmosphere and the fine selection of fish make your mouth water at the thought.

Address: 5-2-1 Tsukiji | Tsukiji Fish Market 6th Bldg., Chuo 104-0045, Tokyo.

Sukiyabashi Jiro: Where Barack Obama dined

The 91-year-old restaurant owner Jiro Ono already has three Michelin stars and Barack Obama was there too. Reason enough to test the master's sushi skills first-hand. Only 10 people can eat at a long bar at the same time - that seems to be the fashion here. Every morning the ingredients for the daily menu are fetched from the Tsukiji Fish Market. There is delicious tea and fish that melt on the tongue. Here in Sukiyabashi Jiro Even rice preparation has become a science. Reservation is compulsory. It is difficult to get a place spontaneously.

Address: 6-12-2 Roppongi | Roppongi Hills Keyakizaka-dori 3F, Minato, Tokyo.

Sushi Yoshitake: A hidden gourmet temple

Hides in a small hotel Sushi yoshitake. This restaurant is also tiny and hardly seats a handful of people. Not only tuna is served here, but also cod and sea urchins, which are rather unknown in Japan. This is of course not for everyone, but the great dishes are definitely worth a try. The prices are steep, the ambience is unique. Here every piece of sushi is a small work of art.

Address: 8-7-19 Ginza | 3? Suzuryu Building, Chuo 104-0061, Tokyo.

Umegaoka Sushi: In the middle of Shibuya

You can also eat really good sushi in the middle of the lively Shibuya district. In terms of price and quality, it is slightly below the level of star restaurants Umegaoka sushi but despite everything, eat sushi in a class of its own. You won't find sea urchins on this menu, but there is eel and very good tuna. The queue in front of the restaurant can be seen from afar. Everyone who wants to dine here has to pull a number tag. Depending on the number of numbers that are still ahead of you, it makes sense to simply explore the shops in the area and do a little shopping. Then you can enjoy a delicious meal in an award-winning restaurant. After all, this sushi hotspot has also been rewarded with the Travelers Choice Award 2014.

Address: 1-12 Dogenzaka | Shibuya Mark City East 4F, Shibuya 150-0043, Tokyo.

Sushi Kanesaka: high class sushi with high prices

For years this restaurant has been one of the top addresses in Tokyo. The location is also not easy to find and only offers space for 14 people. For an incredible 150-250 euros, sushi master Shinji Kanesaka san serves a 10-20 course menu that contains the finest seafood and just looks delicious. A young chef, who has been awarded two Michelin stars, who chats in a friendly manner with his guests and explains all the courses to them in detail - this is how you imagine a modern sushi restaurant. It's worth spending your vacation money on your head for an evening here, because you won't forget these many different flavors in a hurry. By the way, lunch is much cheaper than dinner. Allow yourself a few hours here, you will be amazed.

Address: 8-10-3 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo.

Those were some of the best sushi restaurants in Tokyo. Should you ever be in the capital of Japan, don't be afraid to try sushi in its most original form. After all, thousands of Japanese eat sashimi, nigiri and co. Every day. You will be surprised how delicious raw fish can be.

Tip: In my video, which I brought you from my last trip to Japan, you will get more exciting insights into the land of the rising sun:

Video: Vacation guru

Find out more about Japan in my travel magazine