Where to find the best sushi in Tokyo

omakase tokyo japan

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Tokyo is a foodie’s paradise — you can find just about anything you’re craving in this city.

And the food is always delicious. It’s honestly one of my favorite things about this town.

But when visiting Japan, you need to try sushi. And while most of the sushi you find here will be better than the sushi back home, there’s a huge difference between convenience store sushi and the really good stuff.

So, here’s a guide to some of the best sushi in Tokyo.

What is Sushi?

tokyo sushi

When I first moved to Tokyo, I went to multiple sushi places expecting to see elaborate sushi like dragon and volcano rolls. Well guess what? They don’t exist in Japan.

That’s because those Volcano and Godzilla rolls aren’t authentic sushi. Real sushi is simple: vinegared rice and fish or vegetables.

things to eat in tokyo sushi
Images: Fleur Delilah – www.fleurdelilah.com

Sushi in Japan typically refers to nigirizushi (standard sushi with fish on top of a ball of rice), makizushi (simple maki rolls), and temakizushi (cone-shaped sushi).

And traditionally, the chef decides whether a piece of sushi requires anything like wasabi or soy sauce.

7 Sushi Restaurants in Tokyo You Need to Try

best sushi tokyo

Sushi no Midori

For amazing value at an equally amazing price, try Sushi no Midori. Midori has multiple stores, and none of them take reservations. Instead, they run on a ticket system. What this means is that you need to get there early in order to even eat.

Wait times of three hours are common at dinner.

Sushi Sho

Head to Sushi Sho for Edo-style sushi. A local favorite, Chef Keiji Nakazawa is known for aging the fish for a number of days.

Try the omakase menu, a 35-piece set course, to get a full look at this sushi master’s style.

>More information and bookings

Tsukiji Suzutomi

Located in the upscale department store GinzaSix, Tsukiji Suzutomi is operated by the Tsukiji tuna broker Suzutomi.

Try high quality seafood direct from Tsukiji in an elegant atmosphere. The tuna is particularly delicious.

Sushi Saito

With three Michelin stars and fans like Chef Joel Robuchon, Sushi Saito is worth your attention. Chef Takashi Saito is a leader in the industry, masterfully aging ingredients to bring out the best in flavor.

With only seven seats, you need to reserve months in advance to eat at this place.

>For Sushi Saito reservations click here

Daisan Harumi Sushi

Visit Daisan Harumi Sushi to taste the work of a true craftsman. Serving sushi for over 50 years, chef Nazuo Nagayama is a master in the sushi world and has authored a number of books on the topic.

While dining here, you’ll find out information about each of the fish used and get to try freshly made wasabi.

Nihonbashi Kakigaracho Sugita

Infamously known as one of the hardest sushi spots to book, Sugita serves up Michelin star magic. This restaurant is a favorite among locals. Make sure to try the appetizers and the kohada.

sushi tokyo japan

Sukiyabashi Jiro

This list wouldn’t be complete without the famed sushi restaurant from the sensational documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”. Travel back in time and enjoy the atmosphere of a traditional sushi house at Sukiyabashi Jiro.

This restaurant exclusively serves an omakase menu, or a Chef’s selection menu, that consists of 20 pieces of sushi.

>Click for more info and reservations

How to Eat Sushi

how to eat sushi

If you’ve never eaten sushi before, you might feel a bit intimidated. Here are some tips to eating sushi like a local:

1. Advanced reservations are a part of life in Japan. And unless the restaurant doesn’t take reservations (like Midori), you will need to book in advance for most of the top sushi restaurants. Check online, and if you can only book by phone, ask your hotel concierge.

2. When eating at a Japanese restaurant, the staff will hand you a wet towel called an oshibori. Use this to wipe your hands before eating, but do not use it to wipe your face. You can keep it by you to wipe your hands during the meal (see number 4).

3. If you read and speak Japanese, many places will have an a la carte menu. Otherwise, go with a set menu. Many sushi restaurants have an omakase menu featuring the best of the chef’s specialties.

tokyo sushi bar

4. In nicer sushi restaurants, the chef will decide if and when to use garnish or sauce. If this is the case, you can just pick up the sushi and eat it. If not, pick up the sushi and dip it in soy sauce fish-side down.

5. You can pick up sushi using one of two methods. The method you probably are familiar with is by using chopsticks. Hold the chopsticks parallel to the table and lift the sushi by grabbing the sides.

The other method, and what some argue is the proper way, is by using your hands. With your middle finger and thumb, pick the sushi up by the sides of the rice. Be careful not to grip tightly as the sushi will fall apart.

tokyo sushi restaurant

6. Do not pull apart or eat the sushi in multiple bites. Each sushi is sized and made to be eaten as a whole.

7. Eat the sushi immediately after it is served. The chefs meticulously prepare each piece and serve it at the optimum time and temperature. The longer you wait, the drier the fish becomes and the colder the rice gets.

8. Cleanse your palate in between sushi pieces with a slice of pickled ginger, or shoga. This removes any extra fat and flavor from your mouth so you can enjoy each piece of sushi to the fullest.


Sushi is all over Tokyo, and these are just seven places to try real, authentic sushi at its finest. Regardless of whether you visit these places or not, the sushi will be great.

And remember: start your meal off with a happy “Itadakimasu!


Learn how to make sushi in Tokyo

sushi making class tokyo

Want to learn how to make sushi? There’s no better place to do it than in Japan.

Join a sushi making class in Tokyo and you can learn how to recreate your favorite pieces at home. A course with a professional English speaking sushi chef will have you rolling your own maki in no time – click here for sushi course details


What is your favorite sushi place in Tokyo?

Or do you have another recommendation for the best sushi restaurant in Tokyo


Asia destination food guides

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24 thoughts on “Where to find the best sushi in Tokyo

  1. Carolyn Eddie says:

    brilliant article…family are big sushi lovers. sadly I am not but wish I were!. Need to keep this post as husband wants to take family to Japan. My son and I went with a school trip years ago and he maintains we missed the best bits. He used to travel there with work and is always raving about the food!

  2. Allison says:

    I’ve never been a fan of sushi. It has never appealed to me. I don’t see this every changing but who knows, maybe I’ll try some when we go to Tokyo some day. #FarawayFiles

  3. California Globetrotter says:

    Oh no, just saw your comment that you find sushi in London to be terrible! I wonder how it compares to here in Germany! I only eat sushi without fish though! Our restaurant here serves a bomb ass duck sushi! Yes, I just said bomb ass, because it’s THAT good! Would like to visit Japan as I was born there and haven’t been back since I was 2/3 years old! #FarawayFiles

  4. beatravelling says:

    I could go to Japan just for the food. I have seen some of the food pics a Japanese girl I met in Australia posts – it looks so delicious!! #farawayfiles

  5. Angela Vincent says:

    I would love to go to Japan in the near future for many reasons, one of which is to experience sushi as it should be. I have little experience of it and often feel a little nervous about what to have rarely straying far from the tried and tested. I shall save this post for future travels… #FarawayFiles

  6. Beth says:

    Ahhh, some mysteries to me have been revealed! What a great breakdown on sushi in Japan. And I really appreciate the protocols for eating it- I’m a newbie so this is perfect. #FarawayFiles

  7. Katherine says:

    I really don’t like the taste of seaweed so I usually stick to summer rolls (which I think may be Vietnamese). But I should try these ones that don’t have any seaweed, they look so delicious! #FarawayFiles

  8. Bryna | Dotted Line Travels says:

    I miss sushi in Japan! I don’t live near the sea, so the seafood is never that fresh. That’s why here, I actually prefer the “fusion” sushi (those Dragon and Volcano rolls!) because it masks some of the (unfresh!) seafood taste. But in Japan, I love the traditional sushi! I never got round to going to the famous Sukiyabashi Jiro though. I hope to try it one day!

  9. Janis says:

    Really informative post, I used to work for a Japanese Bank in London and my colleagues took us out a few times, but like you, they said the quality is better in Japan. Although we still all enjoyed it, tha’ts Sake for you!!!

    We would love to visit Japan, hopefully it will be in the next few years, so I’ll save your tips and read them again #farawayfiles

  10. Ruth says:

    I have wanted to visit Tokyo for a long time. I know it is a super interesting city but I know I would fall in love with the food in there. My husband and I love sushi and we would love to eat it in Japan (we know it is pretty different from the rolls we have here in California). #FarawayFiles

  11. Hilary says:

    We weren’t great about booking ahead during our Japan visit, but we found that every restaurant we ate at was delicious! As sushi tends to be on the pricier side no matter where you are, we only ate it a few times during our visit. #farawayfiles

  12. Kat says:

    I LOVE, LOVE sushi! Malaysians love to mix wasabi in soya sauce and they dunk the sushi in it – I was told that Japanese don’t do this at all – we’ve been eating the wrong way as well, lol! Hmm, I think I shall have sushi for lunch today 🙂 #FarawayFiles

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