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Sushi Restaurants in Japan

15 Best Sushi Restaurants in Japan

Sushi has long been a global phenomenon and one of Japan’s most important culinary exports, to the point that finding excellent sushi in some of the world’s top cities is no longer a challenge. Nonetheless, as the birthplace of sushi, Japan remains unequaled as the place for some of the world’s best sushi restaurants. Here, we’ve compiled a list of the best sushi restaurants in Japan that have recently gotten a Michelin rating or have previously received a Michelin rating, to give you the best sushi experience possible.

Japan has thousands of sushi eateries. Even if you go to a sushi restaurant every day for a year, it’s difficult to narrow down thousands (some say nearly 4000) of sushi restaurants to a top 15.

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To make it more realistic, we’ve limited ourselves to high-end (chef’s pick from ¥10,000) restaurants that are semi-easy to book at least a couple of weeks in advance.

Best Sushi Restaurants in Japan

If you visit Japan, be warned: you will never see raw fish on rice the same way again. When visiting you can’t go wrong with any of these top sushi restaurants in Japan.

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1. Sushi M

Sushi M
Sushi M cntraveler
Sushi M

Traditionalists, beware: Yoshinobu Kimura, the restaurant‘s owner and sommelier, opened it to explore the possibilities of sushi as an international dish, combined with super-premium sake and wine.

It’s a fusion take on the way we prepare seafood using modern techniques and international ideas.

Kimura mixes Domaine Chaud Skin Dive (a natural orange wine from Japan) with vinegar-marinated kohada gizzard shad, along with a meal of swordfish and grilled corn topped with caviar.

Yoshinobu Kimura, formerly of Narisawa, is one of Asia’s greatest sommeliers, and he uses his chemical background to create food-and-beverage pairings.

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2. Ichibancho Teruya

Ichibancho Teruya
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Ichibancho Teruya

Chatting with the chef is one of the delights of eating at a sushi restaurant, but there aren’t many locations in Tokyo where you can do so in English.

One of them is this. Teruya Iida traveled to New York as a high school student and began his training at a Manhattan sushi restaurant, making him one of Tokyo’s few high-end sushi chefs who speaks English well.

He founded his own restaurant after returning to Japan. He still serves a broad range of morsels in little pieces in the Sushi Sho tradition, alternating between nigiri (with both akazu and shirozu vinegar) and side dishes.

Expect some personal touches as well, including some meticulously crafted desserts. Omakase courses start at roughly 20,000 yen.

3. Sushi Hayakawa

Sushi Hayakawa
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Sushi Hayakawa

Akira Hayakawa’s resume is more varied than the ordinary sushi chef, including stops at restaurants in Roppongi and Ginza specializing in various types of Japanese cuisine.

He uses a variety of ways you wouldn’t ordinarily see at a sushi restaurant while working behind a lovely wooden counter at this unmarked Ebisu business.

Young sea bream sandwiched in blossom-scented kelp, and channel rockfish skin prepared with burning straw and served with kidneys marinated in soy sauce, are typical meals.

The Hayakawa Special, his signature dish, is a delicious tuna belly served on a charcoal-broiled roll with truffle flakes. You should budget approximately 20,000.

4. Sukiyabashi Jiro

Sukiyabashi Jiro is arguably one of the most famous sushi restaurants in Japan. Located in Tokyo, this three-Michelin-starred establishment is helmed by sushi master Jiro Ono.

With its minimalist decor and intimate seating, Sukiyabashi Jiro offers a truly authentic sushi experience. Guests can savor the delicate flavors of Jiro’s sushi, made with the freshest fish sourced directly from Tsukiji Fish Market.

5. Sushi Saito

Sushi Saito
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Sushi Saito

Sushi Saito, also located in Tokyo, is another highly regarded sushi restaurant. Chef Takashi Saito is known for his dedication to perfection and his unwavering commitment to quality. At Sushi Saito, guests can enjoy an omakase-style dining experience.

The chef selects the freshest ingredients and creates a personalized sushi journey that highlights the essence of each ingredient. This alongside its cozy ambiance makes Sushi Saito one of the top sushi restaurants in Japan.

6. Rozan Ginza

Rozan Ginza
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Rozan Ginza

We’re almost hesitant to reveal this hidden treasure of a sushi restaurant on the 12th floor of Ginza’s Mitsukoshi department store. The quality here is unrivaled in terms of value for money.

Head chef Yusuke Maruyama excels at ancient Edo-style techniques like kobujime (marinating seafood between kombu kelp blades) and shoyuzuke.

Unusual modern additions, such as a sly sheet of nori tucked beneath a squid slice or raw sardine capped with purple shiso blossoms and grated ginger, result in delectably savory mouthfuls.

7.  Sushi Sawada

Sushi Sawada
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Sushi Sawada

Sawada, a two-star restaurant, is known for its top-notch sushi and similarly exorbitant costs. It checks every box of a serious sushi restaurant.

It has six chairs, no assistance, a reverent atmosphere, good behavior expectations, no photography, delicious tuna and sea urchin, and zero electricity utilized in meal preparation. That’s quite old-school. But the regulars keep returning for a reason.

Sawada is a moderately sociable location, but the food is ideal for dedicated aficionados. If you’re looking for a relaxing supper to catch up with friends, you might be better off at other restaurants like Kyubey.

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8. Sushi Mizutani

Sushi Mizutani
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Sushi Mizutani

Sushi Mizutani, located in the upscale district of Ginza in Tokyo, is a sushiya with a long-standing reputation for excellence and one of the best sushi restaurants in Japan.

Chef Hachiro Mizutani has been perfecting his craft for over 50 years, and his sushi is known for its exquisite balance of flavors and textures.

With limited seating and a tranquil ambiance, Sushi Mizutani offers an intimate and unforgettable sushi experience.

9. Sushi Dai

Sushi Dai
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Sushi Da
i

For sushi enthusiasts visiting Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market, Sushi Dai is a must-visit. Despite its modest size and humble decor, Sushi Dai is renowned for its incredibly fresh sushi and long queues of eager diners.

The restaurant’s omakase menu showcases a variety of seasonal fish and seafood, expertly prepared by skilled sushi chefs right before your eyes.

10. Kyubey

Kyubey
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Kyubey

Kyubey is a legendary sushi restaurant in Ginza, Tokyo, that has been delighting guests since 1936.

Known for its attention to detail and exceptional service, Kyubey offers a variety of sushi options, including nigiri, maki rolls, and sashimi.

The chefs at Kyubey take pride in using the finest ingredients and applying traditional sushi-making techniques to create an unforgettable dining experience.

11. Sushi Tokyo Yoshida

Sushi Tokyo Yoshida
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Sushi Tokyo Yoshida

This newcomer’s unusual setting, on a rustic shopping strip in off-the-beaten-path Hatagaya, belies the opulent interior, sumptuously decorated with gilded Japanese screens and carved wood panels.

The youthful and brilliant sushi chefs, led by Daiki Fujimoto, start at the top: Fillets of golden-eye bream and Japanese bluefish seared on a rice wafer with sweet narazuke pickles, monkfish liver pate, and cashew nuts over a bed of blazing-hot binchotan charcoal embers.

The excellent wine and sake pairings by sommelier Katsutoshi Asami, on the other hand, take the experience to new heights. A delectable mound of sea urchins is a revelation when served with Marco de Bartoli 2004 Marsala.

12. Sushi-Ya

Sushi-Ya
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Sushi-Ya

Sushi-ya literally translates to “sushi shop,” but it is far from ordinary.

The eight-seat restaurant, hidden down a short alley in the Ginza neighborhood, has become the darling of food bloggers and Instagramming gastronauts, because of chef Mamoru Hashimoto, who was trained at Sushi Kanesaka.

It has beige walls and blonde wood, plus a delicate ikebana flower arrangement in the corner. As with other serious sushi spots, the décor is both modest and elegant.

13. Sushi Yoshitake

Sushi Yoshitake
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Sushi Yoshitake

Sushi Yoshitake, nestled in Tokyo’s luxurious Ginza district, is one of the top sushi restaurants in Japan and a hidden gem frequented by sushi aficionados.

Chef Masahiro Yoshitake showcases his expertise through a culinary journey that highlights the natural flavors of the finest ingredients.

With its intimate atmosphere and meticulous attention to detail, Sushi Yoshitake guarantees a memorable sushi experience.

14. Sushi Sho

Sushi Sho
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Sushi Sho

Sushi Sho, located in Yotsuya, Tokyo, is known for its unique Edomae-style sushi. Chef Keiji Nakazawa combines traditional techniques with his own creative flair, resulting in innovative and flavorsome sushi creations.

The intimate counter seating allows guests to witness the chef’s artistry up close and engage in a delightful conversation while enjoying the sushi.

15. Udatsu

Udatsu
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Udatsu

Hisahi Udatsu knows the classics but adds touches of creativity in dishes like the hay-scented tuna presented in a glass dome of smoke; a verdant and refreshing roll filled with fresh vegetables and herbs from a local farm; and charcoal-seared-richly, marbled wagyu and served as nigiri.

Vegetarian menus can be requested at the time of booking. Dave Chappelle and Kanye West eat here when they visit Tokyo, and it is popular with both local and foreign creatives.

Summary

Japan is renowned for its exquisite sushi, and it’s no secret that some of the best sushi in the world can be found in this culinary haven.

From traditional sushi-ya (sushi restaurants) to high-end establishments, Japan offers a wide range of sushi experiences that meets every taste.

In this guide are 15 of the best sushi restaurants in Japan, where you can get the freshest seafood and experience the artistry of sushi-making firsthand.

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