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1. Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten (すきやばし次郎 本店) [Ginza]
You might know the name of this Michelin-3-star restaurant that was featured in a documentary movie Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011). Sushi is perfectly timed to the customer’s arrival to be tasted at its best texture. Omakase, chef’s selection at 32,400 yen, is the only menu. The ambiance will tell you to concentrate on appreciating the sushi items served. Though this 10-counter-seats restaurant is almost always fully booked, it’s guaranteed by many as one of best and must-go sushi restaurants in the world.
Address: B1F, Tsukamoto Sozan Bldg, 4-2-15 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo (Google Map)
2. Yoshitake (よしたけ) [Ginza]
Yoshitake with 7 counter seats is an intimate place to enjoy your meal. What they serve here is a set menu, omakase, of appetizers and sushi for about 25,000 yen. In addition to fresh and carefully prepared delicious sushi, welcoming atmosphere of both the owner chef and his apprentices would deliver you a perfect meal. It is open only at dinner time and reservation is required to dine at this Michelin-3-star restaurant.
Address: 3F, Suzuryu Bldg, 8-7-19 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo (Google Map)
3. Sawada (さわ田) [Ginza]
Sawada is a small family-run restaurant with 6 counter-seats. The atmosphere is relaxing. The unique owner chef used to work in the transportation industry. Though only omakase, chef’s choice set menu, is available, don’t worry as he will ask your preferences in advance. You might feel odd after you put your order as he speaks rarely while he prepares dishes. Otherwise, he and his wife are very nice to support you so that you can enjoy your meal. Reservation is required to dine at this Michelin 2-stars restaurant.
Address: 3F, MC Bldg, 5-9-19 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo (Google Map)
4. Mizutani (水谷) [Ginza]
Mizutani is a 2-starred restaurant by Michelin. The restaurant with 10 counter seats offer two set courses: sushi only or sushi and sashimi. Rather slender delicacies are beautifully crafted by the skilled hands of owner chef, Mizutani. Though the staff including himself don’t speak English so much, they are just devoted to offer best dishes to their patrons. Reservation is required.
Address: 9F, Juno Ginza Seiwa Bldg, 8-7-7 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo (Google Map)
5. Kanesaka (かねさか) [Ginza]
Kanesaka in Ginza features traditional Edomae (Tokyo style) Sushi. Shinji Kanesaka, the owner chef, and his apprentices would entertain you by crafting sushi in front of you. Their counter seats are designed to allow guests to witness chefs’ work. Sushi and appetizers are served on beautiful art-piece plates. Lunch is available from 5,000 yen and dinner from 20,000 yen. If you love the aesthetic of Japanese style cuisine, this place is a must-go.
Address: B1F, Ginza Misuzu Bldg, 8-10-3 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo (Google Map)
6. Kuwano (くわ野) [Ginza]
Kuwano is a tiny and cozy restaurant with 8 counter seats in Ginza. The owner chef has studied Japanese cuisine, not only sushi, and all dishes are beautifully prepared by his skilled hands. Rather small sushi is seasoned moderately. This place offers good variety of alcoholic drink list including sake as well. As it’s located on the third floor of a multi-tenant-restaurant building in Ginza, it’s a bit hard to find this Michelin 1 star sushi restaurant.
Address: 3F, Hiratsuka Bldg, 8-7-6 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo (Google Map)
7. Tokami (とかみ) [Ginza]
The owner of Tokami uses sushi rice seasoned with akazu, an exclusive vinegar with strong flavor normally used only with tuna, for every ingredients including white fish. They make surprisingly perfect balance. There are three lunch menus starting from 5,000 yen and dinner menu of chef’s choice for 18,000 yen. Reservation is required for dinner time. The owner chef of this Michelin 1-star restaurant is friendly and speaks fluent English. You can fully enjoy sushi experience through the communication with him.
Address: B1F, Ginza Seiwa Silver Bldg, 8-2-10 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo (Google Map)
8. Saito (さいとう) [Roppongi]
This cozy restaurant with 8 counter seats is recognized as a “hidden gem” or “the best sushi restaurant in the world” by world famous gourmands. Actually, this place is rated as 3 stars by Michelin. Despite his prestige, the owner chef is very friendly and serve exquisitely balanced dishes including his signature-style sushi. Reservation is required. Price ranges from 10,000 yen for lunch and from 20,000 yen for dinner time.
Address: 1F, Ark Hills South Tower, 1-4-5 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo (Google Map)
9. Sukiyabashi Jiro Roppongi (すきやばし次郎 六本木) [Roppongi]
Michelin 2-starred Sukiyabashi Jiro Roppongi is run by Takashi Ono, the son of Ono Jiro, the famous sushi master of Sukiyabashi Jiro. Here, you can enjoy omakase sushi rather cheaper than his father’s restaurant. Lunch set is served for 18,400 yen and Dinner set is 25,900 yen. His strict attitude to his profession sometimes makes him to reprimand his apprentices. Otherwise, some prefer this place than his father’s place saying that the atmosphere is more amiable.
Address: 3F, Roppongi Hills Residence B, 6-12-2 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo (Google Map)
10. Nakamura (なかむら) [Roppongi]
Michelin 1-starred Sushi Nakamura is run by the owner chef who has trained at Japanese restaurants but has never worked at sushi restaurants. It’s rare to sushi artisans. What catches your attention would be the Royal Copenhagen plates he uses to serve sushi and Nakamura’s signature tuna. This restaurant has a good list of sake and serves appetizers that matches perfectly with them. Its convenient location close to Roppongi station and the late opening hours until 24 o’clock make this restaurant more attractive in addition to the friendly and easy-to-communicate chef.
Address: 7-17-16 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo (Google Map)
11. Umi (海味) [Minami Aoyama]
Umi, four minute-walk from Metro Gaienmae station, was famed with its passionate and highly entertaining owner chef, Nagano. Though he passed away this September and one of his apprentices took over the place, Umi is still recognized as two-star sushi restaurant by Michelin. Fresh and rare items from various port served with yummy sushi rice features this place.
Address: 3-2-8 Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo (Google Map)
12. Taku (拓) [NishiAzabu]
This Michelin 2-starred restaurant is more than a sushi restaurant. Takuya Sato, the owner chef, has trained in several restaurants including Japanese cuisine ones. He offers magnificent omakase course menu consisting of high quality appetizers, sashimi and nigiri sushi. This restaurant also boasts a good wine and sake lists selected by its sommelier. You can enjoy best marriage of wine and fine sushi. Open for dinner time only yet till midnight.
Address: 2-11-5 Nishiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo (Google Map)
13. Shin (真) [Nishiazabu]
The owner chef became a sushi artisan simply because he loves sushi. This 1-Michelin-star restaurant serves wonderful sushi and appetizers that are better value for money comparing to other 1 star places. Nigirisushi is a bit bigger than usual and several types of omakase set courses are served. He would be happy to respond to your request concerning size and preference though staff don’t speak English well. Their service is also highly rated by their guests.
HP: sushi-shin.com/ (Japanese Only)
Address: 4-18-20 Nishiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo (Google Map)
14. Imamura (いまむら)[Shirokane Takanawa]
The owner chef of Imamura has a unique background. He worked as a Japanese cuisine chef in Brussels, Belgium. The specialty of this restaurant is firm sushi rice cooked in a cast iron pot seasoned with akazu vinegar. The 8 counter seats surround the kitchen and the guests can enjoy watching chef’s work in detail. Imamura offers two lunch courses on Saturday and Sunday, and a chef’s selection menu for 14,500 yen. The wine list is also recognized by Michelin at this 1-starred restaurant.
Address: 5-8-13 Shirokane, Minato-ku, Tokyo (Google Map)
15. Masuda (ます田) [Omotesando]
The young owner chef of Masuda had trained himself for Japanese cuisine and sushi making. After nine years of apprentice at the famous 3-star sushi restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro, his remarkable seasoning was highly-praised by his master, Jiro Ono. His restaurant in Minami-aoyama, 3 minutes’ walk from Omotesando station, is a great place to enjoy excellent dining experience in a relaxing atmosphere. You can choose from two set menu courses: nigiri only for 18,000 yen or nigiri and appetizers for 23,000 yen.
HP: sushimasuda.jp (Japanese Only)
Address: B1F BC Minamiaoyama Property 5-8-11 Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo (Google Map)
16. Isshin (一新)[Asakusa]
Isshin, 15 minute-walk from Asakusa station, offers very orthodox Edomae sushi at reasonable price- set menu starts from 6,000 yen. If you want to enjoy sushi and yummy appetizers at the intimate atmosphere, his place is a must-go. Though this restaurant is rated as 1-star by Michelin, the humble owner chef and his wife are very easy to talk with. One of their specialty is their appetizer, tender abalone served from June to September. Another specialty is the rice cooked over charcoal flame. No compromise yet far from uptight.
Address: 4-11-3 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo (Google Map)
17. Hatsunezushi (初音鮨) [Kamata]
Michelin-2-starred Hatsunezushi, 10 minute-walk from Kamata station, requires reservation. This family run restaurant has 8 horigotatsu-style counter seats and serves sushi only. Though the guests are asked to be punctuate, the atmosphere is quite friendly. This place is unique. The owner-chef offers you his crafts by hand instead of putting them on a plate and make you feel as if you are a part of his performance. He will show you how the taste of sushi rice change as time goes by. Many patrons appreciate the amiable owner chef’s wife as well as the quality of sushi.
Address: 5-20-2 Nishikamata, Ota-ku, Tokyo (Google Map)
18. Kimura (喜邑) [Futako Tamagawa]
Kimura, located at a quiet residential area in Futago Tamagawa, was granted 2 stars by Michelin in 2013 unexpectedly. This restaurant doesn’t use tuna which is a very common sushi ingredient. What they offer here is skillfully prepared slightly salty white meat fish. You can find best marriage of sake and sushi as well. It’s a liquor shop owner who selects and deliver sake best match the day’s ingredients after he tastes sushi of the day. Closed on Monday.
HP: www.sushikimura.tokyo (Japanese Only)
Address: 3-21-8 Tamagawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo (Google Map)
19. Ichikawa (いちかわ) [Yoga]
Ichikawa, 15 minute-walk from Tokyu Kaminoge station, is a unique restaurant. The owner chef studied Kyoto-style Japanese cuisine at famous Kikunoi in Kyoto and sushi at famous Araki which now operates in London. His omaksase set costs for 18,000 yen both for lunch (Sunday only) and dinner. Enjoy beautifully crafted sushi and creative and flavorful appetizers as well as its great combination with sake.
Address: 4-27-1 Nakamachi, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo (Google Map)
20. Fukumoto (福元) [Shimokitazawa]
Sushi Fukumoto, 1-Michelin-star restaurant, can be found on the basement floor of multi-tenant building, 10 minutes walk from Shimokitazawa station, in a quiet residential area. This restaurant opens for dinner time and offers chef’s choice course for 15,120 yen consisting of about 6 appetizers and 10 nigirisushi. The passionate owner chef loves so much to talk about fish that you might enjoy listening to his story even if you don’t understand Japanese. Dish with sea urchin is one of his specialty. Fukumoto is open on Sunday as well.
HP: www.sushifukumoto.jp/ (Japanese Only)
Address: B1F, Hanabu Bldg, 5-17-6 Daizawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo (Google Map)
(Thumbnail image: Leon Brocard / Flickr)