Score a Reservation at Sukiyabashi Jiro, One of the Best Sushi Restaurants in the World!
Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten in Ginza is a name recognized all around the world. It is run by sushi chef Jiro Ono, the "God of Sushi." This famous sushi restaurant in Tokyo has been awarded three Michelin stars every year for over 10 years, and is praised by noted figures and internationally prominent culinary experts. It's known as the most difficult sushi restaurant to secure a reservation! With Voyagin's tours, however, you'll have the opportunity to savor this culinary experience. Keep reading to find out more about how you can score a reservation through them!
Apr 26 2019 (Aug 22 2019)
Voyagin offers a wide variety of tours and experiences with ticket purchases, exclusive experiences, recommended travel plans, and customized tours tailored to fit your interests. Over 1,000,000 customers have used their services so far. You can experience Japanese traditions and culture at the very best spots with their help!
Voyagin tours are led by a guide who can interpret for you, so you can thoroughly enjoy the tour even if you don't speak Japanese. With Voyagin, you won't have to run around trying to figure out where to go - all you have to do is make some lasting memories and enjoy your trip!
Voyagin Official Website: https://www.govoyagin.com/
What Makes This Tour Special
Sukibayashi Jiro Honten is located in Ginza. There are only 10 seats within the restaurant, so it's not an easy feat to get the opportunity to taste this world-renowned sushi. There was once a time where they received over 2,000 reservation calls in one day, but now, they refuse calls from the general public and only accept reservations from hotel concierges.
For those who are dying to try sushi at this exclusive spot, you can either make reservations with a hotel as explained above, or book with Voyagin! The site is famous for offering tours in Japan, so it's highly recommended that you choose this option. If you book with them, you're guaranteed a seat, and on top of that, you'll have an English-speaking guide who will teach you how to correctly eat sushi and what not to do when eating sushi so you can avoid any embarrassing situations. There's also a visit to a long-established Japanese tea specialty shop, where you'll be able to savor high-quality tea within a traditional atmosphere.
You'll feel like a million bucks being driven around in a stylish vehicle, and you're sure to have a fantastic time on this luxurious tour!
▪ Experience the Essence of Japan at Ippodo, a Japanese Tea Specialty Shop
Ippodo is a Kyoto-based store that specializes in Japanese green tea. Drawing on 300 years of experience in the business, they blend their carefully chosen tea leaves to serve the most supreme cup of tea.
The tea leaves used here are cultivated in tea fields that are painstakingly taken care of, such as by ensuring that well-drained fertile soil is used. Their matcha (powdered green tea), gyokuro (high-quality green tea), sencha (green tea), and hojicha (roasted green tea) are manufactured with two special methods ("oishitaen," shaded fields, and "rotenen," exposed to sunlight), and each tea has its own special charm.
For many tourists, authentic matcha is on their list of things to try in Japan. Even professionals in the tea industry rave about Ippodo's matcha, which is smooth and creamy, making it great for first-timers of matcha to try.
According to the shop staff, who were extremely knowledgeable about tea, "oishita" is when woven straw mats or reed screens are placed over entire tea fields right after the tea leaves sprout, and straw is spread out on top. By doing this, it keeps out direct sunlight and slows down photosynthesis, producing a rich, sweet flavor.
Tea harvesting begins on the first day of spring (around February 4th every year) until around the 88th day of spring. To prevent the freshness and nutrients of the fresh leaves from declining, they are steamed within a half day to 20 hours of being picked. This step is unique to green tea, as it isn't executed when dealing with black tea or oolong tea. After this, the tea leaves and stalks are separated by a special machine, then ground up in a mortar after they are completely dried. Extremely fine, powdered matcha of the finest quality is made using this process.
For a truly delicious cup of matcha, it's not just the cultivation and tea harvesting steps that play a big role, but the actual process of making matcha as well.
First, you sift about 2g of matcha into a matcha bowl, then pour in roughly 60mL of hot water at 80℃ (176°F). Then, using a chasen (a bamboo tea whisk for matcha), quickly whip the matcha into the water in the shape of the letter "m" for 15 seconds. You should be left with matcha that's got a vivid green color and a thick consistency similar to espresso!
With one sip of Ippodo's matcha, you'll get notes of sweetness and the gentle fragrance of matcha. It doesn't have a harsh taste, so it's easy to drink even for those who don't drink matcha much. With the matcha here, you'll be able to enjoy the mellow flavors up until the very last drop!
There's a tearoom annexed to the store, so you can relax over a warm cup of tea in this space. At the front of the store, they also sell tea utensils and tea bags; you can buy goods made with the finest craftsmanship or your favorite tea as a souvenir!
As we drank our tea at Ippodo, the guide explained to us in English about the dining etiquette at Sukiyabashi Jiro. These are some of the points that were mentioned:
・Men are required to wear a dress shirt or suit jacket
・Women cannot wear shorts or short skirts
・You cannot wear perfume or cologne when entering the store
・No pictures or videos
・All belongings must be left in the designated spot for luggage
・Your elbows must not touch the table
They also taught us useful information about how to correctly eat sushi. Did you know that you can eat sushi with both your hands or chopsticks?
Only those who follow the rules listed above are allowed the opportunity to meet the God of Sushi himself and taste sushi made by his hands!
After this, we headed to the restaurant to finally experience this famed delicacy for ourselves.
▪ Enjoy an Aesthetically Appealing Dinner at Sukiyabashi Jiro
We were taken by a private car to Ginza Station. Sukiyabashi Jiro is located in the basement floor of a building near here. Behind the paper sliding doors, the profound food culture of Japan, featuring delicate sushi toppings and intricate rolling techniques, awaits you.
Once you enter, you will be seated at the counter seat with your name, and you'll see that Jiro Ono and his son Yoshikazu Ono will have already finished their preparations in wait for your arrival.
It might be more appropriate to say that we weren't guests coming to feast, but rather, we were here to enjoy a show.
The omakase course offers a grand total of 19 rolls and can be best described as a symphony of outstanding flavors. The prelude started off with a sweet and chewy hirame (sole fish), followed by the irresistably springy and firm sumi-ika (squid) with its translucent body and the popular akami (tuna), chu-toro (semi fatty tuna), and oo-toro (fatty tuna). Just looking at it made us drool! Each bite had an extremely fine texture with no bitter flavors at all, and they practically melted in our mouths.
We felt really lucky to see tako (octopus) written on the menu, since you can only eat it in winter. Tako is usually served cold at other sushi restaurants, but it was served slightly warm here. This bit plunged us into the 2nd movement of the symphony, as the sushi rice and sushi topping combined together into the most exquisite harmony, guiding us into the overture.
The freshly boiled kuruma ebi (boiled prawn) was fluffy and full of meat, acting as an accent to the piece with a smooth finish to the culinary movement. It was dressed in a sauce, which tasted deliciously sweet with the juiciness of the prawn.
Like the kuruma ebi, the large hamaguri (clam shell) had a tasty sweet sauce. You'll get a whiff of the faint fragrance of hamaguri, and when we tasted it, we were blown away by the powerful sensation. In terms of uni (sea urchin), people usually either hate it or love it, but the uni here is really popular as it has no strong aroma, and has a gentle flavor and creamy texture. Next up was the extremely fresh ikura (salmon roe). Each egg had a fantastic texture, and was lightly seasoned with soy sauce. There was also the luxurious anago (sea eel), which was simmered perfectly into a light soy sauce color, resulting in an explosion of succulent and savory flavors.
The concert was wrapped up with the finale, a simple tamagoyaki (egg omelette), a staple item at sushi restaurants. There's a saying in Japan that goes, "You can tell how good the restaurant is by its tamagoyaki." This is because it's a really simple dish, so it takes the finest skills to execute it perfectly. The tamagoyaki here was cooked at just the right temperature to give it a fluffy texture akin to castella or pancakes. It had a delicate yet deep flavor, and we would even consider it as a dessert!
The sushi was served at just the right pace, and the temperature and size of the sushi toppings and sushi rice had the perfect balance. With this exceptional quality and attentiveness, it's no wonder that Sukiyabashi Jiro is Japan's most delicious and most difficult restaurant to book!
(The course menu above is from February 14, 2019)
There are an unlimited number of restaurants and things to eat in Japan, but when you're traveling, you'll want to eat the country's most representative dish - sushi!
Sukiyabashi Jiro has been visited by famous figures all over the world, including Barack Obama, Hugh Jackman, Leonardo DiCaprio, and David Beckham. You can sit in the same seats they sat in and experience traditional Japanese culture with the skilled chefs preparing sushi right in front of your very eyes. How about participating in this once-in-a-life-time culinary experience?
Worried that you won't be able to get a reservation even if you stay at a luxury hotel? If you make a reservation with the link below, you'll have nothing to worry about! Plus, you'll have an English-speaking guide with you, allowing you to understand all the fine details involved as well! You may even be able to shake hands with the God of Sushi himself, take a picture together, and get an autograph!
Jiro Ono is currently past 90 years of age, yet he still continues to serve customers himself. Do you want to savor Jiro's unique creations and experience this magical, dream-like tour?
* The above tour includes a sightseeing portion in Tokyo. For those who only want the meal at Sukiyabashi Jiro, please click the link below.
* Round-trip transportation provided to Sukiyabashi Jiro.
Note: Actual tour details may be subject to change. Check the official website for more details.
[Sushi Sukiyabashi Jiro Reservation Schedule]
October 31: From 5:30 pm / From 7:00 pm
November 13: From 5:30 pm / From 7:00 pm
December 5: From 5:30 pm
* Time slots from October 2019 onwards cannot be booked yet.
* Limited to foreign tourists
* Must be 20 years old or older
* Leaving in the middle of the tour is not permitted
* Business casual dress (dress shirt and suit jacket for men)
* Perfume is not allowed (includes applying it beforehand)
* Menu cannot be modified
* No alcoholic drinks or soft drinks are provided during the tour
Note: Once your reservation is confirmed, refunds or schedule changes will not be permitted.
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.