Header image courtesy of Tableall
With over 4,000 sushi restaurants in Tokyo, you’re never left with a shortage of places to indulge in raw fish in the city. The difficulty lies in picking the right spot, and of course, having the best sushi experience possible. Omakase in Japan means that the chef curates your menu, so it’s of utmost importance that you make sure you’re good hands. These are the top restaurants that offer spectacular omakase experiences in Tokyo, with premium ingredients and top-grade service.
Housing only eight counter seats in its venue, this Ginza restaurant is an intimate dining venture. Chef Yoshitake invites people to try his premium-grade sushi and flavourful tsunami (つまみ) small plates. You can watch the three Michelin-starred sushi-making master in action during dining, but remember that every evening there are two evening sessions—one at 6 pm and the next at 8.30 pm. Be prepared to pay top dollar.
Sushi Yoshitake, 9/F, 7 Chrome, 8-13 Brown Place, Ginza, Chuo City, 104-0061, Tokyo, Japan | (+81) 3 6253 7331
At Tsugu Sushimasa, fish doesn’t dictate how sushi tastes. In fact, here, it’s all about the rice (known as shari しゃり). Instead of using regular rice vinegar (shirozu しろず), the restaurant uses azaku (赤酢), a red vinegar made from sake lees, which was popular back in the Edo period. For three generations, the chefs here have been making innovative sushi, which unleashes a brand new flavour, compared to what we’re used to. The chef’s tasting menu is sought after by locals and visitors alike, looking for their sushi fix.
Tsugu Sushimasa, 8 Arakicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan | (+81) 3 3358 0934
Chef Teruya Iida of Ichibancho Teruya is one of the few Japanese high-end chefs that speak fluent English in Tokyo—and he is a sociable character at that. With a background of sushi training in New York, the chef specialises in sushi sho-style, which makes use of aged and fermented fish, served in between a range of small and large plates. Go for the full experience with the chef’s omakase course, where you’ll try the best of it all—including the delightful desserts to finish.
Ichibancho Teruya, 15-3 Ichibancho, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 102-0082, Japan | (+81) 3 3239 8363
Making its international debut in the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”, Sukiyabashi Jiro houses ten tables at a time—and you can't just book online. The previously three-Michelin starred eatery is one of the world’s most difficult restaurants to book (no longer open to the public), and has previously fed Barack Obama and legendary French chef Joël Robuchon, to name a few—both are big fans. Helmed by Chef Jiro, the fine-dining restaurant hands you delicate platters of fish, fresh from the market in the mornings. The line-up of the seasonally-rotating 20-course tasting menu will not disappoint, as the sushi master has over 20 years of experience. If you know someone who can grab you a seat, now’s the time to call them.
Sukiyabashi Jiro, 4-2-15 Tsukamoto Sogyo Building. B1F, Ginza, Chuo 104-0061 Tokyo, Japan | (+81) 3 3535 3600
Though it has never gained any Michelin stars, this crowd favourite spot is among the best in Japan. Chef Keiji Nakazawa has trained many skilled chefs, many of which have gone on to open their own restaurants, such as Sushi Sho Masa, Sushi Sho Shingo, and Sushi Sho Saito. If you manage to get a lunch reservation, order the bara chirashi (バラチラシ)—a petite bowl of rice with raw fish, with only 20 portions available each day. There are only 10 seats in this legendary restaurant though, so book in advance to ensure a spot.
Sushi Sho, Yorindo Bldg 1F, 1-11 Yotsuya, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan | (+81) 3 3351 6387
Opened in 2018, Sushi Kimura continues to elevate and inspire with its Edo-style menu. The owner and chef, Koji Kimura, worked in New York for 10 years, and brought back his expertise to Tokyo, opening his own establishment now known as Sushi Kimura. The seafood is flown in directly from Aomori prefecture, where the chef is from, and the teacups and sake vessels are ordered from visiting craftsmen in Kyushu. Try the omakase menu here, for a taste of Kimura’s exquisite culinary skills.
Sushi Kimura, 1F, Kakigaracho, 1-8-2, Nihonbashikakigara cho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan | (+81) 3 3707 6355
Located in a peaceful area close to Tokyo Metro Ginza 1-chome station, Sushi Takahashi is run by Chef Jun Takahashi, as a place to relax and appreciate sushi. Every morning, the chef visits the Toyosu market to obtain fresh ingredients. Try the omakase with friends, family, and loved ones.
Sushi Takahashi, 1 Chome-14-14 Ginza, Chuo City, Tokyo 104-0061, Japan | (+81) 3 3561 6503