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Sushi is a delicacy found on menus around the world, but for the very best, you have to go to the source. Tokyo is a city with an excellent reputation for fine dining and some of the best establishments specialize in serving up the most delicious raw fish in the world. There are over 5,000 sushi restaurants in Japan’s capital which raises questions as to how you go about finding the elite. That’s where we come in. This guide is designed to save you the research time and present you with a list of the best sushi restaurants in Tokyo.
1. Sukiyabashi Jiro Roppongi
Sukiyabashi Jiro’s world-famous reputation is well deserved. Michelin gives it three stars and its classic style and incredible attention to detail serves the customer extremely well. The dining area only has room for a few tables so the customer experience is more personal and the quantity over quality vibe that plagues some larger restaurants is nowhere to be found. No wonder Obama and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met here over sushi in 2014.
Irifune has a reputation for serving some of the best tuna sushi in the world. Chef Katsumi Honda welcomed his first customers in 1968, so along with the tuna specialty, this restaurant brings plenty of experience to the table. While not cheap, the prices are far more manageable than what you might find at some of the newer, more upscale establishments designed to draw in tourists and the locals not too concerned about prices.
Freshness is the name of the game and Yamazaki has the edge. Located in Tsukiji Market, the largest fish market in the world, Yamazaki staff will get to the front of the line for the freshest cuts when the market opens. We’re not sure why, but the line tends to be shorter than what a customer might face at some of the other sushi spots in the neighborhood. Yamazaki’s following is diehard and for good reason.
4. Sushi Midori Ginza
Good sushi comes to those who wait. At least that’s how it goes at Sushi Midori in the bustling Ginza district. Expect a line, but know that the sushi gives up little to nothing in freshness to the Tsukiji Market spots, but adds the flash and experience of Ginza. The inside is nothing impressive, but the presentation certainly is. Snap a few pictures before you devour it all.
5. Ichibando Teruya
Sushi is an art, and for the curious mind, talking to an expert sushi chef can open up a new world. Ichibando Teruya’s chef and founder Teruya Ida speaks fluent English and will be able to explain why this particular cut of fish made it on his menu. This is a personal experience for the English-speaking traveler that is hard to beat. Oh, and the sushi itself is some of the best in the city of course.