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NY/Austin Hound travelling to Tokyo for sushi overload

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  • howo5 Feb 25, 2013 11:18 AM

Hi, my wife and I will be in Tokyo April 23rd-27th and are avid sushi eaters. It's been over 7 year since I was last in Tokyo and am excited for what coming to me. I've been reading many of Ninisix's posts and love what I'm reading so far (I like to go to nice places but not necessarily the ones with all the Michelin stars. We frequent Yasuda and 15 East in NYC, but have since moved to Austin where there's a dearth of sushi.

Here's some sushi places I'm interested in so far:

1. Manten Sushi
2. Sushi Taichi
3. Sushi Iwa
4. Sushi Kozasa
5. sushi Uoshin
6. Will be going to Tsukiji one morning, but sounds like Sushi Dai is overrated?
7. Sushi Harutaka
8. Sushi Ichikawa

So as to not have sushi overload here's some other places I'd like to visit:

1. Renkon-Ya Izakawa
2. Aronia de Takazawa
3. Yakitori Torishiki
4. Ramen Aoshima
5. Soba Hosokawa
6. Hakata Tenshin
7. Ramen Museum in Yokahama?

All we have is 5 lunches and 4 dinners so you can see I'm already overwhelmed.

Any help adding or narrowing down this list would be much appreciated!

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  1. Waouh ! That's a story I would like to hear about, 8 sushi in 5 days? A real folly, but well, sushi is not as heavy as meat!! But too much ? So, to help, in my opinion, it is better to begin with a morning sushi at Tsukiji when you have trouble sleeping, and then follows the step by step like sushi Uoshin in Higashi-Ikebukuro (dinner only for sushi). Then sushi Manten. For the 4th one, you might choose for lunch sushi Taichi, or sushi Kozasa(Ginza 8-chome). In this way, you will move a bit and keep no risk, with still a status Ginza sushi trip. And the other 2 or 3, about Michelin Stars ones, why not including sushi Iwa at lunch or sushi Harutaka - a disciple of sushi Jiroo Ginza, and one of the favorite... Try to book late at sushi Haruraka, it is easier.. 
    Sushi Ichikawa is 30-40mn from Shibuya by train(rapid), but it might be a nice promenade for you'd like for.

    36 Replies
    1. re: Ninisix

      agreed, I think we're being too aggressive here.

      Let me try and break it down better since some are only for lunch and dinner.

      day 1:
      Lunch: Sushi Kozasa
      Dinner: One of the non-sushi choices
      day 2:
      Tsukiji fish market (Some sushi breakfast)
      Lunch: sushi Taichi (I think that's close to there)
      Dinner: One of the non-sushi choices (Probably Aronia)
      day 3:
      Lunch: One of the non-sushi choices
      Dinner: sushi Harutaka
      day 4:
      Lunch: Sushi Iwa
      Dinner: Sushi Uoshin
      day 5:
      Lunch: Sushi Manten

      That covers all the sushi places and leaves me 2 non-sushi besides Aronia.

      Is the Ramen Museum worth going to? Or should I just stop by for ramen within the city as I walk off all the sushi?

      I think we'd like to do yakitori and soba for some of those other meals. Does this itinerary make sense geographically?

      Thanks so much! We're really excited!

      1. re: howo5

        I think that this tour is feasible when including the lunches, and approximately will reduce the cost to 70,000yens(gross up) for the sushi party only..
        Sushi Taichi is in Ginza. Ginza is a little walk from Tsukiji, very easy straight 10 mn walk...but sushi Taichi is difficult to find, same as for sushi Kozasa, so print the maps on the tabelog below 地図(=map). The Police Box in the Ginza crossing corner (front of Wako/Mitsukoshi) will provide a free map in English and explain how to go from there.. Sushi Kozasa, with a lunch at 9,000yens, is copious, you'd better go for smaller size of nigiris, it is possible to ask, and you will, I believe, enjoy more your trip.
        Sushi Uoshin is in Ikebukuro, and in fact, the basic menu at 4800.-yens is half tsumami/sashimi and there is no need to order more except if you want some fugu(reservation in advance), or some very good boiled fish..
        Sushi Taichi -Ginza (small alley, right parallel Sotobori av,)
        http://s.tabelog.com/tokyo/A1301/A130...
        Sushi Kozasa -Ginza (small alley from Namiki street
        )http://s.tabelog.com/tokyo/A1301/A130...
        Sushi Uoshin - Higashi Ikebukuro
        http://s.tabelog.com/tokyo/A1305/A130...

        1. re: Ninisix

          Adding locations to check to see if my itinerary makes sense....

          As expected most of the Sushi is in Ginza, any suggestions on where to stay in that area? We were going to book Mitsui Garden Hotel Yotsuya, seems to be not too far from Ginza, but any other suggestions would be great.

          day 1:
          Lunch: Sushi Kozasa - Ginza
          Dinner: Yakitori Torishiki - Meguro
          day 2:
          Tsukiji fish market (Some sushi breakfast)
          Lunch: sushi Taichi (I think that's close to there) - Ginza
          Dinner: Aronia de Takazawa - Akasaka
          day 3:
          Lunch: Soba Hosokawa - Ryogoku?
          Dinner: sushi Harutaka - Ginza
          day 4:
          Lunch: Sushi Iwa - Ginza
          Dinner: Sushi Uoshin- Higashi Ikebukuro
          day 5:
          Lunch: Sushi Manten - Ginza

          1. re: howo5

            Adding more details and tabelog links...

            day 1:
            Lunch: Ramen - any suggestions? (Ramen Aoshima - 800 yens, Akiharaba )
            http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1310/A13100...
            Dinner: Sushi Kozasa - Ginza, is Tamoiyanse next door or is this the wrong Kozasa?
            http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1301/A13010...
            20,000~29,999yens 17:30~22:00
            day 2:
            Tsukiji fish market (Some sushi breakfast
            )Lunch: sushi Taichi (I think that's close to there) - Ginza
            http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1301/A13010...
            11:30 to 13:30 5000-6000 yens
            Dinner: Aronia de Takazawa - Akasaka
            A seven course for 16,000 yen, a 9-course for 20,000 yen, or an 11-course for 24,000 yen 18:00~21:00
            day 3:
            Lunch: Soba Hosokawa - Ryogoku?
            http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1312/A13120...
            11:45~15:00 1000-2000yens
            Dinner: sushi Harutaka - Ginza
            http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1301/A13010...
            17:00~22:30 Book later maybe 22:00
            20,000~29,999yens
            day 4:
            Lunch: Sushi Iwa - Ginza
            http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1301/A13010...
            ¥8,000~¥9,999
            12:00~14:00
            Dinner: Sushi Uoshin- Higashi Ikebukuro
            http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1305/A13050...
            17:30~22:00 6K-8K yens
            day 5:
            Lunch: Sushi Manten - Ginza
            http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1302/A13020...
            11:00~15:00 2K-3K yens

            1. re: howo5

              The links are right, the sushi Kozasa you referred to is near Shibuya, that is a good one also, the dinner without alcohol is around 14,000yens, and might be a good start for Shibuya night life ? No English though.. Sushi Kozasa recommended(linked), the first set, even at diner, is at 9,000yens, nigiri only..
              Sushi Taichi is in Ginza, Ginza is near Tsukiji by walk, 10mn walk.. The lunch on week days is at 2520yens, but the second lunch set is at 5250yens,.. Lunch at sushi Manten is on a Saturday, right ? So the lunch will be same as the diner omakase, 5250yens. 
              Akihabara, Tsukiji, Ginza, may be Shibuya, .. Soba Hosokawa is one of my favorite, not sure he will serve tempura yet, so ask your concierge to confirm.. Pretty impressive tempura, as tempura Kondo 'satsuma imo(=sweet potatoe)', he has depending on season a whole carrot tempura(special one!) and some wild forest sansai (vegetable) tempura.. 
              Hotel, well, I recommend Hotel Niwa in Suidobashi. Classic Japanese touch, confortable, and quiet, the double twin room is at 15,500yens (tax included - I just confirmed by phone ).. here the link, make a call if you are interested :
              http://www.hotelniwa.jp/english/index...
              Soba Kyourakutei is in Iidabashi, a 5mn walk... 

              1. re: Ninisix

                Thanks Ninisix,

                I booked Hotel Niwa as you suggested.

                I think it makes some sense to re-arrange my meals a bit. I'm thinking to replace Harutaka with Dai San Harumi or Kanesaka (I've read the rice isn't great at Harutaka) What would you suggest? Seems Manten is also a pretty casual place, would probably make more sense for a weekday.

                day 1:
                Lunch: Ramen
                Dinner: Sushi Kozasa - Ginza, should we get the 9,000yens first set?
                day 2:
                Tsukiji fish market (Some sushi breakfast)
                Lunch: sushi Taichi (Which lunch set do you recommend?) - Ginza
                Dinner: Aronia de Takazawa - Akasaka
                day 3:
                Lunch: Sushi Manten - Ginza
                Dinner: Dai San Harumi or Kanesaka
                day 4:
                Lunch: Sushi Iwa - Ginza
                Dinner: Yakitori Torishiki - Meguro
                day 5:
                Lunch: Soba Hosokawa or Soba Kyourakutei, + Ramen

                1. re: howo5

                  Glad you choose that Hotel, Suidobashi is very central and very convenient. I recommend you to walk to Iidabashi and try some sake and Izakaya. There is also one of my favorite nabe ryori restaurant there (hot pot), Yamasaki. April is the season of shells, one of my favorite is 'torigai(Japanese cockle shell)', season is very short. Sushi Dai San Harumi will have a series of shell at that time.
                  For 'shari(rice)', in my opinion, you will realise your preference after this trip. Sushi Harutaka shari(rice) is vinegar pronounced, and warm shari, I prefer it to sushi Mizutani that was more salty. But both are disciple of Jiroo San and, as you know, Jiroo San's rice is famous. His rice supplier only supplies him and his second son, special blend, 4 cups only cooked each time, specific vinegar also, and a good hand. In fact, I felt the way to season rice at sushi Kanesaka is not my thing, approximately rice and salt, and it is a particular famous expensive sushi. Sushi Manten on week days is crowded with workers from around, Goldman Sachs, and finance. So I recommend you to swap it with sushi Taichi, and after your breakfast at Tsukiji, between Ginza and Tsukiji, stop at Soba Marutomi for a tempura and cold soba. On the same street access, you can have a a good coffee at Coffee de l'Ambre. And, if you feel adventurous, buy some 'tsubu an pan(bean jam bun)' at Kimura shop (front of Mitsukoshi, corner Wako). After, I recommend you to try some sashimi/tsumami with nigiri. Sushi Taichi at lunch have after nigiri set (choose 5,250 if nigiri), a first price at 8400yens for that, and you can ask him to serve you more of it and less nigiri if you want your meal to feel less heavy.
                  Sushi Kozasa, this is real classic Edo Mae, and it might have some similarities to sushi Dai San Harumi. Nigiri set at 9000 yens is in my opinion copious. If you want to also have a long list of sashimi/tsumami try sushi Ookawahara, diner is at 17000yens, and even they don't speak that much English, service is very careful in Japan, so you won't have to worry that much about trying new things !!

                  1. re: Ninisix

                    Thanks so much Ninisix, we also prefer nigiri sushi and the shari is the biggest differentiator for us between good and great sushi. It sounds like you approve of Harutaka, do you know how much his omakase will be? It seems he's in similar price range from Mizutani/Jiro/Sawada but easier to reserve esp with his later hours of operation. Anything else in that price range we should consider?

                    Also which izakaya in Iidabashi do you recommend? I think we'll start our trip there. Is there any other seasonal items we should request? In the US torigai is terrible, I can't wait to taste what's available in Tokyo.

                    Here's a refined itinerary for us...
                    Tuesday: arrive 12:55 to NRT:
                    Lunch: Check in at Hotel Niwa (Walk to Iidabashi for Izakaya)
                    Dinner: Sushi Kozasa - Ginza - 9,000yens first set should be enough
                    Wednesday:
                    Tsukiji fish market (Some sushi breakfast)
                    Lunch: sushi Taichi choose 5,250 set nigiri, can add more - Ginza
                    Dinner: Aronia de Takazawa - Akasaka
                    Thursday:
                    Lunch: Sushi Manten - Ginza, maybe change this to Dai San Harumi as Manten will be busy?
                    Dinner: Sushi Harutaka - Ginza
                    Friday:
                    Lunch: Sushi Iwa - Ginza
                    Dinner: Yakitori Torishiki - Meguro
                    Saturday:
                    Lunch: Soba Hosokawa (hopefully have great tempura too) or Soba Kyourakutei, + Ramen (Flight 17:35)

                    1. re: howo5

                      Oh, a nigiri fan, great, It took me time to understand it, but I am now very clear, I prefer nigiri... So, as now I feel you need share that preference, then here my choice for you :
                      Sushi taichi, choose the lunch nigiri set at 5250.-yens. In spring time, one of the speciality is 'sawani(small anago)' nigiri, ask as supplement..
                      Sushi Iwa, go for dinner, his nigiris lunch set is good value, but dinner is really really better. At 16800yens, I had a nigiri set including 18-19 pieces.. these one is my favorite now - after Jiroo San.
                      So to change your sushi lunch, I recommend you sushi Sasaki at lunch also, as it is expensive at dinner. The chef, family relation of sushi Zen in a higher level, moved to Ginza two years ago after his success at Kachidoki. This place is also very difficult to find (no shop frame). Set at 3000yens, 5000yens, 8000yens. Still, you'd better call to book.
                      For your Iidabashi Izakaya, I will recommend you a Robatanoro(robatayaki), they have English menu, and, if I remember correctly, they have good shirasu sembei, and you will be able to order dishes one by one. Choose the first floor.
                      Then also, sushi Ichi is another one star sushi, and lunch set is including 12 pieces, pieces are less classic, salt, kabosu, if you are interested...
                      Dinner set nigiri at sushi Harutaka seems to cheaper of the 3, at 22000yens. Harutaka (first name)-San was one of the favorite of Jiroo San older son, it seems.
                      Also, very convenient, you have sushi Ikkyu in Barney's Ginza, and they havd Sushi ko honten style sushi.
                      Sushi Sasaki - ginza
                      http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1301/A13010...
                      http://scft.blogspot.jp/2010/10/edo-s...
                      Sushi Ikkyu - Barney's Ginza
                      http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1301/A13010...
                      http://love.exblog.jp/9861159/
                      Robatanoro - iidabashi
                      http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1309/A13090...

                      1. re: Ninisix

                        Hi, just a quick update, I was able to get a few reservations from my concierge but there's now many gaps to fill....

                        Tuesday: arrive 12:55 to NRT:
                        Lunch: Check in at Hotel Niwa (Walk to Iidabashi for Izakaya)
                        Dinner: Sushi Kozasa - Ginza - 9,000yens first set should be enough (Booked! 8:30pm)
                        Wednesday:
                        Tsukiji fish market (Some sushi breakfast)
                        Lunch: sushi Taichi choose 5,250 set nigiri, can add more - Ginza (Booked 11:30am!)
                        Dinner: ????
                        Thursday:
                        Lunch: Tried for Sasaki, but concierge said it's not open for lunch?
                        Dinner: Sushi Harutaka - Ginza (booked for 9:30pm)
                        Friday:
                        Lunch: Sushi Iwa - Ginza, tried but closed in April during my trip
                        Dinner: Yakitori Torishiki - Meguro, was booked out already
                        Saturday:
                        Lunch: Soba Hosokawa (hopefully have great tempura too) or Soba Kyourakutei, + Ramen (Flight 17:35)

                        Looks like I still have 2 lunches and 2 dinners to fill. I wouldn't mind doing ramen/izakaya for one of each of these, so any other places in mind?

                        I haven't tried Manten, Ikkyu, Shimizu, Sasaki for dinner, Uoshin or Ichikawa yet, would Midori sushi be a waste of time?

                        If there's another yakitori suggestion would be much appreciated too.

                        Thanks!

                        1. re: howo5

                          Given your list, I'd give Midori a wide berth, that's industrial-strength sushi with the only attribute that the portions are large and the prices are low. Is it bad? No, but given where you're aiming, you'll be disappointed.

                          1. re: Uncle Yabai

                            good point, I'm going to be in Taipei before then and expect to get plenty of sushi of that variety. I'll opt to skip Midori then.

                            1. re: Uncle Yabai

                              Yes, sushi-Sei Tsukiji (sushi-sei Honten) do have sea urchin on shell, but unfortunately is not consistently available, so you will have to call them.

                              1. re: Ninisix

                                Thank you. I wasn't planning to go to tsukiji...do you know of anywhere in the shinjuku/sibuya area that might have it?

                                Thanks!

                                1. re: Ninisix

                                  Yes, I had lunch there on Saturday (Sushi Sei honten) and didn't see any - I had my uni the regular way.

                                  1. re: Robb S

                                    Hey, I just had a look. Strange I haven't seen this place before. I know exactly where it is...around the corner from the standing sushi bar across from 109. Will give it a try and thanks!

                                    1. re: pmagic

                                      The season is May-June, and perhaps at the end of this month. Tsukiji Sushi Sei, yes, is a branch of sushi-Sei, still you will have to call to confirm.

                              2. re: howo5

                                Oh, a program with some free slots, that's good. Especially after your early lunch at Tsukiji, you might want to have diner near Suidobashi, or Iidabashi, why not the soba Kyorskutei ? And then on your last day, have a sushi ! Sushi Sasaki is open at lunch (dinner is expensive), even in Saturdays, ask your hotel to call the 03-3571-1261, and don't forget to print the map of the place (difficult to find).. Yakitori, that's for nights. Recently I tried Yakitori Torie in Okachimachi (JR Yamanote), I recommend you to order 'a la carte(onokomi)', more fun.
                                Sushi Midori, yes, this is a mid range sushi in Meguro, and very different level as the others mentioned. Sushi Shimizu, the chef doesn't speak English, although he is young ...
                                Sushi Sasaki Ginza :
                                http://s.tabelog.com/tokyo/A1301/A130...
                                Yakitori Torie Okachimachi (a la carte 4000yens/pp):
                                http://s.tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131...

                                1. re: Ninisix

                                  Thanks Ninisix, I booked Sasaki and Torie as you recommended.

                                  I just found this calendar for tsukiji, it looks like it's closed on Wednesday April 24th. Is that correct?
                                  http://www.tsukiji-market.or.jp/etc/c...

                                  If so, i'll probably have to move our visit to Thursday. It's been 8 years since I've been there, could you suggest a time to go to see the tuna auction? It seems they start queueing up at 4:30am?

                                  1. re: howo5

                                    I don't know if this is a good indicator, but recent tweets from folks I follow indicated that when they went to tsukiji, the tuna auction queue was full before 4:15am. Recent posts on tripadvisor have indicated that you should be there before 4am to secure yourself a spot for the tuna auction.

                                    1. re: howo5

                                      I will recommend to book in advance, and go to the fresh tuna auction market, it begins at 5:30, or get up at 3:30 to get there at around 4:00 see the frozen inspection first auction, then join the fresh market (reservation is necessary).. In my opinion, the fresh market is more interesting than the frozen one.. hope it will help.

                                      1. re: Ninisix

                                        Fresh Tuna sounds more interesting to see than frozen? Could you help me understand how to reserve a spot to see it? Also is the market closed on Wednesday April 24th? I can see the calendar but can't understand the kanji.

                                        1. re: howo5

                                          The market seems to be closed on 4/24 (I can't read Kanji either but I can read a calendar and I assume "red" means "closed"):

                                          http://www.tsukiji-market.or.jp/etc/c...

                                          I thought the frozen tuna auction was interesting and can't recall whether we went to the fresh tuna auction. More interesting than the tuna auction IMO were all the little stalls selling all manner of seafood and other items. I know what a tuna looks like - but was totally unfamiliar with much of the more local seafood. And I got a kick seeing things like the cartons of oranges from my home state of Florida :).

                                          We went to the market when there weren't any limits on visitors - and you were still allowed to wander around unescorted (and at your potential peril). If I were doing things today - I would in all probability sign up for a tour given by a local guide if that would allow me to avoid waiting on lines. Robyn

                                          1. re: howo5

                                            Yes, Tsukiji is closed on Wednesday 24th. Tsukiji market won't give you access to the fresh tuna auction, the group is very restricted to 20persons max, and reservation is through Tokyo-to homepage of Tsukijj market. Your hotel will have to do reservations before you're coming, and it might be Thursday but also Friday. I will make a call this week..

                                            1. re: Ninisix

                                              Hi Gang, sorry to hijack this thread a little, but does anyone (Ninisix?) know a (Tokyo) restaurant that serves uni still in the shell? We used to know a great little place in Shinjuku but now closed. Nothing like eating it straight from a just-cracked shell.

                                              And if possible near to Shibuya, although of course we will get on the train if we have to!

                                              1. re: pmagic

                                                The sushisei honten (not the shinkan) used to serve it that way, but haven't been in a while. Definitely an experience.

                                              2. re: Ninisix

                                                Thanks Ninisix. Everything I've seen refers to the 5am registration of the first 120 people. Luckily when I went last (about 8 years ago) I don't think we had to wait until 9am to get into the inside market. If you can find out more on the fresh tuna auction that would be great! Sounds like if not my 2 options are to go at 4am or wait until 8 or 9am to see the inside market?

                                                1. re: howo5

                                                  I called, and unfortunately access to the fresh market is now forbidden, so it will be necessary to present you very early at 4:00 to the Kachidoki Gate to access the frozen tuna marke, take a ‘seiri ken(numbered ticket)’ as access is limited to 120persons. Market stalls will open from 9:00, and it is simply amazing to see all these see foods that are not recognizable !! A display of dry squid, living octopus, strange clam,.. and perhaps you will have the chance to see some ‘nama maguro(fresh tuna)’..

                                          2. re: howo5

                                            L.A. Hound here, just returned from a brief tabe aruki in Tokyo (my annual trip)... Reading this thread with some interest. My 2 yen:

                                            Good luck getting a place in the Tsukiji tuna auction queue. I suggest lining up by 3:30AM for the "seiri ken", or else no dice. The early bird truly does get the worm, in this case.

                                            Why the fascination with uni in the shell? The quality of the uni inside is an unknown until you open the closed shell - it's a crap shoot. I much prefer the already quality-inspected uni in a box (in Japan, even in the box, it must still be damn fresh!) to be served to me.

                                            That's a lot of sushi you're planning on eating. Hope all the reservations go your way. Enjoy Tokyo!

                                            1. re: J.L.

                                              Hi, Thanks for your advice, I'm not sure I'm up for 3:30am to wait for the tuna auction, i'll be already time adjusted by then (Spending 10 days in Taiwan before Tokyo). I'm not a fan of uni in a shell either, have only had it like that in the states tho. Have booked most of the sushi places, I'm pretty sure I can enjoy many days of sushi (Last time I was in Japan I think I didn't even eat a single non-sushi meal) but that was before I discovered chowhound. One question, Is there any picture of the entrance to Sushi Sasaki? I have the google map and know it's on the 8th floor, but it's not clear to me which building to go into.

                                              1. re: howo5

                                                Do a streetview on the google map and you should see the building. I think it's the JDB building with the Simmons sign on the front.

                                                1. re: killersmile

                                                  Great thanks I found that one. Do I just go into the JDB door and then up to the 8th floor?

                                                  1. re: howo5

                                                    Take the Sotobori Dori(Av.) front of Sony, first left, Brioni shop on the right right. just before the Nagasaki Champon sushi Sasaki is on the 8Floor..The first nigiri set is at 5,000yens, second one at 8,000yens, last time I have had the 5,000yens and ordered 2 more pieces (Uni, Nihama) for 7,000yens (tax included).

                                                     
                                                    1. re: Ninisix

                                                      I think I found it on google maps, The Nagasaki Champion Sushi must have been something else when the google car came by. I presume I just walk up the stairs on the right to the 8th floor?

                                                      Any of these other one's hard to find? I think Harutaka is but I found a good picture online of the building entrance, is Taichi or Kozasa going to be difficult?

                                                       
                                                      1. re: howo5

                                                        well, you will have the elevator !! Frankly, all these 3 sushi-yasan are difficult to find, for me the most difficult one is sushi Sasaki as the indication is the only mail box, and the building in front of some 'champon ramen'.. for the others well, well, it is Ginza. Still, Ginza have some hidden alley (if we can say that are alley). For sushi Kozasa, access of the alley is from the Namiki Street, almost when you reach the end of Namiki street, just come back off 20-30 meters and between building you will have a dark passage, in this review look at the last picture :
                                                        http://ameblo.jp/miss-yoshimi/entry-1...
                                                        http://kuidoo.blog88.fc2.com/blog-ent...
                                                        Sushi Taichi, also, take the Sotobori Dori(Av.), facing the Sony Building on the opposite side, and behind a small parking lot there is an alley, facing the avenue, don't cross the Reiko shop, here a link with a photo of the building(?)..
                                                        http://ameblo.jp/roba-to/entry-114714...

                                                        These 3 sushi-yasan are very different from each other. Sushi Kozasa is very classic Edo-style, sushi Taichi second generation chef uses red vinegar, and sushi Sasaki is a 3-4 generation chef and uses blend vinegar, salt only (no sugar), small pieces looks like Kanesaka-san (for the size) in my opinion, but taste better...
                                                        Tonight, sushi at Shinjuku, that is time to celebrate !

                                              2. re: J.L.

                                                Sushi Sei is a mid range sushi and different between branch, I prefer the main branch..if you want an high end one, here a photo of sea urchin on shell at sushi Takamitsu at Naka Meguro :
                                                http://s.tabelog.com/tokyo/A1317/A131...
                                                Served with the 'omakase(chef recommendation menu)' at set price of 14000yens.
                                                Usually, sushi-yasan will name the sea urchin on shell..

                    2. Just to complicate things, the place my husband always visits when in Tokyo is Nigiria in Shinagawa. It's a tiny little place -- it reminds him of the movie "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" both in the size of the restaurant and the quality of the food. But he loves it and says it's the best he has had in Tokyo. Maybe worth checking out?

                      1. <<Here's a refined itinerary for us...
                        Tuesday: arrive 12:55 to NRT:
                        Lunch: Check in at Hotel Niwa (Walk to Iidabashi for Izakaya)
                        Dinner: Sushi Kozasa - Ginza - 9,000yens first set should be enough>>

                        I would double-check on this. We dined at Sushi Kozasa in Ginza in 2006 - and lunch was more than 10,000 yen (dinner prices were considerably more expensive). I know there has been recession/deflation in Japan in recent years - so perhaps prices are lower now.

                        The restaurant is really hard to find (down an alley) - even if you're right in front of it. Make sure to get a map from your hotel concierge with directions written in Japanese so someone will show you where it is.

                        When we were there - no English was spoken. We were with someone who spoke fluent Japanese - so it wasn't an issue. If you can't speak Japanese - it is perhaps best to order the menu you want through your hotel concierge before you arrive. Robyn

                        16 Replies
                        1. re: pvgirl

                          @pvgirl, yes, sushi-yasan after Lehman choc decreased half in Ginza, and after 2011, even sushi Araki wrote in his book that it was very difficult. At sushi Kozasa, the assistant speaks, even if he is older than the chef. The 'nigiri omakase' is at 9000yens, just nigiri, but the chef skill is very good for classic pieces with some tsume(home made reduced brushing sauce), and some nikiri(sauce cut brushing sauce).. Last time was was around November - i don't have my note in front of me, so yes, i think the menu still the same for the nigiri part..
                          Since 2006, you will have difficulty to remember the way ... so take the Namiki street (panel of the street written on plots), then go straight until almost the end, and it is 20-30meters 2 blocks before the end i will say on a dark alley between building.. hope you will enjoy it, as in 2006 !!

                          1. re: Ninisix

                            Arrived yesterday and dined at sushi kozasa. The sushi yasan did speak some English and was really friendly and great to dine with. We were the only ones there last night with one customer arriving later in the meal. As this was my first time having I believe Edo style sushi it took a while for my palate to adjust to the vinegar and flavor forwardedness of the sushi. First course was a delicious fluke marinated in konbu. If you are sensitive to wasabi I wouldnt recommend here as it was too much for my wife but I got used to it as the meal went on. There was a fire fish I never had before that was great and I really enjoyed the uni and bonito. The tuna courses were great as well. We ended up with about 11 pieces for about 12500 yens each. I thought the omakase set would be about 9000 but I guess I need to specify before the meal begins. It was a good start to who I'm sure will be a delicious trip.

                            We also tried ikagura ramen nearby it was delicious but definitely more heavy and porky than I've had before.

                            1. re: howo5

                              Thank you for your review. I feel compelled to comment. When I eat sushi there, the chef knew I would eat more than 11 pieces, but he did not seem to propose me a choice of Uni. Instead, I ended up with 4 pieces of good, just roasted anago !! Well this sushi-yasan was recommended by a Japanese chef, and perhaps that is the reason !
                              Wasabi is used to accent the neta(fish), and old Edo style can really be felt, like at sushi BentenYama... but for those who are sensible, you can ask for less wasabi, with less rice also if that too much... Sushi Taichi is more modern, and sushi Sasaki pieces are small, but their maguro is a good point I suggest for tasting the fish with only a small chunk of rice !!

                              1. re: Ninisix

                                Hi thanks for your response just got back from sushi taichi and it was a wonderful experience. The sushi yasan is friends with masa at 15east in NYC and we got along well with his more modern style. The sushi was more what we're used to, not as large pieces compared to kozasa. The set was great Shari was really good, the rice had a brownish tint? I'd say it compares with 15 east and can now appreciate the differences in the flavor profile of Edo vs modern sushi. It was so good were going to go tommorrow again before butagumi. The set I got was the 5250 lunch sushi set.

                                1. re: howo5

                                  "Edo" is the former name of Tokyo. It's not a style of sushi.

                                  1. re: Silverjay

                                    Do you mean Edomae ? Yes Edo is Tokyo, and mean classic, not that generic!!!

                                  2. re: howo5

                                    @howo5, glad you've liked it that much. Now after your review, I begin to wonder whether sushi Sasaki might not be too different !! If you rather stay on the same range as Taichi, just choose sushi Manten(even casual), or sushi Ikkyu, parent of sushi Ko honten and cheaper.

                                    1. re: Ninisix

                                      Yeah I guess I should've said edomae. We went back to taichi today and had a wonderful time. Tonight will be harutaka. I read that edomae sushi tends to have spicier wasabi as is found also at jiro. Anyways will be curious to see how sasaki is as well as harutaka I'll let my wife know to ask for less spice if we encounter it again. Also will add that the uni we had at kozasa was really incredible as it is from hokkaido.

                                      1. re: howo5

                                        ALL of these shops are Edomae style. The distinctions you are noticing are simply the differences in individual shop's preparation method.

                                        1. re: Silverjay

                                          In what order shall we discuss ?
                                          Wasabi in sushi : the start of wasabi in suhsi is during Edo mae” period .
                                          Kansai or other areas was essentially 'oshi sushi', 'chirashi sushi', 'inari sushi' or 'maki sushi', with no use for wasabi.
                                          Sushi origin is 'fermentation', it is possible to believe it started at same period as sake.
                                          Humans realized that grains are meant to be chewed, then spit out ... or fermented.
                                          A little digression… modern sushi has its origin in “nare sushi" = "carp sushi” (after its rice fermented in brine rather than vinegar). Such sushi were commonly eaten in Kyoto and Shiga, (but for me, too smelly, I dislike even looking at them). So carp and rice fermenting (decaying, yes), to become 'carp pickles'. In same manner, rice became 'vinegar sushi rice'.
                                          It decayed, but only to a certain step. That was a big step forward. As a replacement of bento ... a priceless material.
                                          From there, (vinegar) marinated rice was developped, with an eye on its anti-bacterial property. “Boiled”, “marinated”, “salted”,… these are still widely used to present days.

                                          Gradually, it was realised that even the bamboo grass and persimmon leaf had anti-bacterial properties, and more and more wasabi appeared. It is called mid Edo period.
                                          Edo, in front was the sea... there, at the cookery, they made the sushi with vinegar rice...
                                          From this point in time, Edo Mae sushi was developped, and it spread to the entire country.
                                          Therefore, wasabi, that is by no mean employed in all sushi.

                                          This translation, is just a reference. But I agree, "Edo mae" sushi has now become a generic term !! Sometimes, it means the fish varieties caught during Edo period, sometimes it means 'recent' nigiri, and many refer to Edo mae for just including 'kohada' and 'anago' in the menu !! For me, one of the oldest sushi in Tokyo, sushi Bentenyama, in Asakusa is the reference for Edo Mae sushi : sushi that is not only raw, but with different tsume(one made from anago, another one from ika), and use of wasabi, and with not only sushi being marinated in vinegar, but also the tuna being soaked in shoyu. Recent sushi do not use that much wasabi, and more and more in Tokyo, 'classic' means adding it as an necessary ingredient, in his classic form. Here is a review on wasbi for those
                                          http://www.sbfoods.co.jp/sbsoken/jite...

                                          1. re: Ninisix

                                            They are all Edomae sushi. I get the distinction you are making with regard to more classic actual Edo Era preparation or ingredients, but that is your personal interpretation and explanation. It's interesting and I don't disagree with it. I've read and written a lot about the history of sushi as well. But we can't have people tossing around these terms when they already have a solid colloquial usage.

                                        2. re: howo5

                                          @howo5, oh i will have to try that uni soon... Sushi sasaki, no, it won't be the wasabi that will come to your nose, but the flavor of the 'akami(aged)'. 'uni' is on sea water(with no additives), nigiri are small, so pieces can be tasted with few shari. While eating, maguro try to bring the neta(fish) part on your cheek, the flavor will spread up to your nose, it is one of the spealities. Only 1/4 of the preparation is in front of the eyes, most of it is actually done earlier. If you want to have a Japanese spicy ramen like Baiko dandanemn (with goma) or Baiko Saihomen(with vinegar), try Hashigo ramen on the sukiya street
                                          http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1301/A13010...

                                          1. re: howo5

                                            @howo5, how was the rest if your trip ?
                                            On Sunday, I have had a soba lunch set with tempura at Soba Hosokawa, the tempura was crispy !

                                            1. re: Ninisix

                                              Hi Ninisix,

                                              Sorry for the late response, life gets busier quickly when you return from such a wonderful trip. We enjoyed Harutaka very much, definitely the tuna was great there. Overall we had the best experiences at Taichi, I think in the end I value the quailty of the sushi as well as how well I get along with the sushi yasan. As for Sasaki, I found things quite strange as we were served tamago first for our meal and not much english was spoken at all. For visitors, I suggest reserving one of the first seatings as to allow for time to develop rapport with the sushi yasan before other regulars arrive.

                                              We also made it to Soba Hosokawa and it was a slurping good time! The tempura anago was great!

                                              1. re: howo5

                                                Thank you, I am glad you enjoyed the soba at Hosokawa, too bad to see that sushi Sasaki is having hard time !! I will try it twice to see what is going on.. Sushi-yasan, yes, 30% and more is about the chef's attention, it changes definitely your meal.

                                                1. re: Ninisix

                                                  Well, I just tried Sasaki, and was a bit shocked. Quality is down - at least compared to the image I had. Omelet as appetizer, maguro not that great, less choice.