Finally, here is the ultimate sushi guide to follow exclusively on the most famous fish market in Japan: Tsukiji. Situated near Ginza district, it’s a road full of crowds and tourists and chefs from all over Tokyo and, particularly, fish merchants: they supply the best restaurants of the capital with the most freshly fished salmon, tuna etc. With a variety of flavors and qualities that you just can’t find anywhere in the same place… Except for Tsukiji market. But the best thing of this business road is that there aren’t only merchants who sell the food to restaurants etc.; along the crowded road, you can find a huge variety of small, traditional sushi restaurants that may offer you the best sushi of your life. Well, to make this happen from your first visit to Tsukiji, we have prepared a list of the top 10 choices you can make along the fish market’s road: be just prepared to wait a long time to get in, because everyone here wakes up really early to taste (and buy)  the best fish on Tsukiji market!

Tsukiji Sushi Dai (寿司大)

You will have to be in front of the restaurant from 2-3 am., but it will definitely be worth it. It may be very hot, or very cold outside, but once you are able to enter the staff will greet you with a very Japanese “otsukaresama” thanking you and saying they’re sorry at the same time for the long wait. Sushi Dai atmosphere is warm; you can even choose the ingredients you’ll eat from a selection of extremely fresh fish and seafood: good luck with picking the best ones!

¥ 3000-3999 ~ breakfast and lunch only

Address: 5-2-1 Tsukiji Chuo Tokyo

Website: http://www.tsukijigourmet.or.jp/22_sushidai/index.htm ( Japanese only)

Tsukiji Sushi Dai Honkan ( 築地すし大 本館 )

Big, compared to the other traditional Tsukiji restaurants, with 42 seats in total (counter included) that makes this one a good choice to go have fun with family or a big group of friends/coworkers. Its particularity is the opening hours: from 10:30 am. to 4 am. of the day after, that makes this place the best choice for a late dinner or a party night ( but your wallet will not thank you for it, as later is the hour, more expensive becomes the price). Another speciality of Dai Honkan is the use of Bolivian salt, that gives a particular flavor to every kind of dish and seems to be healthier than the normal salt, as it’s rich in minerals. This restaurant “omakase” is affordable and seems to satisfy every kind of customers

¥ 3000-7999

Address: 6-21-2 Tsukiji Chuo Tokyo

Website:  http://www.sushidai-kachidoki.com/honkan/index.html (Japanese only)

Sushi Ishijima (鮨石島)

Relaxed atmosphere, friendly staff that speaks English, the chef so kind to explain the names of the fishes he’s using with the clients at the counter… And above all this, the presentations of sushi and nigiri it’s so artistic that it would be a waste to eat. But unfortunately Ishijima’s chef sushi is not just beautiful to see but it’s also made with the best care by the staff and the best quality of the ingredients, that are served at the perfect temperature to be tasted to the fullest. Families and kids are okay, and there is even the possibility to reserve a 6 seats private room on the second floor to have dinner!

¥ 10000-19999

Address: 1-24-3 Ginza Chuo Tokyo

Website: http://www.sushi-ishijima.com  ( Japanese only)

Sushikuni (鮨國)

Speciality recommended for Sushikuni is the rice bowl with fresh sea urchin (uni). Even though this is quite an expensive restaurant his friendly atmosphere and the incredible taste of its sushi makes it worth the cost. It is surprisingly fast to enter Sushikuni, as the waiting time is about 30 minutes, and there is the option to eat in a very beautiful outdoor patio, that is even more particular with his cute highlighting.  A place to relax, in a traditional and at the same time warm atmosphere.

¥ 2000-5999

Address: 4-14-15 Tsukiji Chuo Tokyo

Website: http://ameblo.jp/sushikuni/ (Japanese only)

Sushi Hashimoto (鮨 はしもと)

The former two-floor sushi restaurant is now a very compact sushi bar with just 8 seats, but it continues to be comfortable ( you will find everything you need even in a small space). Now it seems obvious that the reservation here is a must, but you should consider to booking like a half a year in advance because its popularity is bigger than the restaurant itself and it can be really difficult to find a place. Hashimoto’s is rather difficult to find searching on Google maps, so be careful to not lose your appointment just because you didn’t know the location! Every dish has a magical flavor, but the most recommended seem to be the chawanmushi,  a simple dish that Hashimoto’s chef manages to make superb, the kind of taste that doesn’t loose even a bit of his first flavor, no matter how much you eat it all in a row!

¥15000-19999

Address: 1-15-11 Shintomi Chuo Tokyo

Website:  http://xn--68j8at1fy133e.jp/ (Japanese only)

Ryusushi (龍寿司)

Situated in the first part of Tsukiji area, Ryusushi offers a great variety of set-menu, but the dish with most enthusiastic reviews is the ika(squid) , with a sweet flavor and a bit sticky consistency. There is also a whiteboard at the entrance to show you the season’s special flavors while you’re waiting, so it will be very easy to make the right order once you get to enter… Or maybe not, everything seems just too good! Regarding the atmosphere, it’s quite a relaxed restaurant, but the chefs are not very friendly, as they are focusing with all their might to bring out the best flavor from Tsukiji’s ultra-fresh ingredients.

¥ 4000-4999

Address: 5-2-1 Tsukiji Chuo Tokyo

Website: http://tabelog.com/en/tokyo/A1313/A131301/13014830

Yamazaki (やまざき)

Otoro (Fatty tuna) here is like a dream, the texture is just right and melts in your mouth with a fantastic flavor. Yamazaki is rather hard to find as it’s a bit secluded in a small street parallel to Tsukiji first road, but it will give you the best sushi experience from the presentation (on big leafs!)  to the taste. Even the restaurant esthetic is very fine and elegant, and the chef is surprisingly young, with good English skills. Yamazaki also conquered the 2nd place in the 2014’s best Tsukiji sushi restaurants, and continues to offer the best service and quality. As reservation is not accepted and opening hours start at 5:30 is recommended to get up even before dawn to be the first to taste Yamazaki’s delicious tuna!

¥ 3000-3999

Address: 5-2-1 Tsukiji Chuo Tokyo

Website: http://www.sushi-yamazaki.com/english/

Iwasazushi (岩佐寿し)

With its 20 years of activity, Iwasazushi presents a particular atmosphere, with the walls full of celebrities photos with the proprietors and a superior privacy,  thanks to the long curtains at the entrance. Service is super fast and waiting time to enter is the bearable minimum (about 20-40 minutes). It’s not so much kids-friendly so it’s recommended for a trip with coworkers or friends, to relax and have fun in a small, elegant corner of Tsukiji’s market.

¥3000-3999

Address: 5-2-1 Tsukiji Chuo Tokyo

Website: https://www.iwasasushi.jp/ (Japanese Only)

Sushibun (鮨文)

Available for breakfast and lunch only, Sushibun offers 160 years of experience and a reputation that continues since the very starts of Tsukiji market’s activity. From that time until now the atmosphere seems to be still very comfortable, even though this historical restaurant could be a bit difficult to find.  Uni ( sea urchin) is the specialty most appreciated by customers, but Sushibun offers a large variety of dishes and two types of set-menu: B (more expensive) and C, both traditional and made with the fresher fish on the market.

¥ 3000-4999

Address: 5-2-1 Tsukiji Chuo Tokyo

Website: http://www.tsukijinet.com/tsukiji/kanren/susibun/eng.html

Unitorakurau ( うに虎喰 )

Ending our delicious list of sushi restaurants, we have Unitorakurau, bigger than the other ones and taking the scene since 2004. It seems to gather more tourists than Tokyo’s citizens, but the variety of uni (sea urchin)  you will find here has no comparison: with the 5- variety uni combo set you will be able to taste 5 varieties of uni from all over Japan (Aomori, Ochiishi, Hakodate, Hamanaka, etc.)  And you will be surprised because they actually taste pretty different!

¥ 3000-3999

Address: 4-10-14 Tsukiji Chuo Tokyo

Website: http://www.itadori.co.jp/shop/unitora_kurau.html (Japanese only)

 

Thumbnail image is from flickr

All price information in this article is as of November 2017