Ueno is the cultural hub of Tokyo. In here you’ll find museums, temples, and park that offer a look into the art, history and culture of the Japanese people, and a lively street market where you can find anything from clothes, shoes and other items currently trending in Pop culture. Ueno Park is home to the Zoological Garden, Cherry Blossoms and Bentendo – Temple dedicated to the Goddess Benzaiten. There are six museums and performing arts theatres in and around Ueno. To top off the tour in Ueno, the district is also home to various Sushi restaurants. Ueno Sushi restaurants are known for their good quality fish and reasonable prices. These shops are surely on anyone’s bucket list of restaurants to visit in Tokyo.
So in between Ueno tours or after a walk through the Zoological garden and cherry blossom sightseeing, try out one of the best sushi restaurants in Ueno. You’ll find them scattered in and around the district, including the “low city” area, eat and drink into the historical working class neighborhood.
1. Magurobito (まぐろ人 御徒町出張所)
The sushi restaurant is listed by CNN as one of the 3 best sushi shops in Tokyo. It is a standing style shop, so you won’t see any chairs to rest your feet. But the sushi is delicious and affordable, just like how Tokyo residences used to enjoy their favorite fish snack during the Edo period. The staffs and chefs are friendly and provide an English menu, so no one gets lost in translation.
Address: 6-3-7 Ueno, Taito Tokyo
2. Sushi Isshin (鮨 一心)
At the heart of the Shitamachi district, historically “low city” side of Tokyo, sits Sushi Isshin, one of Ueno’s premier sushi shops. What makes this restaurant different from the rest is their sweet rice that matches the sake comes with sushi. The interior is quite cozy and comfortable with sushi bar and tatami matt/table setting for larger parties. Reservation is a must.
Address: 3-43-12 Yushima Bunkyo, Tokyo
3. Kaitenzushi Maguro-Tonya Miura Misaki-Ko Ueno (グルメ廻転寿司 まぐろ問屋 三浦三崎港 上野店)
Japanese think of ways to be more efficient and provide excellent service whilst keeping costs down. And one innovation that really kicked off in terms of service and affordability is the conveyor belt service. Kaiten Zushi is a pioneer of this innovation. If you are in for new experiences in food, then this is the place to be. They serve Yamamori style of sushi, which literally means mountain size serving. They also offer off the menu dishes; you just have to point what dish you want from the local’s table.
Address: 6-12-14 Ueno, Taito Tokyo
Website: http://www.neo-emotion.jp/post_kaitensushi/miuramisakikou-ueno/ (Japanese only)
4. Okina Sushi (翁鮨 御徒町店)
Okina Sushi is more than a sushi restaurant but also serves traditional Kaiseki style dishes in Ueno. Kaiseki is the Japanese version of Haute Cuisine, where the preparation, cooking, and serving shows the different techniques mastered by Kaiseki chefs through the years. Dine and experience the art and craft of Kaiseki style cooking and eating. Please note that they don’t accept groups without a Japanese speaking person, bring your Japanese friend if you can’t speak Japanese fluently.
Address: 1-12-13 Higashi Ueno, Taito Tokyo
5. Sushi Sei Ueno (築地寿司清 上野)
One of the oldest sushi shops in Japan, older than the Tsukiji Fish Market. They serve Edo Mae sushi, traditional Edo (Old Tokyo) style of preparation and presentation. The style of cooking and serving at that time is very different from other eras especially the more modern eras. At Sushi Sei you’ll find classic anago – sushi of conger eel (salt water) and sushi bowl, serving a variety of fresh seafood in a bowl of rice. Sit by the counter and watch as the chefs prepare your meal.
Address: Ueno Park Sakura Terrace 2F, 1-54 Ueno Koen, Taito-ku Tokyo
Website: http://www.tsukijisushisay.co.jp/store/ueno.html (Japanese only)
6. Sushi Hyakumangoku (鮨 百万石)
Another Sushi restaurant with a long history of serving satisfied customers is Hyakumangoku. It has 45 years experience of serving Edo style sushi. Try their house specialties such as dried mullet roe, and homemade salt pickled mullet roe with marinated herbal miso. It is a sushi restaurant and classic Japanese watering hole or Izakaya.
Address: 2-11-5 Higashi Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
7. Sushi Taichi (寿し 太一)
If you are a culture vulture and wish to experience traditional Japanese cooking, then, you should check out Sushi Taichi. This is more than a sushi restaurant as it serves Kappo cuisine. Kappo basically means cooking, and in today’s language, it means sophisticated Japanese food. The main attraction for a Kappo restaurant aside from the sumptuous food is the whole preparation and cooking of the dishes, the courses are done right in front of you, from start to finish. This lets you engage all your senses into the dining experience.
Address: 3-40-3 Yushima Bunkyo-ku Tokyo
8. Sushi Kou (寿司幸)
Sushi Kou is famous for Negitoro sushi. The dish is fresh Tuna sashimi, chopped, mixed and topped with green onions. It is almost like ceviche without the acid (vinegar/citrus juice). Negitoro is one of the most popular ingredients of sushi. People crave for the famous Negitoro sushi from Sushi Kou. It is popular in Tokyo for it’s fresh and delicious variety of sushi and sashimi at very reasonable prices.
Address: 4 Chome-2-11 Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
9. Hidezushi (英鮨 上野店)
A Japanese pub or Izakaya is the lifeblood of the salaryman. And when good drinks teamed with good food such as at Hidezushi in Ueno, all the toils of the day are released. Sample Japanese life at Hidezushi with their specialty, salmon maki roll with garlic mayonnaise. They offer fresh sushi every day, great service, and friendly staffs. They have an English menu for tourists and foreign patrons.
Address: 2-3-9 Ueno, Taito-ku Tokyo
10. Katsu Oedo Ueno 2-Go Ten (活 大江戸 上野2号店)
Conveyor belt or Sushi train is the rage in Tokyo and all around Japan. Each offer varieties and specialties that can’t be found in other places. In Katsu Oedo, their specialties are white fish sushi dishes including fresh codfish, white roe during winter months and ike-hokki or fresh surf clams. Soups and salads are also available upon order, and may not be included in their picture menu. Try the dishes locals order off the menu just by pointing at the food that you want to try. One thing is for certain, affordable and fresh sushi made daily.
Address: 6-12-14 Ueno, Taito-ku Tokyo
Thumbnail image from flickr