The reason I love going to Tokyo is really the inexpensive but still amazing tasting sushi. Originally on this trip I wanted to go to a sushi omakase but due to certain things we ended up not reserving one and I don’t regret it one bit because even though we went to more affordable places, it was all amazing.
My friend and I went to a few places, all a little different, and I would like to say I was sushi-ed out but I literally just came back from a revolving sushi place near my office which is not bad but cannot hold a candle to the places in Tokyo.
ITAMAE SUSHI SHINJUKU TOHO (板前寿司 新宿東宝ビル店)
Address: 〒160-0021 Tokyo, Shinjuku, Kabukicho, 1 Chome−19−1 新宿東宝ビル1階
This place was recommended to me by my trip planner Melissa at Journy as an affordable sushi experience and one not to far from my hotel. There was a small line when we got there but we were called for our table pretty quickly.
The menu here is extensive with various sets or individual sushi orders. All orders are done through a tablet on the table though they also give you an actual menu as well. It’s easier to take everything in using the menu and then make your selections on the tablet.
We decided to go with a mixed set and a tuna set and then added on two rainbow hand rolls because it looked to good to share! They also gave us miso soup with shrimp heads! It was more flavorful but I prefer not having my soup stare back at me. 😛
The hand roll was amazing and overflowing with yummy salmon roe, uni and more. It was a little hard to eat as the roe kept trying to escape out of mine. The sushi was also delicious and it was a fantastic first meal in Tokyo. The best part though was that all this was only USD $54.89. I wish I could get a meal like this in Los Angeles for that price!!!
Location: Mitaka Station (?)
So I’m not 100% sure of where we picked up our next sushi delight but I think it was at Mitaka Station and a random store that sold boxed sushi. We were drawn in by the cheap prices and the 20% off sticker and decided to buy two boxes to eat at our hotel before we went to line up for a popular tsukemen restaurant. For random sushi we picked up, it really wasn’t bad and for two boxes, it was only USD $7.53. It definitely beats the prices at my local Japanese market. The variety is better as well.
Address: 3-34-16 Shinjuku | 1F Ikeda Plaza Bldg, Shinjuku 160-0022, Tokyo
When we realized we wouldn’t be doing sushi omakase, my friend and I decided to do another Japanese sushi experience: conveyor belt sushi. We decided on Numazuko because 1) it was close to our hotel and 2) reviews said that it had higher quality fish though slightly higher prices.
There was a line winding out the restaurant when we got there but I think we waited maybe only 20 minutes to be seated. Obviously, it being a conveyor belt sushi place, you can grab plates off the belt or you can order from one of the restaurant workers. I’d read some reviews that it’s best to order from the restaurant worker so it’s fresher but I saw a lot of customers grabbing from the belt so I really don’t think it’s that bad to do so. We ended up grabbing what we could find off the belt and then ordering what seem to keep running out from the restaurant worker.
The plates that they use are color-coded and they list the different prices and colors right in front of you so you know what you’re getting yourself into. In front of you is also a box with tea bags and then hot water for you to make your own tea and refill. You’re also provided a menu (with English) so you know what might be missing from the belt. I don’t remember exactly how many plates we each ate but we were pretty full when we finished and the total for both of us came out to be USD $36.02. I just spent $16 today at a local conveyor belt sushi place and the items I picked were no where near as good or higher end as what I had at Numazuko.
If you’re looking for a conveyor belt sushi restaurant, I do recommend this place. Just know that it is fairly popular so there might be a wait.
Tsukiji Fish Market
So on my last night, after returning to Tokyo from Seoul, we stayed in the Shiodome area near Ginza and Tsukiji Fish Market so of course the next morning I had to stop by the fish market before heading to the airport.
Originally we were intending to go to Itadori Unitora Kurau to get the uni bowls they are famous for but we could NOT find it. We looked at a lot of photos and reviews and I swear we were in the right place but just did not see the shop. There was one location we thought it might be but it wasn’t opened so maybe they just weren’t open that day?
In the end we randomly chose a shop that also sold bowls and at least sold uni and unfortunately I cannot remember the place’s name. The bowls were tasty but we also ordered seared uni and I have to say, I’m not a fan… I think we ended up spending USD 40-ish or so for the two bowls and seared uni. I wish I had more time to explore more places in the market especially with it being so close to the hotel but I had to settle for buying a salmon roe and salmon belly onigiri with me to the airport as my afternoon snack.
There’s not really much of a conclusion other than sushi in Tokyo is amazing from buying it to-go from a random shop to eating in the fish market. However, if I have the chance, eventually I’d like to try a sushi omakase although they are quite pricey and look at all the sushi I can have for the same price! 😉