Sushi is synonymous with any trip to Tokyo and the city offers an almost endless variety of sushi restaurants. From budget conveyor belt sushi restaurants to world-class Michelin sushi restaurants that offer a glimpse into the world’s best seafood and freshest ingredients found across Japan.
For the latter, you’re spoilt for choice when visiting Tokyo, with literally hundreds of highly acclaimed sushi restaurants to explore.
From restaurants harboring century-old cooking traditions passed through generations to vibrant young chefs that are constantly pushing the craft further forward, the highly competitive and coveted Tokyo sushi scene is certainly not to be missed. Here’s a peek into the best of the best of Tokyo’s sushi restaurants.
1. Sushi Yoshitake 鮨よしたけ
With just 7 seats that are always booked well in advance, Sushi Yoshitake is a Michelin 3-star sushi restaurant that offers a serene and intimate dining experience with some of the most coveted sushi dishes ever made.
As traditional iron pots steam rice over charcoal, you’ll have time to soak in the warm lighting and the elegant countertop that has been carved from a single slab of timber.
There is an extensive drinks menu, including a selection of sake as well as wines from France and Italy. With omakase dining the only option, you’ll be in the trusted hands of Chef Masahiro Yoshitake to provide you with a sublime selection of otsumami small plates.
Some examples of these delights are oysters with shiso and oyster-liquor jelly, and the abalone served with an umami dipping sauce of abalone liver.
2. Sushi Kuwano 鮨 くわ野
With over a decade’s worth of Michelin accolades, a meal at Sushi Kuwano is nothing short of a refined journey into the dedicated art of sushi making.
Behind the majestic noren that drapes over the entrance, you’ll find a warm welcome from the Okami of the restaurant (also the chef’s wife). Inside, you’ll be greeted by the elegant decor and can watch the master chef at work.
Chef Tatsuya Kuwano skillfully creates delicious sushi and sashimi dishes that are both innovative and exhibit deep respect and understanding of traditional sushi-making.
The sashimi course is a selection of the day’s freshest fish, and not to be missed dishes include the steamed abalone and grilled fish dishes that are cooked over crackling charcoal and delicately flavored with a vinegar sauce.
3. Harutaka 青空
The moment you walk in the door, you are greeted by the aroma of fresh-cut Japanese cedar alongside exceptional craftsmanship and aesthetic resembling an exquisite ryokan. Moving to the new premises in 2016 provided Chef Harutaka Takahashi with the ability to craft everything to perfection, and his sushi is no exception.
The Ginza-based restaurant offers just 12 seats artfully placed along with a huge solid timber countertop that has been expertly crafted from a single slab from Nara. In the kitchen, hagama iron pots are constantly cooking the koshihikari rice.
Chef Harutaka crafts the menu based on what’s fresh and can be sourced from the fish market each morning. With 2 Michelin Stars, you can’t go wrong putting your trust in Chef Harutaka.
4. Sushi Kanesaka 銀座鮨かねさか
Sushi Kanesaka is located in the heart of Ginza and offers classic sushi with a warm, inviting, and friendly atmosphere. With warm timber benchtops, speckled marble walls, and a textured woven straw ceiling.
Chef Shinji Kanesaka painstakingly selected and designed the interior himself with the aim to create a welcoming experience.
The restaurant’s interior successfully creates a harmonizing contrast with the branches and delicate buds of a plum tree carefully positioned at the end of the restaurant.
Favoring traditional techniques, Chef Shinji Kanesaka’s sushi focused on delivering incredibly complex flavors achieved through seemingly the simplest ingredient combinations.
5. Sushi Arai 鮨 あらい
A newcomer to the coveted Tokyo sushi scene, Chef Arai quickly developed his own unique style and was quickly awarded a Michelin star.
Upon entry to the restaurant, you are welcomed with the aroma of Kiso Valley hinoki and the interior displays a modern yet familiar nod to the traditional sushi eateries of the past.
Behind the carefully crafted hinoki countertop, the chef awaits you and provides a welcome atmosphere to choose your preferred sushi courses from handwritten wooden plaques that display the freshest fish from each day.
With large portions and an exceptional sushi and drinks menu, Sushi Arai is definitely not to be missed when visiting Tokyo.
6. Sushi Kimura 鮨 㐂邑
A mere 20 minutes from Shibuya by train lies the inconspicuous Sushi Kimura, almost hidden in the suburban landscape of Tokyo.
A visit is sure to excite even the most steadfast sushi lovers and is likely the most fascinating sushi experience.
Upon entry, make your way past the rotund earthenware pot and into the warm and comfortable decor to the large countertop that seats just nine guests while Chef Kimura prepares each course.
Chef Kimura is often described as “the father of aged Sushi” and explores the boundaries of small plate cuisine with a delicious variety of unusual fish varieties and flavor combinations.
7. Umi 海味
Located a short walk from Gaienmae metro station you’ll discover the calligraphy characters for “ocean” and “flavor” written delicately onto the noren sign, where together, the symbol translates to “Umi”.
Inside you’ll find intimate seating for just nine guests that oozes a rustic and warm character, where the chef is preparing an omakase menu while entertaining guests.
The menu includes seven appetizer-like dishes in addition to the main sushi courses. Many signature dishes exhibit Chef Taira’s versatility and culinary skill, with special detail being made using his exceptional knife skills to present a visually striking dish that is also tantalizing with new flavors.
8. Nishiazabu Taku 西麻布 拓
For well over a decade, Nishiazabu Taku has offered a unique experience of pairing sushi with wine. Upon entry, you’ll be warmly greeted and visitors will immediately notice that elegant combination of traditional and modern interior styling.
Bare concrete walls set as a backdrop for the main bar counter that is elegantly made of quince wood and welcomes just eight guests at a time. A private room is also available and can intimately host six guests upon request.
A sommelier will guide you through wine selections that pair perfectly with the sushi menu offered. Guests will explore more than just traditional sushi cuisine with the main small side dishes offered between courses.
The signature sea urchins sample platter is also offered on traditional Japanese ceramics that are sourced from throughout Japan.
9. Hakkoku はっこく
For those looking for a traditional and relaxed sushi experience with the freedom to choose dishes from a dedicated Okonomi (a la carte) menu, then look no further than the recently established Hakkoku.
Located in the heart of Ginza, the spacious restaurant offers a sophisticated sampling of traditional and contemporary sushi dishes.
A large hinoki wooden counter is set low where Chef Hiroyuki Sato serves his guests to an elevated level of personal attention.
The chef offers a variety of fish choices that have been carefully selected from the market that day. His signature dish “Tossaki” is the delicacy of rich tuna neck that’s full of flavor and is definitely not to be missed.
10. Sushi Kojima 鮨 こじま
Venture into the peaceful and traditional interior of Sushi Kojima and you’ll experience the pursuit of shokunin, a Japanese term for an artisan who relentlessly pursues perfection.
Upon entry, you’ll be welcomed by Chef Michio Kojima and staff who will provide you with a scented towel to cleanse and refresh before being seated at the smooth hinoki wood counter.
Watch Chef Michio Kojima prepare each dish with precision and skill honed through years of experience. The omakase menu is typically made up of 8 or 9 sashimi dishes and 12 pieces of sushi, with each ingredient is carefully hand-chosen by the Chef who values the quality of fresh fish alongside a perfected simplicity of cooking that is sure to dazzle.
11. Sushisho Masa すし匠 まさ
Located within the bustling nightlife district of Roppongi you’ll discover the elegant interior of the long-established Sushisho Masa which has welcomed locals and foreign guests for well over 15 years.
They have non-Japanese staff and cards that explain the many ingredients used.
The minimally decorated space has room for seven guests along the counter space and you’ll be wowed by the skill and finesse exhibited by Chef Oka.
His team goes to extraordinary lengths to ensure each guest is welcomed and leaves with an unforgettable and refreshing sushi dining experience.
12. Sushiya Ichiyanagi すし家 一柳
To visit Sushiya Ichiyanagi is to open the doors to the wonders of exquisite Japanese hospitality.
Chef Kazuya Ichiyanagi and his staff focus on providing guests with fresh unaged sushi dishes that are of the highest quality, plated on traditional Karatsu ware that is decorated with flowers and greenery reflecting each season.
The hinoki Japanese cypress plank spans the counter that seats ten guests and there is a private room that is suited for an intimate party of four.
No matter where you decide to sit, you’ll be at the hands of Chef Ichiyanagi and sure to experience a warm and enriching sushi dining experience.
13. Sushi Hashimoto 鮨はしもと
Within a bustling city, the scene is the rising star chef who is redefining Edomae sushi. Born from a family of sushi masters, Chef Hiroyuki Hashimoto is a purveyor of perfection and relishes every opportunity to exhibit his refined skill in sushi making.
Below his renowned repository of elegant sushi dishes is a collection of ceramic and sake-ware that has been collected with great pride and dedication.
An evening with Chef Hashimoto allows guests to watch as he effortlessly and purposefully prepares the 7 small dishes and 12 sushi dishes that make up the delicious omakase menu.
Each dish contains quality ingredients that resonate with an incredible depth of flavor that must be tried.
14. Sushi Nanba (Hibiya) 鮨 なんば 日比谷
Combining traditional sushi cuisine under a modern and minimalist decor is the renowned Sushi Nanba which is located in Hibiya Midtown.
As soon as you enter the restaurant, a sense of calm and tranquility welcomes guests with an interior that is purposefully built to allow guests to relax and enjoy the many displays of earthenware and ceramics.
A large 22-foot long plank of rare Kiso Hinoki Japanese cypress provides counter seating for 8 guests and there is also a private 4-person counter available for small parties.
Open for lunch and dinner, each guest receives a welcome note written in English that explains the various ingredients and temperatures that each course will be served.
15. Sushi Shunsuke 鮨 しゅん輔
On a quiet residential street just beyond the Chuo line station, Young master Chef Shunsuke Takaoka brings a refreshed and minimalist aesthetic to this well-known and highly respected sushi restaurant that originally opened its door in 2006.
The spacious restaurant seats 12 guests on the beautifully crafted Kiso Hinoki wood counter where they can enjoy watching the masterful work of Chef Takaoka.
Each dish entices the natural flavors of the seafood ingredients used, with a dedicated focus on examining the firmness, flavor, aroma, and temperature that are integral to the ultimate dining experience.
His signature (small plate) dishes combine black abalone and monkfish liver delivers a cascading harmony of flavors that must be tried to be believed.
16. Sushi Ishiyama 鮨いしやま
Chef Takao Ishiyama has quickly earned the attention of many of Tokyo’s sushi aficionados with his recently opened Sushi Ishiyama restaurant.
With masterful teaching of the sushi-making craft, movement is savored as much as the flavor and the young chef moves with a graceful flow as he skillfully crafts each dish.
Open for lunch and dinner, the seasonally curated omakase menu offers a series of ten small dishes, followed by a dozen nigiri dishes. Each dish experiments with diverse cooking skills that range from sashimi to grills.
From sea urchins sourced from the seas off Hokkaido to the unique spices and pastes, there are plenty of familiar and unusual flavors to sample that have many locals returning time and again.
17. Sushi Takamitsu 鮨 尚充
A strong sense of luxury is immediately evident as soon as you enter the minimalist interior of Sushi Takamitsu.
Each evening, Chef Takamitsu Yasuda offers 11 lucky guests a sophisticated and extravagant dining experience that harnesses superb craftsmanship and the finest quality ingredients.
The finest grade of fish and seafood are paired with some of the most delectable wines on the planet to create a dining experience that is second to none.
Daily offerings of fresh tuna and sea urchin are mainstays on the menu, and not to be missed is the horse mackerel that has been caught from the shores of Izumi in Kagoshima and exhibits an acclaimed sweet fat and flavor.
18. Sushi Sugaya 鮨 すが弥
Located in Higashi Azabu, Sushi Sugaya is a modern sushi restaurant run by a husband and wife team. Chef Takayuki Sugaya opened the restaurant in 2018 after completing over 22 years of training in the craft.
The restaurant has successfully created an exciting range of signature dishes using the best quality seafood catches from all over Japan.
Beyond the crisp noren curtains at the entry is a calming and minimally decorated interior that exudes craftsmanship and attention to detail along with a warm and pleasant atmosphere.
Seating just seven guests on the L-shaped counter, the seasonally directed omakase menu offers a diverse selection of sushi and nigiri with many white fish varieties as a feature point.
19. Sushi Hachizaemon すし八左ヱ門
Among the highly competitive Ginza sushi market, Sushi Hachizaemon has succeeded in offering a highly original and entirely exciting cuisine.
Chef Isoyama uses a unique approach and uses the Kame no O variety of rice, which may well be the only sushi restaurant in the world to use this rice.
Alongside the freshest ingredients caught each day, Chef Isoyama studiously prepares the several courses that make the omakase menu.
Dishes are made using a careful selection of white-flesh fish, abalone, prawns, maguro, and other seafood delicacies. With space for just 9 guests each evening, you’re certain to receive exceptional hospitality alongside a memorable sushi experience.
20. Sushi Kobikicho Tomoki 木挽町 とも樹
Established over 13 years ago in the gourmet elite area of Ginza 4-Chome, Chef Tomoki Kobayashi has amassed a sizable following of long-time fans and has also seen his work recognized with 2 Michelin stars.
This small sushi establishment is elegant and simple in form and offers room for 9 guests on the wide counter, made from 200-year old hinoki wood.
Traditional sushi methods refined over the years are in play in the kitchen, with an emphasis on using only the finest and freshest quality ingredients.
The menu adjusts seasonally to what can be caught fresh each day, and the Chef studiously prepares around four dozen fish varieties for the menu.
21. Sushi Sugita 日本橋蛎殻町すぎた
Chef Sugita’s traditional Edomae skills have brought widespread acclaim from even the most elite sushi masters in the world, however, it’s his restaurant’s warm and welcoming atmosphere that has customers coming back time and again.
With space for just 9 guests on the Yoshino Hinoki counter, Chef Sugita artfully prepares exquisite Edomae sushi dishes and the evening flows perfectly through appetizer dishes which are followed by 12 nigiri pieces.
The final dish is his signature dish: seaweed-wrapped norimaki sushi roll with mackerel, pickled ginger, and green shiso leaves.
22. Sushisho Saito すし匠 齋藤
A large calligraphy painting adorns the wall of Sushisho Saito, with characters for ‘anraku’, meaning peaceful and pleasurable, which perhaps perfectly expresses the atmosphere and outcome of this well-known sushi restaurant.
Building on over 30 years of relationships with the most trusted seafood and shellfish suppliers, Chef Toshio Saito is truly a master at work.
The gentle and softly spoken Chef Saito emanates such class and style with everything he does. His masterful sourcing of the freshest ingredients paired with his elegant crafting of each individual dish has brought many followers and fans to his restaurant.
In his trusted hands, you can experience a relaxed omakase menu that explores an incredibly diverse palette of colors, flavors, and textures.
23. Sushi M 鮨ｍ
Owner and sommelier Yoshinobu Kimura created Sushi M to explore the relationship between world-class sushi, premium sake, and fine wines.
Adorned in the loft of a modern chic building, the restaurant’s interior has been thoughtfully designed with minimal yet comfortable materials that create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
The chefs prepare dishes with contemporary techniques and offer new and exciting experiments in the presentation of sushi.
Beyond the well-rounded menu of sushi, nigiri, and sashimi dishes on offer, a carefully crafted drinks menu is available to help pair every taste experience with the perfect drop.
24. Sushi Tokyo Yoshida 東京吉日
Sushi Tokyo Yoshida is an incredible example of thoughtful artistry and superior craftsmanship that entices the best imaginable from a pure and minimalist aesthetic.
The stunning decor reflects the artistry embraced within the cuisine and fine wines that can be sampled, with a strong emphasis on building relationships with world-leading Japanese Sake, and renowned French wines.
The talented team of sushi chefs is led by Daiki Fujimoto and provides exceptional attention to detail and only offers the finest sushi cuisine.
All elements of the dining experience have been carefully considered, from the elegant and luxurious detailing of the interior to the opulent and traditionally crafted vessels that are presented throughout the meal.
Sushi Tokyo Yoshida is sure to leave a lasting impression for every guest who is lucky enough to visit.
25. Taku タク
Taku is another sushi restaurant for those who are serious about their wine. Located in a residential part of Nishi-azabu, the ten-seat restaurant is led by chef Kenji Ishikawa who brings a wealth of experience and has earned the restaurant two Michelin stars.
Besides the incredible food menu, careful attention has been spared to present exceptional wine pairings for each course. For those looking for wine pairing advice, a qualified sommelier offers guidance and tasting notes for guests.
The Art Of Making Sushi