Sushi in Wide Variety


In autumn of 2007, 8 restaurants in Tokyo proudly received three-stars in the Michelin Restaurant Guide Tokyo, outpacing the number of three-star retarauants in Paris. In the history of Michelin Restaurant Guide, it was the first time to see that Japanese restaurants including Sushi, Tempura, Kaiseki received stars. 15 Sushi restaurants were awarded with Michelin stars.

Sushi was originally developed as preserved food in Japan. It was indicated in the material dating back 1300 years. Since then, Sushi has been the most popular food in Japan, and different styles of Sushi have developed in the local areas. If you are a Sushi-lover, it will be fun to check out the local Sushis with different style and ingredients.

Nigiri Sushi


The most popular style is Nigiri Sushi made by hand, with thin slices of raw fish, shellfish, and prawn, on top of vinegared rice, with Wasabi horseradish. Usually Nigiri Sushi is dipped into soy sauce, but in recent years simple garnishes are also loved such as native salt, Japanese citruses of Yuzu or Kabosu, and ginger julienne, which all enhance the flavor of fresh seafood. Also, lightly charcoal grilled fish with a touch of salt gives good aroma to the sushi.

Try Nigiri Sushi in different parts of Japan, such as Tokyo, Kanazawa, Hiroshima, etc. In addition to the well known tuna, shrimp, and scallop, locally caught seafood will be used.

Chirashi Sushi


Chirashi Sushi is mixed Sushi with different kind of garnishes on top, such as eggs, Shiitake mushrooms, lotus roots, seafood, etc. It is very popular to make Chirashi Sushi at home for celebrations. Chirashi Sushi is also called Bara Sushi in some local towns.

Oshi Sushi


Oshi Sushi, meaning pressed sushi in a box, is originally from Kansai area. Braised conger eel, eggs, Konbu seaweed or vinegared raw fish such as mackerel are top on the rice, and pressed in a wooden box. After the rice shaped, it is cut into small pieces. Pressed sushi is a famous local food in Osaka. Also, in Iwakuni (a city near Hiroshima) a huge sushi pressed by chef standing on top. In Hakone and Odawara area, you can taste horse mackerel Oshi Sushi.

Saba Sushi


Saba (mackerel) sushi is a famous Kyoto local food. In the old days, it was very difficult to carry fresh fish from the closest port to Kyoto city, so people started to cure mackerel with vinegar as a preservative in order to bring them. Saba Sushi wrapped with bamboo leaves can be purchased at a special shop in Kyoto.

In areas by the Japan Sea, Saba (mackerel) is grilled instead of vinegared, and ginger is placed between sliced mackerel on rice.

Kakinoha Sushi


Nara boasts Kakinoha Sushi, mackerel Sushi wrapped with persimmon leaves. To give good aroma and preservatives, persimmon leaves were used especially for summer time. Nowadays salmon and snapper are also used instead of mackerel to have more variety. In Nara city, there are some specialty shops of Kakinoha Sushi.

Soy Sauce


Soy Sauce is produced all over Japan. Made from fermented soybeans, it is widely used as a dipping sauce. The famous Kikkoman is one of the largest soy sauce companies in Japan. However, there are many authentic handmade soy sauce brands throughout Japan. You can visit historical soy sauce shops in Kyoto, Kanazawa, and other cities. Here is one tip when eating sushi. Please do not soak your sushi into soy sauce, otherwise sushi chefs will cry. Just slightly dip it into the sauce, so that the fresh flavor of seafood will stand out.



At Sushi restaurants and Soba restaurants, freshly grated Wasabi is used. They do not use the Wasabi in plastic tubes. Wasabi is grown in the pure water from the mountains of Izu, Japan's most historical hot spring resort. It grows in a similar way to watercress. In the early summer season, a visit to a Wasabi farm can be made from the ryokans in Izu area. Azumino (Nagano prefecture) is also famous for Wasabi.

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