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eating in Japan

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Elevage? I haven't noticed it but seems nice from the reviews.



what is the sushi sho school?


Mixed service of nigiri and tsumami, red and white rice, aging (once revolutionary but now seemingly modest at 1-3 weeks) of a relatively wide range of fish, focus on sake, much longer base omakase than at Ginza shops. Also they use some shellfish not from Japan occasionally, which of course is a big deal. There are seven of them in Tokyo now (Sushi Sho, Takumi Shingo, Sushi Sho Masa, Sushi Sho Saito, Sushi Sho Murase, Sushi Sho Tatsuhiro, one more I forget) and a bunch more around Japan, with Sushi Sho serving as the school. Recently Nakamura-san, the founder, opened a shop in Hawaii and then announced his retirement (much like the Emperor announcing his plans to abdicate, this was a very long and murky process) which was surprising given he's not very old, but then I saw him recently on some foodie production and noticed he was doing that early Parkinson thing with his hand, so that's probably it.

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starting next week we will be in Tokyo, Hakone, Hiroshima and Kyoto. We are very excited! If you have any do not miss restaurants please let me know.   I'm on the wait list for Molecular Tapas Bar

if you're going to Kyoto, maybe this piece on Kyoto will be useful , including food here- by a friend who lived there (and also used to work FOH at 15 East & Ducasse)   no idea how useful/usele

hi, just saw this. yes, i met her here in NYC and she's terrific. We worked on an event together (or, rather, volunteered for). When i first met her she was Karla Yukari

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

We also went back to Hatsunezushi. This time there were two other couples, but as we sat near his workstation we could see very clearly what was going on - from every piece of fish a repeat visit and good behavior bought us the best slices, while an obnoxious diner got the worst bits. The bottle of sake we got a pour from was different, and the price was 25% lower even though the menu was very similar. Easy to become a regular in Tokyo these days.



Hatsune is now fully booked for all of 2017... How times have changed.

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Recent trip to Tokyo.


Do not miss:

Sushi Namba (a quick train ride from Central Tokyo--and most definitely worth the travel). Over the top excellent.

Ishikawa-still incredible (and we were there on a night when Ishikawa-san was away. If I didn't know, I wouldn't have suspected.

Sushi Yoshitake (counter only-don't go if you can't get that. There's another 'rabbit warren' space somewhere in the back where they put--I think--up to 4 diners). Thankfully I've not had that experience.I actively crave his abalone with abalone liver sauce.


Very, very good--

Sushisho Masa-an excellent variety of items. Also numerous fish/shellfish served two ways. Makes you appreciate how different the same item can be with a subtle tweak to how it is 'dressed'. (and also excellent if having a staff that speaks English is important to you). Also everyone goes out of their way to make sure to answer any questions you may have.


Crony-Modern French. Very new. Got the chops to be an 'impossible to book' restaurant sooner than later. HT to Orik and Sivan for telling me about it. Hopefully he'll post about their experiences there. I look forward to going back to see how they progress.


Good to very good:

Sushiya. This was my third visit. And they went out of their way to make sure I felt appreciated as a 'regular' :D customer. They may not have the finesse/trappings of the Michelin spots. But it is well worth a visit. A good variety of fish and Ishiyama-san and his staff go out of their way to accommodate. A party of 4 showed up 30 minutes late. Most places would've refused them. He didn't. 2 of the 4 proceeded to give a laundry list of what they couldn't eat (crab, shrimp any other shellfish, eel, uni...and more). He asked what they 'could' eat, and proceeded from there. Lots of toro served :P . I'd liked to have seen what their final bill was ;) ). Much, much better than my final meal mentioned below at a Michelin joint.


I needed a spot for lunch on the day of my departure. There was scant availability--and nothing from my list of 'wanted possibilities'. I went with Sushi Masuda. A 2* Michelin spot. The chef worked for Jiro. And it shows in the time of the meal--in and out in 38 minutes...220JPY lighter :( . Sushiya beat this 2* by miles.


Also had cocktails at Gen Yamamoto. Highly seasonal, low alcohol cocktails. The drinks were quite nice. In the past they could veer to being too sweet. Now the drinks basically depend on the fruit / vegetables used for the sugar content. Unfortunately the visit was 'marred' by two couple who were in the 'bar industry' that tried to one up each other through the whole visit. I had to actively work at not uttering the phrase 'douche bags' many times over the course of the almost 90 minute tasting...


Already looking forward to my next trip to Tokyo.

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Unless you like heat, humidity, and indoor temperatures 7 degrees too hot to be comfortable I'd avoid August. Although it might not be more unpleasant than St Louis. But the a/c is not turned to American standards so the humidity inside is not great. Of course my August trip involved wearing a suit and tie every day.

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Are there problems with traveling in Japan in August, e.g. restaurants on holiday, etc.?


Most good restaurants are closed during Obon (roughly the week of the 13th), but it's not as bad as new year's week.


I guess Siberia.



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