Sushi in Japan

When we traveled to Japan, one of our goals was to try a proper sushi. Personally, I like sushi a lot, I could eat it everyday, no kidding! But I’m not a food expert. Usually, I either like food or simply don’t.

I have already tried really good sushi in Porto, you know, the type you feel is melting in your mouth, it’s so good! Unfortunately, that place has already closed.

All the times I tried sushi in my native Lithuania I wasn’t satisfied. For me, it always seemed they use so a lot of rice that you can’t feel the taste of fish. In the end, there is always a feeling that you had a better one.

But sushi in Japan was a mind-blowing experience, I call it “two hours awesome zen buddhistick experience”.

Before we we went to Japan, we had recently watched the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”.

Of course, we wanted to visit that place, even knowing it would be the most expensive dinner we had ever had due to its three Michelin stars. But we didn’t foresee the difficulties: not only that it is amazingly difficult to get in but also that you need someone who speaks Japanese in order to even try.

After some researching, reading some blogs and discussion rooms we ended up compiling a list of places in Tokyo where we would like to try sushi.

Because Pedro’s birthday was during the trip, as a gift, I booked two nights in an fancy hotel situated in Ginza. And then, with our list ready, we enlisted the hotel’s concierge service, so that they would help us book a table in one of our chosen restaurants.

This was done via email, from Portugal, after booking the hotel, so well in advance. We ran into some problems, such as concierge service rules, a public holiday when most restaurants were closed, …

We were lucky with our fourth choice – the “Sushi Ya” restaurant, run by a young chef called Takao Ishyama.

It’s a small place and we kind of got lost until we found it. It was hidden in a tiny alley.

An alley where the "Sushi Ya" restaurant is located
The alley where the “Sushi Ya” restaurant is located.

Eight people could fit in that place but at that time we were five. There were three on staff: the chef, standing in the middle of the counter where he prepared our dishes; the sous chef, who was behind him in a tiny kitchen; and the waitress, a lady that would serve drinks, etc. Our dinner lasted two hours throughout which I would hear plenty of “hai” (which means “yes”), between the chef and his staff, and feel a wonderful taste in my mouth. For all this dinner we paid 150 euros each. The most expensive dinner I have had until now. But, for this experience and tastes, I would pay such an amount again. And we are looking forward to come back to this place when we come back to Japan, which for sure we will!

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