Shinjuku is one of Japan's busiest business and retail districts.
Situated in the Tokyo capital, it ranks alongside Ikebukuro and Shibuya as one of the three big urban centers. Sprawling around a huge rail terminal where you can catch JR, Odakyu, Keio, and various subway lines, the city has grown into a maze of skyscrapers and high-rise office buildings. It is also famous for housing the Tokyo municipality government building. Day or night the city bustles with multicultural activity, and among the variety of culinary experiences on offer are a number of specialist sushi restaurants unique to Shinjuku.
From a city that has everything, here we present three Shinjuku sushi restaurants where the works of art on offer look just as good on the plate as they feel on your palette.
Enjoy authentic nigiri sushi in a relaxed café-style environment
From the paper lanterns hanging at the entrance to an interior lined with plush sofas, you would be forgiven for thinking you had walked into a cafe. But no, this tasteful mature environment is the work of a head sushi chef honing his craft since the tender age of 18. Famous for its highly skilled staff and careful selection of the finest and freshest ingredients, the sushi on offer here are nothing short of culinary treasures and a perfect match for the elegant environment which houses them.
The “Omakase (Chef's Special) Course" at 5,000 yen and the “Okimari Sushi" (Set Sushi Course) at 2,500 yen each offer flexibility to match your budget and your preference. And alongside beer and sake, you can also enjoy a glass of champagne to chase the sushi down. Burying yourself in a sofa, sampling the delicious sushi and delicious sake, you can't help but feel you have been lucky enough to experience a new type of Japanese culture.
This restaurant is a perfect match for those who want to enjoy sushi in a relaxed environment.
■Address:Tokyo, Shinjuku-ku Kabuki-cho 2-11-4 Lee Building
■Business hours: 18:00 through 2:00 (the following day) (Last food order 1:00, Last drink order 1:30)
■Closed: Sunday, Holidays
2. Otaru Mazazushi Shinjuku Branch
Bringing fresh northern delicacies from Hokkaido to Shinjuku
Otaru Masazushi is a Shinjuku sushi restaurant that ships in the freshest treasures of the sea from Hokkaido every morning by air.
Though it is just a 2 minute walk from Shinjuku Station, you will feel as if you've stepped right into Hokkaido. This is the Shinjuku branch of a restaurant already well-established near the bountiful seas of Hokkaido, bringing with them a heritage of sushi expertise. From the huge shrimp, sea urchin, and salmon, to the squid somen noodles, they present such works of art it almost seems a shame to eat them. But since there are also English-speaking staff on hand, it would also be a shame not to ask for their recommendation of the day! The popular “Hana" (flower) course is 3,240 yen.
Leave Shinjuku for a moment and enjoy the taste of Hokkaido, an experience sure to make you fall in love with Japanese food all over again.
■Address:Tokyo, Shibuya-ku Sendagaya 5-24-2 Takashimaya Times Square 4F
■Business hours: 11:00 through 23:00
■Closed: Unscheduled (conforms to the Takashimaya Times Square schedule)
3. Sushi Maru
A rare treat even in Shinjuku, the sole provider of seki mackerel and seki horse mackerel
If you're looking for a large variety of toppings, there's no better place in the city than Sushi Maru.
Indeed it is one of the only places you can find seki mackerel and seki horse mackerel*.
There are a number of other rare topping and sushi combinations on offer, making this the perfect spot for avid sushi explorers. At lunchtime you can get the “Ika Donburi" (Squid Rice Bowl) at 850 yen, and dinner features the incredibly reasonable 20 piece sushi and rice “Manpuku Nigiri" (full stomach nigiri) course at 4,800 yen, so if you've room in your stomach, why not try a sushi you've never had before.
With sushi art almost too beautiful to eat, anyone will be satisfied with a trip to the famous Sushi Maru.
*A specialty found only in Kyushu's Oita Prefecture that is considered a prestigious brand among providers of marine foodstuffs.
■Address:Tokyo, Shinjuku-ku Shinjuku 3-31-6
■Business hours: Monday through Friday 11:30 through 14:00 (lunch) 17:00 through 23:30,
Saturday 11:30 through 23:30, Sunday & Holidays 11:30 through 21:30
■Closed: Year-end period (December 31, January 1）
No two sushi restaurants are the same, be it in their atmosphere or arrangements or flavors. In one of Tokyo's great urban centers, why not treat your eyes and your taste buds to some delicious Shinjuku sushi.