Sushi mania: discovering the best sushi in Tokyo

When you first think of Japanese cuisine, sushi is probably the first thing that comes to mind.

Tokyo is one of the best places in the world for an intense sushi #foodporn experience, mainly as a result of having the world's largest fish market.

We set out to discover some of the places to enjoy the best sushi in Tokyo and also stumbled on a few more obscure discoveries.

WHAT IS SUSHI?

Sushi is raw fish, sliced into small pieces and served on cooked vinegared rice. When it’s served without the rice it’s called sashimi. 

Sushi literally means, sour tasting in Japanese and comes from the old tradition of preserving raw fish by fermenting it by wrapping it in soured fermenting rice. The fish proteins are then broken down via the fermentation.

 

Sushi time ? for this greedy Frenchman ✌?️(and yes that whole plate is just for him!!) ??

A photo posted by Nomadic Boys (@nomadicboys) on

 

WHERE TO EAT THE BEST SUSHI IN TOKYO?

THE TOYOU FISH MARKET!

Toyosu is famous for being the largest fish market in the world. Daily auctions start from 4am, drawing huge crowds. This is serious fish business. The most expensive fish (222kg of bluefin tuna) was sold here for $1.8m (155.4 million yen) on 5 January 2013.

You can come at the crack of dawn to watch the auctions, or if like us you struggle with waking up that early, you can instead turn up a little bit later in the day before the market shuts at 1pm.

Toyosu fish market caters to the surrounding restaurants, so come here, pick one and enjoy the tastiest, super fresh sushi ever.

 

SUSHI SURPRISES!

There were quite a few WTF?! moments during our sushi adventures in Tokyo…

#1 CHICKEN SASHIMI

You read right. Raw chicken goodness.

Actually not as bad as it sounds. It's very chewy. But obviously try it in a place popular with locals. A good tour company like Arigato Food Tours will point you in the right direction.

 

#2 WILD BOAR SASHIMI

Another one that raised eyebrows, but not as bad as you think.

 

Going sashimi loco in Ishigaki – Stefan preparing to go face down in this plate of wild boar sashimi ?

A photo posted by Nomadic Boys (@nomadicboys) on

 

#3 HORSE MEAT SUSHI

Basashi is sushi with raw horse meat. Another one to look out for in your sushi discoveries.

 

best sushi in Tokyo Basashi (raw horse sashimi)
Basashi (raw horse sashimi)

And – you can even get basashi ice cream…!

Best sushi in Tokyo Basashi ice cream

Travel recommendations to Japan

Train saving tips: Depending on how many trains you plan to take in Japan, it may be worth investing in a 7 days JR Pass ($250), which allows you unlimited travel throughout the country for 7 consecutive days. But you must buy it from an agent before you go.

We personally used Japan Rail Pass. They offered the best prices and would definitely recommend them.

Tour operator: We travelled independently to Japan but we're often asked if we can recommend a good tour company. We've partnered up with Out Asia travel who offer luxury private tours and tailored itineraries to Japan. These guys are locals, passionate travellers and have a real insight of Japanese culture. They are offering our readers an exclusive 5% discount for bookings of 7 days or more when you quote NOMADIC5 in your enquiry.

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Travel insurance: Whether you go diving, hiking or just lay on the beach all day long, you need travel insurance. We use World Nomads because they offer considerable coverage especially for adventurous travellers. They also make it easy to make a claim as it's all done online.

Flights: To fly to Japan and within, we recommend Skyscanner. Their website is very easy to use and they always offer the best prices. You can even search for the cheapest flights for any given month.

Hotels: Japan has a huge diversity of accommodation options. It is not the cheapest country to travel in but we found that quality is consistent with the price you pay. When we plan a holiday, we use Tripadvisor to research about the best places to stay and activities to do. We also use Booking.com to find the best deals and to book accommodation online.

Internet access: Japan has public WiFi available in most hotels, restaurants and of course airports. But if like us you want unlimited internet on the go, be sure to invest in a pocket WiFi router for your trip.

FOR MORE INSPIRATION:

OUR FAVOURITE TRAVEL TIPS

⭐️ TRAVEL INSURANCE — We recommend you always take out travel insurance before your next vacation. What happens if you suffer from illness, injury, theft or a cancellation? With travel insurance, you can have peace of mind and not worry. We love World Nomads travel insurance and have been using it for years. Their comprehensive coverage is second to none and their online claims process is very user friendly.

⭐️ SAFETY & SECURITY — All travelers can sometimes encounter danger when traveling. CloseCircle is your “virtual body guard” mobile app which provides security alerts and support wherever you are in the world. They have a 24/7 emergency response team monitoring their users who will contact you immediately if the SOS swipe button is activated. Support can include anything from practical advice, to free evacuation from areas with extreme weather or security risks. You can read more about CloseCircle in our article about how to stay safe whilst traveling.

⭐️ ONLINE ANONYMITY — A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a must in many countries: it allows you to surf anonymously and maintain your privacy whilst traveling. You'll particularly need it in countries where dating apps are blocked by the government. We recommend ExpressVPN, a reliable and cost effective service which we used and loved during our travels.

⭐️ HOTELS or APARTMENTS — When we plan a trip, we always look for the best hotel deals. We love Booking.com because not only do they have a comprehensive listing of accommodation options, they also offer the best prices. Added bonus: they provide 24/7 support and free cancellation for most listings.

⭐️ SIGHTSEEING and ADVENTURES — When we travel somewhere, we like to seek out the best experiences, whether it is cooking with locals in Bangkok, hiking on a glacier in Patagonia, or going on a wildlife safari in Sri Lanka. Our favorite place to look is GetYourGuide because they have over 30,000 highly rated activities, a user-friendly booking process with free cancellation and a 24 hour customer support.

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