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Tsukiji Fish Market - Sushi Menu 2011/7/23 01:04
Hi all, I'm planning a trip to Japan in September. This is my second trip there-- I last went when I was 18 with my mother, which was 11 years ago, now.

Last time, we were staying with old family friends in Tokyo-- they are a mixed family-- so we had them to help us with the subway as well as all translation and menus. They were wonderful and took us by the hand and we did ALL the big Tokyo attractions, including all of Izu. I rarely had to think or read anything for myself. Though we had a wonderful time (that's why I'm going again), it was stressing-- the father was very controlling in regards to our activites, and they're having even more marital problems now they're older, so we're probably going to avoid all that stress this time around and do our own thing with hotels and stuff.

So. We are on our own. This time it's just me and my brother -- neither of us speak Japanese beyond phrasebook level.

So long story short. I went to the Tsukiji fish market way back when, but my mother couldn't stomach the thought of raw fish (sashimi?) so we had none in the whole trip. I'd really like to eat actual sushi (sashimi) done the right way, when we go back this time. I already know from reading around that the two most recommended places in Tsukiji are the ones with the queues, Daiwa and Sushi Dai-- that are amazing for the price (which is what we want).

My question is about the menu at these two places. Obviously, it won't be in English. How hard is it to order? How hard is it to be understood? I'm a newbie to sashimi/sushi so with a fairly delicate palate, and I don't know what to get (or what they all are) and pointing randomly and hoping that it's something I want worries me. Is it hard to order from traditional places with no english on the menu? It was a long time ago so I don't remember if most places had photos or not. Should I research and print out the names of what I want or something? Also, what's a good day to visit? I checked the Tsukiji calender and we'll be there from 3rd Oct to 7th Oct. What day would maybe be less busy? And what time?

I'm also going to be in Kyoto for 5 days and Osaka for 5 days-- we could possibly eat some sashimi there instead if there's anywhere someone recommends? But I'm guessing it's going to be more expensive. But if there's somewhere better out there definitely worth visiting, I'm all ears. I'd really like to change my brother's mind about liking sushi by giving him the real delicious stuff and not fishy Cali rolls.

I also have a question of good, gaijin-friendly places for Kobe beef in Osaka and Kobe, but I'll ask on another thread since I'm too verbose as it is. Sorry everyone and thanks.

by Artemia  

Short answer 2011/7/23 19:22
Tsukiji is sushi/ sashimi heaven. Restaurants have photos and prices outside.
Short answer: don't be too precious about likes and dislikes: just go with the flow, enjoy the experience and trust the magnificent sushi chefs to look after you.
In Osaka and Kyoto try other Japanese iconic foods: okonomiyaki, tempura etc etc
Japanese food is intrinsic to the whole Japanese travel experience. Enjoy without worry.
by fmj (guest) rate this post as useful

Hi 2011/7/24 10:50
I went to Japan in May not knowing much Japanese. However, I was very familiar with all the sushi, including their Japanese names, which is why I didn't have any trouble ordering. If I wanted Tuna sushi, I would say "Maguro o onegaishimasu" to the sushi chef in the counter. IF you want to be familiar with the sushi in Japanese, I highly suggest going to an authentic, I mean authentic where it's not all about the mayo-filled rolls which Japan will definitely not serve, sushi restaurant.

Here's a video about sushi etiquette although I think if you do eat sushi with chopsticks as everyone else around you is doing it, it should be fine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-fYp_N9kX4 . Keep in mind that some of his mannerisms are mainly for high end sushi restaurants such as the ones in the Ginza district in Tokyo that serve Edo-Mae style sushi. Over there is where you'll definitely find some great sushi in addition to Tsukiji although its going to be approximately 20,000 Yen. I hope this helps.
by rsxguy04 rate this post as useful

English Menu 2011/7/26 09:33
I visited Japan in April 2010, I went to Sushi Dai and while we were waiting in the long long line a lady came and took our order...or more specifically did we want the set (large or small) or not. I recomend the set, you get to try lots of stuff and its all good. At the end of our set menu we got to select another peice to try again and we were offered an english menu to select from.
So I wouldnt worry about then not having an english menu, it was no problem for us. (btw the set was about 3500 yen and totally worth it)
by Seratone rate this post as useful

おかめ 2011/7/27 17:56
As on the noren dividers outside
I can really recommend this restaurant: at the end of one of the alleys nearer the bus depot: we started going there 3 years ago, and they know us now and welcome us each year. We have even been shown through the "back door" through the kitchen when the front of the VERY narrow (as are they all) restaurant was full. They offer all that has been mentioned in the previous post, speak enough English to be helpful, and name all the various fish for us, with reference to a dictionary/translator: we love it: we went there first because at the time there was no queue: each time we leave the queue is REALLY long!
by fmj (guest) rate this post as useful

Sushi at Tsukiji 2011/8/1 18:12
I would go as early in the week as you can, Monday or Tuesday, and go as early in the day as you can. The lines are horrendous at Sushi Dai and Daiwa Sushi. Three hours to wait is a waste of your time if you go at the wrong time.

Here are some other places that are excellent for sushi at Tsukiji Market.


And, order the omakase. There is usually a photo of the set omakase meals at the front door. Going price these days is about 3675 yen for about 8 pieces of sushi.

Hope this helps!
by YukariSakamoto (guest) rate this post as useful

Get early! 2011/8/13 20:53
I would say to enter any of them (the one which has the shortest qeue), and just order a large set; enough for the best Sushi breakfast you´ll ever have. They open really early (5 am me thinks), so get there EARLY. The day we went we took the first underground available, went to watch the tuna auctions and when we were finished around 7:15 we had to wait like 20 minutes on a weekday (get there on a weekday). When we got out the qeue was around the hour long, so the earlier the better and never after 8am as it gets really crowded.
by aerond rate this post as useful

Re: Tsukiji Fish Market - Sushi Menu 2011/9/25 21:46
Hi all

I'm interested in this argumento also. Last time I visited Tsukiji masker I ate to Sushi Dai. Very good sushi but very bad experience before. Three hours into the line under the rain and, but it was only my feeling, not relaxing atmosphere inside since I was "pressed" to eat quicly by all the stares of the people waiting in the line outside.
As fist question. Why these two sushi bar (Sushi Dai and Daiwa Sushi) are so famous? What is the "advantage" they have compared to sushi bar competitors?
By the way this next time I want to enjoy the sushi exprience with relax. I found very useful the link posted before
(http://foodsaketokyo.wordpress.com/2011/07/08/where-to-have-sushi-at-t...). I'll take these sushi bar into consideration. Someone have tried one of them can can give me a better advise regarding the best place to eat into? The freshness and the variety of the sushi available is the same of the two sushi bar insede Tsukiji market? In some other web site I found very good opinions regarding another sushi restaurant around the market called Sushi Zanmai. Someone have tried it and can suggest me it?
Thank you
by Suppaman (guest) rate this post as useful

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