Sushi Experience In Tokyo

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Another Thing Crossed Off My Bucket List

Every traveler has a travel bucket list of some kind. So do I. One of the things I’ve always wanted to do is to have a real sushi in a local restaurant somewhere in Japan, preferably Tokyo (for those who don’t know, I’m a real sushi lover). Guess what! I have finally made this dream come true! I flew to Tokyo for the weekend, stayed at my friend’s place, went out every evening to different sushi places enjoying every bite of my favorite delicacy. By the way, I managed to survive in Tokyo for less than $25 a day :).

A girl is enjoying her Sushi in Tokyo
Me enjoying sushi

About Sushi

Delicious, light, healthy, always fresh and colorful. This is the sushi (すし, 寿司, 鮨, 鮓, 寿斗, 寿し, 壽司), probably the most famous Japanese dish in the world

  • made from cold cooked rice dressed with vinegar,
  • topped with raw or cooked fish,
  • formed into a roll with fish, meat, egg or vegetables,
  • wrapped in seaweed or stuffed in a small tofu pouch.
Conveyor belt sushi
Conveyor belt sushi

Why I Love Sushi

Rice is boring, especially when you live in China and eat it 3 times a day. What I love about sushi is Sushi Rice and a great variety of its fillings and toppings which make it all so different, adventurous and more delicious with each bite.

Sushi is made with a soft and short-grained rice which is mixed with a yummy dressing made of rice vinegar, sugar, salt, konbu, and sake (the Tokyo dressing I tried was pretty salty). I love its texture and how it all sticks together. I also enjoy the smell and taste of Nori – the vegetable wrappers and edible seaweed, so thick, shiny and smooth.

Fish, it’s all about the fish. I don’t consume meat on a regular basis (apart from having some chicken breast once a week as it’s a source of lean protein I need for my workout and yoga routine). Instead, I eat fish for my lunch and dinner every day, preferably smoked or grilled salmon. I just heart sushi for containing fresh, high quality raw fish which smells clean, has a vivid color, and is free from harmful parasites. Apart from smoked salmon (sake kunsei) I also enjoy tuna (maguro/toro), mackerel (saba) and red snapper (tai).

A plate, chopsticks and sushi
My sushi gear – plate, a pair of chopsticks, a cup of rice tea and wasabi

Another ingredient I just can’t live without are veggies, from which avocado, cucumber and tofu are my favourite. I also like eggs in the form of a slightly sweet, layered omelet, soy sauce, wasabi which is green paste with a sharp, horseradish-like flavor and Gari (sweet pickled ginger).

Soaking my prawn sushi in wasabi sauce
Soaking my crab sushi in wasabi sauce

Sushi to Try in Tokyo

Uramaki (inside-out rolls)

Uramaki are  medium-sized cylindrical pieces, with two or more fillings which are in the center surrounded by a liner of nori, then a layer of rice and sometimes toasted sesame seeds. I like them most as they are easy to pick up with chopsticks and I like their square shape.

Uramaki with prawns
Uramaki with crab meat
Sushi urumaki with green plants
Urumaki with green plants

Gunkanzushi (battleship roll)

A clump of rice is hand-wrapped in a strip of nori with some ingredient such as fish eggs piled on top. For me, gunkanzushi are too big and difficult to eat. I try to cut them into half with my chopsticks but then there is a mess on the table.

Tuna and mayo sushi
Tuna and mayo Gunkanzushi with fish eggs and algae on the top

My favourite is tuna, sweetcorn and mayo gunkanzushi. It is so creamy and yummy.

 tuna, sweetcorn and mayo gunkanzushi
Tuna, sweetcorn and mayo Gunkanzushi

The one I didn’t really enjoy was seaweed Gunkanzushi served with some thick sweet sauce. The ingredients mixed all together were just tasteless, but it’s only my opinion.

Seaweed gunkanzushi with thick sweet sauce
Seaweed Gunkanzushi with thick sweet sauce
Veggies and cream sauce Gunkanzushi with fish eggs
Veggies and cream sauce Gunkanzushi with fish eggs

Futomaki (large rolls)

Futomaki are served in large cylindrical pieces, with the nori on the outside. They are usually made with two or three fillings and they are very colorful.

Chicken Futomaki
Chicken Futomaki
Tunaand cucumber Futomaki
Tuna and cucumber Futomaki

The Futomaki I tried were approximately two centimeters thick and four centimeters wide.

Shrimp and mayo Futomaki
Shrimp and mayo Futomaki

Inarizushi (stuffed sushi)

Inarizushi are small pouches and pocket filled with sushi rice. The pouch is made from deep-fried tofu (abura age), a thin omelet (fukusazushi), or cabbage leaves (kanpyo). I like having deep-fried tofu from time to time and my favourite Inarizushi is filled with egg and cucumber.

Inarizushi
Inarizushi

Oshizushi (pressed sushi)

A block-shaped piece formed using a wooden mold. Oshizushi have different layers filled with different toppings. My favourite one is mayo and smoked salmon.

Oshizushi
Oshizushi

Nigirizushi (hand-formed sushi)

Small pieces of rice usually covered with a slice of salmon and poured with mayo.

Salmon nigirizushi
Salmon Nigirizushi

Sushi is easy to consume, but if you are not sure how to eat it, you can check out Michael’s 8 things worth knowing about eating Sushi and Jessica’s superb tips of how to eat conveyor belt Sushi.

Sushi Price

We went to Tokyo Sushi Japanese Restaurant located at 3201 Bee Caves Rd Ste 100 Austin, TX 78746 in Tokyo where we paid 4,000 yen per table which was around $20 per person. The food was very affordable taking into account its quality and quantity. The staff were nice and we had an amazing evening!

A girl is eating sushi and smiling
Me and my sushi feast

Are you big fans of Sushi? Have you ever made it to Japan to have some?

Sushi
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Agness Walewinder
Agness Walewinder
Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"
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54 thoughts on “Sushi Experience In Tokyo”

  1. santafetraveler

    I looked at all that sushi and figured you must have really blown the budget. All that for $20 is really amazing! Here if we go out for a sushi dinner- and don’t get half that it’s about $35 pp- but really good! I’ve been craving sushi for a few days- this just pushed me over the edge.

    1. Agness Walewinder

      No, you don’t need to spend that much on sushi here in Tokyo. My friend who has been studying there and living on a budget knew some local restaurants where we could dine out on the cheap. This was a great advantage to have her there. We also cooked some sushi at home to save up the money. I know how expensive sushi can be in Europe. Sushi buffet is like 20-30 euros per person. It’s still considered as a posh meal so the price is much higher than in Asia.

  2. Zara @ Backpack ME

    This is the first thing I’m going to do when I make it to Japan (one day)!
    <3 sushi! And I get what you say about eating rice all the time – I'm getting such a rice overload after almost a couple of months in Thailand and Cambodia… I crave something light and fresh! So I stick to the fresh spring rolls that for now will have to do the trick.
    So yeah, thanks a lot for making me jealous with your pics!! ;)

    1. Agness Walewinder

      Let me know how you liked the sushi once you make it to Japan. There are cheap flights from Siem Reap and Bangkok to Osaka, you might check them out. Yes, I’ve been having way too much rice recently and switching it into some fresh spring rolls is a good idea. I always crave a lot of bananas and carrots with hummus right now :).

  3. Chris & Angela Tieland to Thailand

    Wow! All those pics have us craving sushi like crazy at the moment. Think we may have to hit up our Sushi place here in Chiang Mai (yes, we found a good one) tonight! We can remember spending $100 for a sushi dinner back in the states, luckily those days and prices are over. Would absolutely love to take a trip to Japan for a authentic sushi experience. Thanks for the post guys!

    1. Agness Walewinder

      Thanks guys! Are you still in Chiang Mai? I bet there have some nice and affordable sushi places, check them out! It’s true, Sushi is super expensive outside Asia.

    1. Agness Walewinder

      There is some raw fish in it as well :-), but it’s all based on sushi rice and the the sauces! Yummy!

  4. So jealous. Ever since falling in love with sushi a few years ago I’ve dreamt about going to Tokyo for it. The Gunkanzushi roll and the Futomaki looks incredible. I always thought it’d be ridiculously priced in Tokyo.

    1. Agness Walewinder

      Don’t be jealous and just make it another travel destination on your bucket list. You can make sushi as cheap or as expensive as you want to, all depends on your budget :).

  5. Hey, you made it to Japan!! And it looks like you had a great experience. I’m glad to hear that. You also had a wider variety of sushi in one weekend than I’ve had in 21 years living in Japan. Nice! I’m a creature of habit, so I eat almost only salmon sushi…especially now after the Fukushima debacle. Great photos, too. Hey, you should start a travel blog! lol

    1. Agness Walewinder

      I have Mike, finally. You have no idea how long I had been waiting for this moment to come!!! It was just for the weekend though. Hahahha, we gotta meet up somewhere in the world and crave some sushi together! I’ve been thinking of launching a food blog LOL (joke), bet it would be successful :)

  6. Wow that looks good. I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of sushi. But until now I only tried the typical ones, had some with salmon, cucumber and avocado. So maybe I should give it another try ;) at least when I travel to Japan one day :P

  7. Stefania - the Italian Backpacker

    I must confess I live sushi more for its colours and shapes than for its taste. These ones you have posted here look more varied than what I’m used to, though. Not only raw fish but other fillings with some veggies for a change.

  8. Oh my! You have pictures of sushi that I’ve never seen before and I eat sushi ALL THE TIME! And yes, this is on my bucket list too! Yum!

  9. So glad that you got to experience sushi in Tokyo! It really does taste better in Japan. Even the fast-food-type sushi trains are delicious. I find the wasabi a lot more intense than the stuff we have at sushi restaurants in the West, though! I have to use it pretty sparingly.

    1. Agness Walewinder

      So true! I hope to go to Japan once again for much longer than a weekend. I want to explore more places and see you!

  10. Sushi is my all time favorite food ever and I’m so jealous of you eating it in Japan. I would go to Japan to just eat sushi all day. Sleep, sushi, sleep, sushi, sleep, sushi. And I would be perfectly happy.

    1. Agness Walewinder

      Ha, I knew you would be jealous! Me too! I could stay there forever and crave sushi all days long, no joke! I was advised to open a sushi restaurant back in Europe:).

  11. I love the sushi in Japan because they use only top quality ingredients. My faves are chuka kurage gunkan, chika idako gunkan and chuka wakame gunkan. Your pictures looks soooo delicious!

  12. Oh my gosh Agness, I’m starving now…thank you very much :) I’m a huge sushi lover and your pictures are absolutely out of this world awesome. I can not possibly pick a favorite. I’m so envious that you were able to eat in Tokyo. I like going with other people who eat it frequently and letting them order. The only thing I’ve had to date that I did not care for was eel.

  13. Sushi at the fish market in Tokyo was definitely a bucket list item for me. Got to accomplish that one earlier this year and it was just as good as I dreamed it would be. So fresh and delicious!

    1. Sorry, just noticed that it actually did post my first comment… I’m experiencing technical difficulties on this end… :((

  14. What I love about sushi, apart from the fresh ingredients, is that each roll is a work of art. The Japanese take such pride in their work and pay attention to every detail, but especially the colors and textures of the ingredients. Each bite is like a party in your mouth!

    1. Agness Walewinder

      It’s a real art, indeed. I could never copy it at home, it’s just impossible now matter how hard I would try.

  15. Pedro @ Travel with Pedro

    Wow Agness, that must have been a great experience! There’s nothing like having a certain type of food in the actual place it comes from. Totally different, right? I didn’t know at least half of those types of sushi.

    I’ve always wanted to go to Tokyo but, Japan being so expensive in general, really puts me off… One day… one day!… :-D

    1. Agness Walewinder

      Yes, totally different. It was the same with Chinese noodles. I can have them in any country in Europe, but they taste awesome only in CHina!

  16. Mary {The World Is A Book}

    Wow..that is a lot of sushi and such wonderful variety too. I’m not a big sushi eater but my husband is. He tried different kinds when we visited Tokyo and he says they taste way better over there :) I’m more of a noodles and tempura person. I’m glad you knocked this off your bucket list.

    1. Agness Walewinder

      I had so much sushi in Tokyo that I am not gonna crave more in China for the next 2 months!! :D (joke).

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