Dec 7, 2015
How much does sushi in Japan cost?
Well here’s a stereotype if ever there was one! Sushi?! Japan?! Yes, we’re going there. And with a certain amount of pride. And justification, it has to be said. For Japan really does do sushi for all occasions; fast-food, fancy food, date food, ... the birthday dinner special. There isn’t a single get-together in Japan where a few servings of sushi won’t be warmly received. The question here though is, How much does it cost?
カッパ寿司 (Kappa-sushi) is the McDonald’s of sushi. Looked down upon by a few, but insanely popular with everyone else. With good reason, it’s cheap! And probably a bit healthier than the counterpart of this comparison.
Most items on the menu/conveyor belt are 108 yen (inc. tax). Flashier bits of fish are 194 yen. Side menus of soups, desserts, and err fries go up to around ~ 300 yen.
Step Up Sushi
すしざんまい (Sushizanmai). The charismatic owner of this famous sushi restaurant chain, Kiyoshi Kimura, is the current record holder for having spent the most money on a tuna fish (around $1.8 million). You can often find him hanging out at Sushizanmai’s Tsukiji branch.
How much does sushi cost here? Well, this place is a step up from Kappa-sushi, although there is still a bit of choice for 98 yen (tax not inc.). Eight items to be exact. Things increase steadily, moving from 120 yen to 298 yen. The menu begins to climb from 398 yen for Spot Prawn, Sea Urchin Roe, Abalone … eventually peaking at 500 yen for some ‘Top-quality sea eel’. You’ve got to like the confidence!
Sushi at Tsukiji
Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market can safely lay claim to being one of the most famous places to buy/ship/eat fish in the world. There are no shortages of places to dine on sushi here.
Perennial TripAdvisor favorite (and Traveler’s Choice ™ 2015 Winner) Sushi Dai, has a chief’s set for 4,000 yen (11 pieces + sliced sushi roll). A set of 7 pieces + sushi roll is 2,600 yen. No website but you can see pics and prices here.
If you weren’t already aware, Tsukiji Market is moving shop (to somewhere very nearby). The market in its current guise is scheduled to close in November 2016.
Depends on the supermarket really. At the flashy joint near this writer’s office in downtown Tokyo …
8-piece sets: 500 - 700 yen
Single sushi rolls: ~120 yen
Large sliced sushi rolls: ~430 yen
When Barack Obama rolled into town in his bomb proof car (April 2014), where did they take him to eat (aside from the Imperial Palace)?, well none other than a sushi restaurant. Not Kappa-sushi though, or even Sushizanmai. No, the incumbent leader of the free world was taken to the storied Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo’s Ginza district. Made famous by the 2011 documentary, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, the restaurant is probably now more (in)famous for its prices; tasting menu, 30,000 yen. Oh, and meals times clock in at an average of 30 mins! Money well spent? Well, this writer doesn’t know. And probably never will!
Although not all of the nation’s best sushi restaurants reach the same price heights as Sukiyabashi Jiro, expect to be paying at least 10,000 yen in the classy joints.
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