As everywhere else in the world, the best restaurants in Japan are not necessarily the most famous. Contrary to popular belief, sushi restaurants are not the most numerous in Japan. There are obviously a lot of 'kaiten zushi' / conveyor belt (where the plates are rotating around the chefs), but this is not the Japanese's favorite meal, especially because of its price. Sushi restaurants are dependent on fresh fish and its cost is obviously much higher than noodles. That's why there are many more restaurants of ramen and derivatives in the streets in Japan, which makes sense for a population who eats quickly and often at the restaurant.
Sushi is a concept that has been very exported outside Japan boundaries, especially since the early 2000s. We can find a lot of them in the West, but unfortunately, quality and flavor are often not as important as profit. Pure taste is not always a must outside Japan, and that's a shame because sushi has a very simple recipe:
- a thick slice of fresh fish
- a small ball of vinegared rice accompanied by a dab of wasabi
- a slight dip in shoyu (soy sauce) before engulfing it entirely
- possibly a slice of ginger to cleanse the mouth
Of course, most sushi restaurants I tried in Japan are much better than the vast majority of their alter-egos in the West. But I carefully preserved a good place in Namba, Osaka, which offers probably one of the best sushi experiences I ever tested. No kaiten, very few roman letters and orders in the traditional way, one sushi pair after the other. Do you recognize every kind of fish shown in the following photos ?
As shown in the last picture, the restaurant is called "Ichiba Zushi" and is located in the arcade leading from Namba Station to the north.
Ichiba Zushi photo gallery
Ichiba Zushi by Kanpai community
Must see around: Namba attractions
Address: 2-7-3 Shinsaibashi, Chuo-Ku, Osaka 542-0085 (opposite to Burger King)
Open from 5pm to 5am
Closed on Sundays and holidays
From ¥200 to 880 (~US$ 1.60 to ~US$ 7.20) for one sushi
Official website (in Japanese)