Nihonbashi Kakigaracho Sugita, a 1-Star Michelin restaurant which also is one of Japan’s preeminent sushi restaurants, renowned as one of the hardest sushi restaurants to book in all of Tokyo. This is one of the best places in the world to see – and taste – the artistry of the sushi chef in all its glory. Chef Takaaki Sugita prepares the freshest nigiri served one by one from behind the counter, with highlights to watch out for including sardine and chive maki roll, seared golden eye snapper nigiri and monkfish liver and salmon roe served with sake.
Steeped in Edo-esque nostalgia, the feel of the town, the restaurant interior, and Sugita’s style all come together in a perfectly authentic way. Walking in a quiet corner of Tokyo’s Nihonbashi district, there appears a signboard announcing the location of “Nihonbashi Kakigaracho Sugita”. Beyond the door lies a staircase and another charming door. Expectation builds as you pass from the high-ceilinged space to the narrow hallway designed specifically by Sugita to whisk you away to another world. As you arrive at the counter, everything opens up again in an instant to reveal an immaculate and elegant space. Already the chef is showing his intentions to guests.
Style: Japanese style (Sushi)
Address: 1 Chome−33−6 Nihonbashikakigaracho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Tokyo 103-0014
Number of seats: 13
Tuesday – Saturday & Holidays 17:30 – 23:00
Sunday 12:00 – 14:30, 17:30 – 22:30
Close on Mondays
Dinner: Sugita Omakase course ￥45,500
Takaaki Sugita was born in 1973 in Chiba Prefecture. His journey into the culinary world began when he got hooked on a television drama about an apprentice sushi chef on Japan’s national broadcaster NHK. His determination grew and during high school he started working part-time at a sushi restaurant, filling the vacancy left by his friend’s departure. He recalls really loving the service aspect of the work.
His first interview for a sushi apprenticeship was at Nihonbashi’s Miyakozushi. He got the job and spent the next 12 years there polishing his knife skills and learning the world of sushi inside-out. He never contemplated leaving because he adored his very kind master. Then at age 30 came the offer of a lifetime – to take over a branch of his master’s restaurant formerly run by a superior. He had just three days over the new year to make a decision, and thus began Nihonbashi Tachibanacho Miyakozushi. It was a bumpy start but Sugita was determined to make it a success. Ten years later he moved the restaurant to its present location – the former home of Sugita’s wife’s family restaurant business. Not designed as a sushi restaurant space, Sugita felt there were so many memories that should be preserved, thus it was totally rebuilt and reopened as Nihonbashi Kakigaracho Sugita. Just two years later it was awarded a Michelin star.