Here is one more place that I think may be worth trying. I do not know if the staff speak fluent English but I sure hope so. It is the new Doburoku Bar in Nihonbashi by Heiwa Shuzo. Japantimes does report little English spoken and Japanese menu, but don't let that stop you from trying. Search Japantimes for "Sip on sake’s unfiltered kin at Heiwa Shuzo’s new brewpub". They pair with food from the same region (Wakayama) and they have a ramen you can order to close your drinking session. It's high on my to try list.
Very well put. I too have sometimes been mildly disappointed in some (not all) of the popular restaurants I've tried. I find that with a bit of thoughtful research in advance it's quite possible to trust one's own instincts about whether a place will be a good match. Following those instincts has served me so much better than trying to follow any crowd!
This is a branch of Seirin, a popular Japanese restaurant in Shizuoka, where the restaurant's sous chef grills eel.
The quality of the farmed eel used is not the best one, but the grilling technique is excellent, so I thought the unaju was quite complete.
I am not sure about the accuracy of the following information from an online source but it seems to make some sense and explains a few other things.
Sometime after World War Two, sushi restaurants in Tokyo started carrying maybe 2 or 3 kinds of sake at most. Before that, sake was not served at sushi restaurants, simply because people went to those places for sushi, and if they wanted sake they would go elsewhere. What's interesting is that the cold sake of choice at these post WWII sushi restaurants was almost always the brand Kamotsuru from Hiroshima (and hot sake was Kiku Masamune). This might partially explain why Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten carries (or carried) the small bottle of Kamotsuru Tokusen Daiginjo as their only sake offering. This is also to carry on that part of the tradition from back in the post WWII old days, unlike sushi omakase of today where there are upwards of 10 to 12 otsumami, then 10 to 12 pieces nigiri, with places that can carry 30+ different sake (eg. Sugita or arguably Kurosaki), where if you ask for recommended sake pairing, there would be upwards of 8 different pours just to match specific courses.
Also even back 20++ years ago, one would not go to a high end sushi restaurant and linger around drinking, hence keeping smaller sake selections (the etiquette would be not to get wasted from alcohol, and if a customer wanted to drink more they should be going to a bar). And even 20 years ago, supposedly many high end sushi restaurants would not have high end sake selections (and out of those perhaps one would carry Kubota and Juyondai).
So for Sukiyabashi Jiro and his sons to keep this specific part of the tradition and that part of time in history, ie one small sake that is symbolic with that period, to keep the focus entirely on sushi, so customers don't linger and concentrate on the sushi experience, is really commendable, even if it is a style perhaps not everyone might agree with. Makes me appreciate Sukiyabashi Jiro even more for what they are doing in keeping this historical perspective and insistence.
Some informative content a bit different from usual. This time we have summarized an article about "Wagyu" which is popular on a global basis now. If you eat Wagyu after reading this article, delicious Wagyu beef should become even tastier.