Thank you for the feedback and for reading @Shi! Saito san is right, it is very difficult to find Jikon retail. If you do, it is likely not in metropolitan Tokyo, perhaps somewhere further out in shops that are less visited or have less foot traffic. There are a small number of sake shops that supposedly carry Jikon, but they tend to sell to restaurants and sake bars that have relationships with them, and whatever is remaining doesn't stay in the store for long.
The closest encounter I have come to Jikon is their other label Takasago, which I saw once at Ginza Imadeya (basement of Ginza Six).
There may be some sake bars and restaurants that offer a variety of Jikon, so you can try different varieties from the portfolio that way by the glass.
For alternatives to Jikon, you can also explore other Mie prefecture jizake/local sake. Zaku, Takijiman are some examples. Zaku you can find at Hasegawa Saketen.
@ChuToroZuke thank u so much for your kind words and for reading this article. I didn’t quite like my writing. As I read it again, there are so many errors which now I felt a bit embarrassed.
I totally agree with u. Their lunch is of great value. Jean George bear Columbus circle used to have the best lunch deal at $28 but that price couldn’t be sustained.
Their sake was superb but you would be the best person to elaborate on their choices of sake. It seems that Namae-san put in a lot of work into details including sake and tea at his restaurant. All staff have been through rigorous training.
@Chayo You will need a Japanese to make reservations and go along with you. Saito-san is not running a travel agency. Does not seem ethically right for you to request Saito-san to arrange a Japanese speaker to go with you. Just my two cents worth.
Unfortunately, it seems that promising young chefs tend not to choose "Kyubey" as a place of training recently.
(For Kyubey, I have heard that a chef called Shigihara-san at the Okura branch is the most skilled by far, although he is not young.)
Thank you for posting this article. Our family loves sushi but our son and I are finicky eaters (we only eat about half a dozen types of fish). We are searching for recommendations for high quality restaurants that have a la carte menus. I would very much appreciate any recommendations. We will be staying at the Hyatt Regency. Thank you so much.
Thank you for pointing that out! I also heard something similar yesterday about Tagetsu. I think I will still try it but know to expect something not as traditional. What places would you consider more traditional? I have reserved Ishikawa for dinner and was considering Toyoda Ginza for lunch.
And thank you for sharing about Yakumo Saryo as well! I will have to try and drop in. Sounds like a nice relaxing place to have a meal!
Sushi Fukumoto (Shimokitazawa) Rating 9.0/10
Date of visit 1/31/2019
Sushi Fukumoto has one Michelin star and was surprisingly easy to book on a weeknight. I went on OpenTable.com and went to the Japanese page, and booked for 8 pm at around 4 pm. You probably don't want to wait too long to the last minute though.
Fukumoto san is a friendly chef with very limited English, but his staff do speak and understand English.
His fish selections are considerably smaller than other placess, but whatever he offers is generally of very high quality with a good spread of seafood from different parts of Japan.
The omakase which includes about 10 pieces of sushi and otsumami is about 16,000 yen which is very good value compared to the higher end places elsewhere.
One thing about the otsumami is that he will place them in front of you almost in succession with very little breaks in between. I don't think this was meant to make you feel pressured but give you the choice of where to start or perhaps if you want to take a full photo spread. The feeling of this is rather weird though.
Sushi Fukumoto carries four different kinds of sake, but none that really fit my preference. I went with the lowest priced option which was clean and dry with medium acidity (Tamanohikari Junmai Ginjo, Kyoto prefecture)
Sashimi: chutoro, hirame, aoyagi
A small portion of shirako that looked a bit medium rare but sooooo good
A small portion of Hokkaido aka uni on top of tsuki imo thin slices (looks like yamaimo but was more crunch and less sticky)
Ni tako (or could be tako sakura ni) - magnificent
Soramame - Japanese fave beans (hot), rididiculously sweet and not as starchy even though they looked plump
Yaki Nodoguro - good
His ginger slices are so perfectly pitched in their marination, devoid of any fibers, and almost ate like a hawthorn berry in sweet/sour with the tenderness of a semi ripe Comice pear. This was one of the best ginger preps I've ever had
Sumi ika - very good texture. The rice is a bit lighter seasoned to my liking but has enough flavor. The ika's thickness was just right
Hirame - very firm piece with nice texture, Shimizu would have a rendition that is a bit more chewy but in a great way
Bluefin (Oma) - Not bad but not great, just personal preference. The chutoro was more enjoyable
Kohada - Meaty but a well balanced marinade. The salt brings out some natural sweetness
Ma aji - very good
Akagai - not bad, Shimizu's is still better with his marinade/simmering technique
Kurumaebi and head - tasty, though a bit warmer would be nice, but that might be the style
Anago (1 piece with salt, 1 piece with sauce). Sauce always wins the game, no exception here
Tekka (handroll) - a not very interesting way to close the meal.
I was placed in a corner, a bit further away from the Japanese local regulars even though there may have been an empty seat or two in between, but i was perfectly fine in the corner. Unfortunately one couple I observed near me, decided to let their nigiri sit for upwards of 8 minutes while they chatted, and the lady dripped the sushi rice side down into the soy sauce....I felt bad for the chef.
Wanted to ask to try kanpyo if he had any or tamagoyaki, but by then I was more tired and a bit full. The miso shiru had a piece of sea bream in it (or it could have been hirame)
Not earth shattering sushi, but very good value and still has a neighborhood feel, yet is semi upscale.
@guest dear Angelina, thank u for your kind words. Uemura started accepting new booking request two months on the 1st before the target dining month. Sometimes, I got in two weeks in advance. I’m not sure if it’s going to be so after they got Tabelog silver. I recommend booking as soon as your trip is fixed. The sooner the better.