Tokyo Table Trip

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Fukuoka Prefecture is blessed with plentiful fishing areas, including Genkai Sea, Suou-nada, and Ariake Sea, where the best seafood in Kyushu, like grouper and yobiko squid, is found.
Sushi that highlighted the freshness of the ingredients was once the preferred type, but recent years Edo-mae sushi restaurants in Tokyo have been booming.
This special feature article will introduce ten of our favorite sushi restaurants from Fukuoka Prefecture, which is known as Japan's #2 land of sushi just behind Tokyo!
To all you sushi fans across the world, be sure to visit Fukuoka to enjoy its own unique take on sushi that's a completely different beast than the sushi you'll find in Ginza!

#10 Morita

Morita is a long-standing sushi restaurant that is practically representative of Kyushu.
The owner is Chef Nobuo Morita, 83 years old, who previously trained at famous restaurant "Tenzushi."
Chef Morita is ranked as Japan's #3 veteran sushi chef, just behind Chef Jiro Ono of "Sukiyabashi Jiro" and Kazuo Morita of "Komatsu Yasuke."
He makes sushi in a unique style from Kita-Kyushu that he learned at "Tenzushi," called "Kyushu-mae," where salt, kabosu (a type of citrus), and shichimi pepper are used to draw out the seafood's umami flavors instead of soy sauce.
It can be great fun to watch as Chef Morita tries different things, like combining uni and caviar, perhaps grabbing a tomato, and sometimes making odd faces.
Chef Morita's passion for sushi is still alive and well even as his age surpasses 83.
Be sure to take a chance to bask in the aura of this chef who claims "sushi should be shaped at the hip," standing on tall wooden clogs behind the small counter space.

◆Morita
Address: 2F 2-5-17 Uomachi, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu-shi, Fukuoka
Phone: 093-531-1058
Hours:
[Lunch] 11:30-15:00
[Dinner] 16:30-21:00
Budget: 10,000-14,999 yen
Closed: Wednesdays

#9 Yoshitomizushi

lambwoolさん(@mr.lambwool)がシェアした投稿 -

tossy.tokyoさん(@tossy.tokyo)がシェアした投稿 -

This long-standing sushi restaurant is highly respected by sushi chefs from across Japan.
In 1978, the owner-chef left the world of kaiseki cuisine and joined the world of sushi.
He worked hard to develop a style unique to Fukuoka, combining the dedication to fresh sushi of Fukuoka with tenants of Japanese cuisine and Edo-mae sushi.
This sushi became known as "Hakata-mae" sushi, rather than Edo-mae, and it is characterized by its use of several techniques used in Edo-mae sushi.
This results in a delightfully original style of sushi that you won't find in Tokyo, including pieces like blackthroat perch wrapped in kombu or Spanish mackerel paired with garlic-seasoned soy sauce.
The course marvelously alternates between sweet, salty, and spicy, creating a beautiful end composition.
Try out the omakase course at Yoshidomizushi, made by a talented veteran sushi chef, for the surprisingly low price of just 5,800 yen.

◆Yoshitomizushi
Address: 3-6-23 Maizuru, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka
Phone: 092-741-3490
Hours:
[Lunch] 12:00-14:00
[Dinner] 17:30-21:00
Budget: 8,000-9,999 yen (lunch) / 10,000-14,999 yen (dinner)
Closed: Wednesdays
Credit cards accepted (VISA, MASTER, JCB, AMEX, Diners)

#8 Sushi Osamu

y_ttm7さん(@yusuke_ttm)がシェアした投稿 -

Jolliさん(@jolli316)がシェアした投稿 -

This popular sushi restaurant is located in the suburbs of Fukuoka.
While it's located about 30 minutes away from downtown and Tenjin by taxi, many people from across Japan visit in search of delicious sushi at an amazing price.
The omakase course consists of 5-6 side dishes and 12 pieces of nigiri for 15,000 yen.
They also serve whale bacon, and the absolute lack of off-putting odor speaks volumes to the quality of the ingredients.
The elegant sushi here is shaped rather small, and it's characterized by rice that packs a punch thanks to some extra salt. They implement original takes on sushi as well, such as combining lean and medium-fatty tuna together.
The meal is wrapped up with their famous "wasabi inari," which contains sushi rice with a slight sesame aroma wrapped in fried tofu, an absolute delight, and many guests even bring it home as souvenir gifts.

◆Sushi Osamu
Address: 5-16-10 Nagazumi, Minami-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka
Phone: 092-511-2288
Hours: First group 18:00 onward, second group 20:30 onward
Budget: 6,000-7,999 yen (lunch) / 15,000-19,999 yen (dinner)
Closed: Wednesdays

#7 Sushi Yasukichi

zuma.xさん(@zuma.x)がシェアした投稿 -

Sushi Yasukichi is an influential Michelin two-star restaurant that is said to have been called the "favorite sushi restaurant in the world" of Chef Nakazawa, head of the "Sushi Sho" group.
The stoic chef of Sushi Yasukichi has been called a "young genius," and customers are drawn in by the delicate, near-perfect sushi that he crafts.
The nigiri served in the omakase course include familiar staples that show up in courses in Tokyo, like whitefish wrapped in kombu, gizzard shad, tiger prawn, and clam, but the way that they are prepared is absolutely unique.
Isaki (threeline grunt) is a fish that is in season during the summer, and at Sushi Yasukichi it is prepared by parboiling the skin, lightly salting, seasoned with a dash of vinegar, and paired with sushi rice.
The omakase course here is said to be of amazing value, including over 10 side dishes along with nigiri that'd rival the sushi at any Ginza restaurant for just 16,000 yen.
If you want to enjoy the top-class of Fukuoka sushi without breaking the bank, this restaurant is for you.

◆Sushi Yasukichi
Address: 4-3-11 Hakata Ekimae, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka
Phone: 092-437-8111
Hours: 18:00-22:00
Budget: 10,000-14,999 yen
Closed: Sundays
Credit cards accepted (VISA, MASTER, JCB, AMEX, Diners)

#6 Kikuzushi

威任 陳さん(@twnsushi27)がシェアした投稿 -

@foodieboubaがシェアした投稿 -

This up-and-coming sushi restaurant is slowly but surely building up its presence in Fukuoka.
The owner spent 10 years working at famous Hakata restaurant "Kougyoku" before being hired as the head sushi chef of a Michelin 5-star restaurant in Monaco and trained there.
During that time he gained rare and precious experience, including preparing and serving sushi to guests, including world-renowned chefs, at the wedding of Monaco's prime minister.
"The most important thing in cooking is a balance of the moisture. For example, tempura draws out the umami in its ingredients by removing moisture. With sushi, imagine how the flavors would change if you removed that moisture," he has said.
Take, for example, Fukuoka's famous longtooth grouper. By wrapping the fish in a special type of paper and aging it for a week or longer, it develops both a unique texture and draws out a powerful umami.
The sushi rice used is so carefully chosen that it even has the wholesalers take into account the moisture content of the rice. It is then cooked to the perfect doneness to balance out the sushi toppings. It is then either seasoned with a blend of two types of red vinegar or with two types of white vinegar.
The sushi here, which can easily compete with the quality of sushi you'd find in Ginza, is sure to gain even more traction and popularity as time goes on.
We highly recommend visiting Kikuzushi soon, while reservations are still easily made!

◆ Kikuzushi
Address: 3-51-5 Kasugakoen, Kasuga-shi, Fukuoka
Phone: 092-575-0718
Hours:
[Lunch] 12:00~
[Dinner] First group 18:00 onward, second group 20:30 onward
Budget: 10,000-14,999 yen
Closed: Mondays
Credit cards accepted (VISA, MASTER, JCB, AMEX, Diners)

#5 Teruzushi

Masaharu Kiyomizuさん(@mkiyomizu)がシェアした投稿 -

Hee dong eeさん(@my_heedongee)がシェアした投稿 -

After receiving an big break on Instagram, Teruzushi has become Japan's hottest sushi restaurant.
Travelers from across the world are flocking to a remote town in Fukuoka Prefecture just to get to Teruzushi.
Teruzushi's chef suddenly rose to fame thanks to a photo of him holding out a piece of sushi to the camera, but, in contrast to that flashy sort of image, he's a sushi maniac who puts a lot of hard work into it.
When he finds an ingredient that catches his interest, he directly contacts fishermen and makes sure to visit their sites frequently to develop a good relationship. Because of this, he's been able to easily obtain rare ingredients like "Yamaguchi Prefecture Shimonoseki aka-uni" and "Buzen aka-uni."
The sushi rice at Teruzushi is seasoned with strong red vinegar that is reminiscent of Shaoxing wine. Much like how Cantonese cuisine pairs crab with Shaoxing wine sauce or French cuisine pairs seafood with vin jaune sauce, here nigiri is served less like a single piece to be eaten alone, but more as part of a complete dish.
Don't fall for thinking that the comical owner is simply an Instagrammer; if you want a taste of the hottest sushi in Japan, be sure to visit Teruzushi!

◆Teruzushi
Address: 3-1-7 Sugawara, Tobata-ku, Kitakyushu-shi, Fukuoka
Phone: 090-9567-2202
Hours:
[Lunch] 12:00-14:00
[Dinner] 17:30-22:30
Budget: 30,000~ yen
Closed: Irregular holidays
Credit cards accepted (VISA, MASTER, JCB, AMEX, Diners)

#4 Sushi Gyoten

Bryan Sudjatiさん(@sudjiii)がシェアした投稿 -

Sushi Gyoten is Fukuoka's one and only Michelin three-star sushi restaurant.
The chef here has experience working at famous Tokyo restaurant "Araki," and he makes sushi using a classic gripping technique called "hontegaeshi." He makes the most of his skills and experience to draw out the best in all ingredients used.
His original ideas, like covering kinmedai in aka-uni, or using in-season octopus and wakame in shabu-shabu, always defy customers' expectations in a positive way.
Sushi Gyoten's chef is strong-willed and very confident, so opinions on his reception for guests are split, but the omakase course at Gyoten uses rare ingredients that you'd almost certainly never find in Tokyo, and are rare even in Fukuoka.
If you have the chance to visit Fukuoka, you absolutely should visit Sushi Gyoten and experience its unique take on sushi.

◆Sushi Gyoten
Address: 1-2-12 Hirao, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka
Phone: 092-521-2200
Hours:
[Lunch] 12:00-13:30
[Dinner] 18:00-21:00
Budget: 30,000~ yen
Closed: Irregular holidays
Credit cards accepted (VISA, MASTER)

#3 Chikamatsu

うどんが主食さん(@alwaysudon)がシェアした投稿 -

This super talented sushi restaurant is heavily supported by passionate sushi fans from across Japan.
While there's a high barrier for entry thanks to its introduction-based system, Chikamatsu is still so overwhelmingly popular that by the beginning of a given year's autumn, its reservations are already booked solid through the same time the following year.
The sushi crafted by the chef at Chikamatsu has its roots in famous Kyushu restaurant "Kawashou" as well as Edo-mae sushi, but its most memorable point is the amazing sushi rice.
The sushi rice is seasoned using rice vinegar. It's a perfect doneness, not too firm and not too soft, and the flavor is flawless as well, not too sweet and not too sour.
The first paired with that exquisite sushi rice are chosen and purchased every morning by the owner at the local Yanagibashi Rengo Market.
The squid that he takes so much pride in is cut incredibly thinly over and over, producing an incredibly soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture, a true showcasing of his "god-like techniques."
The omakase course features 5 side dishes and 10-12 pieces of nigiri for 10,200 yen.
If you're able to find someone who can get you an invitation, this is the #1 sushi restaurant to aim to visit for sushi fans.

◆Chikamatsu
Address: 2-6-19 Yakuin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka
Phone: 092-716-5855
Hours:
[Lunch] 12:00-14:00
[Dinner] 18:00-21:30
Budget: 15,000-19,999 yen
Closed: Mondays
Credit cards accepted (VISA, JCB, AMEX, Diners)

#2 Sushi Sakai

と・し・きさん(@kanetosiki)がシェアした投稿 -

y_ttm7さん(@yusuke_ttm)がシェアした投稿 -

This popular sushi restaurant has been an unwavering staple of Fukuoka, an area where sushi's popularity has been booming in recent years.
After working at famous Tokyo restaurant "Umi" for 7 years, Sushi Sakai's owner returned to his hometown of Fukuoka to open up his own restaurant in 2013. Just one year after opening, Sushi Sakai was awarded its first Michelin star.
Sushi Sakai sources its fish from Fukuoka's Central Wholesale Market and Yanagibashi Rengo Market, as well as Tsukiji in Tokyo.
While the traditional Edo-mae style he learned at "Umi" is the base for the sushi Sakai's chef creates, he also takes the opportunity to take creative freedoms.
For example, the squid is sliced incredibly finely over and over, which brings out a unique sweetness from the flesh.
The fish is also perfectly matched with the sushi rice, which is seasoned with red vinegar and is slightly on the salty side.
The near-perfect nigiri here is widely known as some of the best in all of Japan.
If you ever get the chance to visit Fukuoka, Sushi Sakai is an absolute must-visit.

◆ Sushi Sakai
Address: 3-20 Nishinakasu, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka
Phone: 092-726-6289
Hours:
[Monday-Friday] First group 18:00 onward, second group 20:30 onward
[Saturday] First group 17:00 onward, second group 19:30 onward
Budget: 20,000-29,999 yen
Closed: Sundays, holidays
Credit cards accepted

And Our #1 Choice Is....

@riko.riko15がシェアした投稿 -

Freyaさん(@restaurant_hunter)がシェアした投稿 -

Our #1 choice for the best sushi restaurants in Fukuoka is a well-known restaurant among foodies that absolutely represents Fukuoka, "Tenzushi Kyomachi Store."
Medium-fatty tuna that glistens on the surface like a mirror....
Squid, scored finely on the surface and topped with colorful sesame and beautiful tobiko....
Shrimp, cooked to a beautiful rare with hardly any time spent over the heat....
Tekkamaki served with plenty of sea grapes....
Fans of sushi from all over the world flock to Tenzushi to experience artistic sushi that is at the same time a clearly different beast than Edo-mae sushi.
Tenzushi also has a unique no-alcohol policy, stemming from the owner's desire for the customers to "enjoy the luxurious flavors of the sushi with only salt and citrus using all five of their senses."
Spending time enjoying the pure flavors of sushi while conversing with the owner, who travels across Japan visiting all sorts of sushi restaurants "to study" is an absolute pleasure.

◆Tenzushi Kyomachi Store
Address: 3-11-9 Kyomachi, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu-shi, Fukuoka
Phone: 093-521-5540
Hours:
[Lunch] 12:30-15:30
[Dinner] 17:00-21:00
Budget: 20,000-29,999 yen
Closed: Mondays, Tuesdays
Credit cards not accepted

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guest

Hi Saito san,

Do you know how far in advance do Sakai and Tenzushi take reservation?
Thank you.

about 1 month ago

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Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

It seems that there are no strict protocols, but it seems that "Sushi Sakai" is accepting reservations for up to about three months in advance.
As for "Tenzushi," please inquire with the hotel that you plan to be staying at.

about 1 month ago
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localtaste

@guest Tenzushi: starting this year all foreign visitors including normal old customers are required to book through Tableall.com only. No other third parties. But I’m not sure if few hotels might be exceptions.

The reason is some foreigners booked last year and no show. Tableall.com does protect the restaurant while foreign diners pay the price of the reckless fellow foreign diners.

I would love to hear from other readers who are regular at Tenzushi if anyone or any hotel can be the exception to this new rule.

12 days ago

sharikiri

Has anyone been to Tenzushi Honten or Sushi Tsubasa? Curious how these measure up to others on this list.

2 months ago

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guest

Tenzushi Honten's is characterized by its classic shari that is sweeter, comes at a lower temperature and is larger than normal.
Those who prefer more elegant sushi might be more satisfied at the Kyomachi store.
Opened by a young craftsman formerly from Morita, Tsubasa serves interesting Tenzushi-style sushi with an Edomae touch.
For those who cannot get a reservation at the Tenzushi Kyomachi store, it might be interesting to visit Tsubasa instead.

2 months ago

guest

Hi saito San
Can regular people book Tenzushi? Or is it introduction only? Thanks.

5 months ago

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Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

Anyone can make a reservation as there is no introduction system in place. However, it seems that reservations for foreigners can only be done through hotels currently.

5 months ago
Eab8dbbd 6732 4948 b852 ca447c818547

localtaste

@guest Tenzushi, starting this year all foreign visitors including normal old customers are required to book through Tableall.com only. No other third parties. But I’m not sure if few hotels might be exceptions.

The reason is some foreigners booked last year and no show. Tableall.com does protect the restaurant while foreign diners pay the price of the reckless fellow foreign diners.

I would love to hear from other readers who are regular at Tenzushi if anyone or any hotel can be the exception to this new rule.

12 days ago

guest

Hi Saito-san, would Sakai sushi be worth travelling down all the way from Tokyo?

7 months ago

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Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

As there would be various costs involved in making a trip like that, I find it difficult to easily say "yes" to that question, but as Sakai is one of the most high-quality sushi restaurants (which uses red vinegar), I do believe that they are worth a visit.

7 months ago
User default d6f8776075bbcbf91b3886fd7b0aeb86c94956e290bd9b9223466618a8cd47a2

guest

Sure, thanks for the feedback Saito-san. Any idea how long it would take for dinner at Sakai? Am planning to catch a plane from Fukuoka to Tokyo after the meal.

7 months ago

Leo Saito

chief editor, TokyoTableTrip

Here is what you had been waiting for: we are announcing TokyoTableTrip's top 10 sushi restaurants in Fukuoka.

7 months ago

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Viv

Tenzushi is very interesting and untraditional. Foodies around the globe flock to Kitakyushu for Amano-san's unique Kyushu-mae sushi. If you ever make a trip down there, I would recommend also going down a bit further to Hakata and enjoy an unforgettable meal at Sakai. Sakai is one of the best sushiyas out there in my opinion.

4 months ago
Tinyfin

Just_Ingest

IG: Sushisibz

Dear Viv, how would you compare the otsumami/nigiri/neta quality at Sakai vs. some of the other most famous sushi-ya in Tokyo?

4 months ago
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Viv

Sakai is very good I would say. We visited back in April. There were about 7 or 8 otsumami followed by 13 nigris. I wouldn't compare the quality of ingridients straight with Tokyo's top tier sushiyas, given the price point and the fact that Sakai-san sourced most his ingridients from the nearby Kyushu area. But the meal at Sakai was very satisfying and touching. Every bite was delicious.
What amazed me even more was the good pace. Sakai has a 10- or 12-seat counter but the chef managed to serve dishes very efficiently, without anyone getting less attention. We asked for hot tea in the middle of the meal and our cup was never left half fulfilled.
A wooden board hung behind the chef says "流汗悟道". It must have taken Sakai-san a lot of hard work to get to this level. Indeed, we could feel the effort and thoughts Sakai san had put into the meal. We were utterly impressed.

4 months ago