There’s much more to Japanese cuisine than just sushi. However, when you’re actually in Japan there is divine toro literally floating on conveyor belts in small shops on every block.
How could you not indulge? Just look at the sumptuous marbling on the above sashimi purchased for not very much money at Kuromon Ichiba Market near the Dotonburi area of Osaka. You just want to shove it in your mouth, and you should at every possible opportunity. It’s that good.
As I mentioned, at some sushi places in Japan there is a fabulous conveyor belt system where the sushi chefs churn out small plates of sashimi and sometimes hand rolls or other dishes, and based on the color of the plate you can tell how much each dish costs. At the end of your meal, the server will tally up your plates to determine your bill. There is a hot water tap and powdered green tea hooked up right into the counter for you to drink at your disposal, as well as fresh ginger and soy sauce. The homemade wasabi might be next to the ginger, or it may be rotating right on the conveyor belt like you can see in the container at the top left.
The most fabulous sushi that we enjoyed in this conveyor belt style was at a sushi bar at the fish market in Fukuoka. Eating sushi doesn’t get any fresher or more exciting than over there, where a team of exuberant sushi chefs of an advanced age greet you cheerfully as you walk in, and work tirelessly before your very eyes to produce plate after plate of perfection.
We ordered an extra special selection of today’s catch, and were served this gorgeous plate of sashimi. The fish was so fresh that the shrimp’s tail was actually still twitching a bit on the plate. I let Brandon have that one, and he reported that it was delicious. I took his word for it and gobbled down the velvety, golden uni instead.
Here’s a video we took of our special experience in Fukuoka:
In general, we found that Japanese sushi chefs are very proud of their sushi tradition (wouldn’t you be, too?), and I think this is why most of the sushi and sashimi we encountered in Japan was very simply served and ingredient focused. At the Izakayas, where the chefs have a little more leeway to break from tradition and do their own creative things, we found some really cool alternative sushi preparations. The best example of this we featured below!
This sashimi salad at an Izakaya in Osaka was so outrageous. We can’t believe that no one has done this yet in New York that we’ve heard of, it was unbelievably delicious, and made so much sense as a dish! We’ll have to get the chef a pair of our Cooler
Kitchen 9″ Silicone Tongs, though
Excellent sushi is all around you, absolutely everywhere you go in Japan. Just look at these individually wrapped pieces of sashimi in the Hankyu Department Store Food Court. We will forever harp on our happy of memories eating our way around Japan, and having such easy and affordable access to such delicious sushi.