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Sushi Dai 寿司大 at Tsukiji Fish Market

Sukiyabashi Jiro might be the ultimate sushi master, but if you can wake up amazingly early in Tokyo and make your way to Tsukiji Fish Market, you’ll find yourself lost in the buzzing excitement of the world’s largest seafood market. I’ve had such amazing sushi in Tokyo but Sushi Dai, located in the busy lanes of Tsukiji Fish Market, is one of a kind (and yes, this is where Jiro and other renowned sushi chefs come to select their fresh fish!)

Lines can stretch up to 5 hours, so bring some entertainment or simply come to enjoy the good company you’ll meet–I’ve truly met the most interesting and international people in line before. After all, as Julia Child so wisely reminds us, “people who love to eat are always the best people.”

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Ever wondered what a 4 hour line for sushi looked like?

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Wandering the alleys of Tsukiji Fish Market

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Tamagoyaki–sweet egg omelettes for sale

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A slice of the egg omelettes–a snack in between all our waiting!

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Sushi Dai’s entrance

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A sneak peak into the small yet highly-acclaimed sushi restaurant

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Tsukiji Fish Market is a traditional fish market in every sense of the word. If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself wandering the narrow alleyways and feeling overwhelmed, like you’re intruding on someone’s life. And you probably are–with constant shouting in Japanese, fish trucks speeding past you, and a buzzing energy-level you would not find anywhere else, Tsukiji Fish Market is the livelihood of tens of thousands of people. It’s a remarkable place to be, 4am or noon, because there is no where quite like it.

Now imagine sushi restaurants located amidst that excitement–there is no wrong choice I promise you. Walk into any store and pluck up the courage to order every sushi you’ve wanted to try, it’ll be phenomenal I swear. Or, if you’re like me and you’re determined to finally wait in line for hours, Sushi Dai will be worth your wait. To be honest, looking back at the pictures, I did not catch the name of all the nigiri pieces I tried. But every bite was positively amazing. The anago had a deliciously nutty flavor to it and the ikura was to-die-for. The piece of sweet egg omelette they give you in the middle was also just perfect.

Now that I’m back in the United States, Mizuha and I always talk about our Tokyo food adventures and how much we enjoyed spending weekends just wandering Tokyo’s diverse areas. If you love what I call ‘walking’ songs, then I’m sure you’ve listened to Clean Bandit’s Rather Be a million times. Songs that give you a beat, that syncs to your every footstep–that’s the type of song I love listening to when I explore. Take a look because the music video was filmed in Tsukiji–you can see glimpses of the fish market, the buzzing turret trucks, and the ‘sacred simplicity’ of Tokyo of course.

dreaming of sushi,

eatprayjade x.

10 Comments

  1. Adam Goebel says

    Those photos look amazing, especially the salmon roe and the uni. Will definitely have to make it out to Tsukiji one of these days. Sounds like an amazing experience.

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  2. Pingback: Sushi | Purlou, best of edibles & drinkables

  3. This has been sitting in my inbox and I’m finally getting around to it. I was wondering if you could order what you wanted on your own schedule or if it was a set menu done for groups of people let in at the same time. Thanks! 🙂

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    • hey hilary! you walk in and you’re welcomed to order between 2 menus. Afterwards, you’ll be given a menu to order a la carte nigiri/sushi pieces.

      (I think the set menus are either basic nigiri set, or the chef omakase, 2 different price ranges essentially!)

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      • Interesting! I was curious from the photos of sushi sitting on the table behind the counter. I figured there had to be some limits but it sounds like there is still lots of choice. Thanks!

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