(Pardon the quality, I pulled it from Instagram and uploaded onto YouTube; original is here #ghettohack)
Hanamaru Sushi-Go-Round near the Tokyo Station is one of my favorite cheap sushi spots. They are originally from Hokkaido. Hokkaido, is known as the seafood capital of Japan. Some Japanese have even said to me, once you eat sushi in Hokkaido, it’s hard to eat sushi in Tokyo as the quality seems sub-par. Apparently the Hanamaru mothership in Hokkaido supplies Hokkaido fish to their various locations around Japan. (I called several locations to confirm but no one gave me a straight answer. I’ll ask in person next time I go.)
Upside: it hasn’t been discovered by tourists yet — less than 20 reviews on TripAdvisor, most are from local Japanese people. It’s also cheap. Super cheap.
That photo shows only part of what we ate and our bill was less than $35USD per person.
Downside: there is always a long line
I’ve been to Umegaoka Sushi in Shibs a few times but prefer this place instead. Do please go if you make it out this way, cheap sushi is always great for lunch.
Nemuiro Hanamaru Kitte Marunouchi
2-7-2 Kitte Marunouchi Kitte 5F
(It’s right across the street from the Tokyo Station)
Website is in Japanese only: http://www.sushi-hanamaru.com/store/
In case anyone’s wondering, anago (the eel pictured above) is served ridiculously out of proportion to the itty bits of rice simply out of tradition. Sushi has been around Japan since the 8th Century, near the end of the Edo Period (1603-1868). Japan was still poor. The large neta (sushi topping) symbolizes abundance and opulence and the tradition just stuck — according to a few sushi chefs and knowledgeable friends. Googling returned no solid results; just etiquette tips. There’s no right or wrong way to consume the super long eel but the suggested method is to eat eel first with chopsticks (it’s okay to break the fish apart), then pick-up with hands.