Crashing Japan The World's Best Sushi
by Bamboo Dong, Sep 28th 2007
My personal quest for the great sushi started near the Tsukiji fish market. I had heard of a small hole-in-the-wall place called Daiwa Sushi, touted by Zagat as the best sushi in Tokyo, a designation that many would consider to also mean the best sushi in the world. Armed with only vague directions on how to get there, I set off on my mission.
Within minutes, I was lost. My directions called for "numbered buildings" and "central squares," and I had no idea what they were referring to. After waking up the tour guide with a 7AM call, during which he graciously spent a good half-hour on the phone with me, staring at Google and peering at maps, I was no closer to Daiwa than when I started-- only now, I was in a back alley, somewhere, surrounded by empty boxes and all those little carts that you find zipping all over Tsukiji.
Luckily (and I'm still not quite sure how this happened), someone directed me to a kind Chinese dock worker, who was able to give me directions in Mandarin. I was closer than I thought, but I first needed to go through a couple of loading docks, around a few alleys, and through a warehouse. Then, there it was.
Daiwa Sushi is open Monday to Saturday from 5:30AM to 1:30PM. The place only seats about 20 or so, so there's generally a 45 minute to an hour wait to get in. Once you're seated, you will be greeted with a sushi breakfast like you've never had. Consisting of 7 pieces of sushi, 1 roll, and miso soup, it's made fresh by the chef, and rings up at 3150JPY. The fish are fresh from the market, and every bite is delightful (my personal favorite was the uni); if you're craving more afterwards, you can ask the chef to prepare you more, and he'll happily oblige.
In the same building is another place called Sushi Dai. Many will say that the sushi is comparable, and for the same price, you can get 5 more pieces, but whichever one you end up choosing is up to you.
It's possible that I'm the only person who's ever had a hard time finding this place, but because I want to make it as easy as possible for everyone to enjoy this place, I decided to make my own directions.
Once you exit Tsukijishijo Station (off the Oedo subway line), turn right onto the street and head for the two gas stations (Cosmo will be the one most readily visible). Turn right onto that street. You'll keep walking until you're parallel to several off-white buildings on your right. If you look at the sides, you'll see that they're marked with large numbers-- Daiwa and Sushi Dai are in the alley of Building 6.
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