First Trip to Japan - Please Help!

Had lunch at Sawada today. Next level sushi! Fish quality is incredible. Preferred the rice from Taka by Saito few weeks ago though.


Saito-san’s rice is otherworldly, if memory serves. How crowded was Sawada at lunch? He has a few interesting usual clients who are mostly there to drink (incredibly)…

5 of 6 seats were filled at Sawada. Terrific QPR for $230/pax.

Taka by Saito’s non-kasutera style tamago was also another highlight.


Are the rumors true that Saito’s place is ichigen-san okotowari now?

I don’t think so. The hotel concierge indicated their existing customers get first priority. Reservations now at ~ 9mths. :confounded:


@teriyakichi @beefnoguy Visa Signature was able to secure me a dinner reservation at Goryu-Kubo for March 28th! It will be my first “big” meal in Japan. The options available are a 25000JPY menu or a 40000JPY option. The latter is a bit too risky for me, so I picked the former. I was browsing pics on IG and Tabelog and I am getting rather excited about it. I will keep you posted.

Visa Signature Concierge was very detailed with a lot of follow up in the few days it took to make this happen. I am going to see if they can help with a good sushi lunch at some point as well. The AmEx concierge that I attempted to use has been pretty useless so far. Let’s see what happens!


OK, my intrepid eaters. Visa Concierge got back to me and said that they could get me a dinner reso at Harutaka. 4.34 on Tabelog. Should I take it? Doesn’t seem like Sawada or Tokami are going to in the cards for me this trip. They also are offering lunch resos at Kanesaka and Ginza Shimon.

@djquinnc My hotel concierge suggested the following alternatives to the top end joints. Described them as being less touristy but very good alternatives nonetheless…

Sushi Iwa:

Sushi Nakamura:

Sushi Yui:

Or Sushiya - apprenticed at Saito


over Kanesaka or Shimon.

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No right or wrong answers here - I think you’ll be pleased at just how awesome even the middle tier sushi can be in Japan.


Have you finalized your eating itinerary?

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No! At least I don’t think so. So far it looks like this:

Lunch: L’Effervencece
Dinner: Goryu Kubo

Junk food at Tokyo DisneySea

Lunch: Wa Yamamura (Nara)

Lunch: Tenryu-ji Shigetsu (Kyoto)

Lunch: Bento at Kikunoi (Kyoto - pending confirmation)
Dinner: Miyoshi (Kyoto)

A friend of mine just left Tokyo and advised me to contact Miyaba for sushi. He spoke with the owner who said to call directly to make a reservation. I will certainly look into that. Not sure how much planning I need to keep doing. I also want to check out depachikas and mid-range tonkatsu and tempura places as well. But not sure if throwing in the towel is advised! At least I want to get one high end sushi meal at some point, preferably lunch. Not totally sold on the sushi lunch options the Visa concierge offered.

Mizutani (Ginza) is awesome sushi, but AFAIR they serve dinner only. BUT Mizutani is concierge friendly to last-second rezzies.

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But looks like it is closed - boo!!!

they closed last year

Oh man! That sucks. Condolences.

Sushi Mizutani, as in the former disciple of Jiro Ono?

Mizutani-san retired and closed shop, last day of service was 10/29/2016.

(bringing the mountain to you…)

Since we are talking tabelog, here are their current top sushi-yas in the Tokyo Metro Area

I’m not sure what your exact date of departure will be, but surely there must be one you could get a rezzie at…

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I am putting the AmEx concierge and the Visa concierge to the test right now. Visa has been very responsive. AmEx…not so much.