Translated by Lester Somera
If You're In A Sushi Mood, Choose Kagurazaka Sushi Academy!
Written by Miku Yasuda
In the Kagurazaka neighborhood, known for its elegant atmosphere reminding of the Edo period, there is an all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant called Kagurazaka Sushi Academy, popular for its delicious and affordable sushi.
Have you heard of the town called Kagurazaka 神楽坂? It is located close to central Tokyo, and is well known for its classical vibe reminiscent of the Edo period, which lasted from the 17th until the 19th century. It is popular with tourists as a sightseeing destination, while for Japanese people, strolling through the elegant street of Kagurazaka is a very pleasant pastime.
Is This Tokyo or Classical Edo? Take A Peaceful Stroll Through Kagurazaka (MATCHA article, Japanese)
The narrow alleys that stretch out on both sides of the Kagurazaka streets are dotted with traditional Japanese restaurants known as ryōtei, which feel like the establishments from old times, where the upper class used to dine. A good number of cool cafes and restaurants have started operating in Kagurazaka in recent years, so the area has been given the nickname “Little Paris.”
This article will introduce a popular restaurant in Kagurazaka where you can eat all the sushi you want.
The Original System of Kagurazaka Sushi Academy
The Kagurazaka Sushi Academy is operated by the Tokyo Sushi Academy, a vocational college for aspiring sushi chefs.
Everyone on staff at Kagurazaka Sushi Academy is either a current student or a graduate of Tokyo Sushi Academy. This is one of the reasons why you can eat delicious sushi at an affordable price here, despite the restaurant’s location in a high-class neighborhood.
In addition, because the school is responsible for buying the seafood, it is possible to make large-scale purchases at low cost, while still getting good-quality seafood for sushi toppings. This is the secret to the menu’s stable prices. Extremely popular for its delicious sushi, getting a reservation here is hard to come by. Even if there is a cancellation, the spot is soon snapped up.
What About the All-You-Can-Eat System?
Kagurazaka Sushi Academy exclusively offers an all-you-can-eat menu throughout the day.
Standard (men and women) - 2,980 yen
All-You-Can-Drink Course Included - 5,000 yen
You can stay for up to 90 minutes, and the cutoff is one hour after your first order. Without regard to price, you can eat as much as you want of sea urchin, salmon roe, chū-toro (medium-fatty tuna) and all sorts of other high-quality sushi toppings. Being able to stuff yourself with your favorite sushi is this restaurant’s selling point. A la carte dishes and desserts are also available in the all-you-can-eat system.
This time, we had three popular sushi varieties made for us. From the right, we have flounder, medium-fatty tuna, and mackerel. The high quality of the flounder and tuna was evident. The mackerel was well-seasoned with vinegar, and was much more carefully prepared than one might expect for all-you-can-eat sushi. The gunkan-maki is also highly regarded, so you should give it a try.
*……Gunkan-maki: A sushi variety where rice seasoned with vinegar is rolled in seaweed and topped with fish.
In addition, because Tokyo Sushi Academy students study English at school as a compulsory subject, the staff can speak English. If you have any questions about fish varieties or you don’t understand something, the staff can give you a thorough explanation, so you can relax on that front.
Currently Kagurazaka Sushi Academy requires that reservations are made online, but as of December 2015, the site is Japanese-only. If this is an issue, ask hotel staff or a Japanese friend to help you. There are current plans to build an English interface for the site, so check to see if there are any updates before your trip.
As a final point of consideration, while the restaurant is all-you-can-eat and you can order as much as you want, make sure to finish the sushi in front of you before you place another order, and don’t leave food on the plate. The sushi is delicious, so avoid waste and eat well.
After you take a relaxing stroll through the classical townscape of Kagurazaka, you can fill your belly with amazing sushi. How about making another great memory of your trip to Japan?
Kagurazaka Sushi Academy
Address: Tokyo, Shinjuku-ku, Kagurazaka 3-6-3 Hilltop Bldg B1F
(Monday to Friday) 11:30 - 15:30 (last entry at 14:00), 17:00 - 22:00 (last entry at 20:30)
(Saturday, Sunday, public holidays) 11:30 - 16:00 (last entry at 14:30), 17:00 - 22:00 (last entry at 20:30)
Fixed holidays: None
Wi-Fi environment: None
Credit cards accepted: Yes (Visa, Mastercard, JCB, AmEx)
Foreign language support: English
Foreign language menus: None
Closest station: Iidabashi Station 飯田橋駅 (JR Sōbu Line, Tokyo Metro Tōzai Line, Tokyo Metro Yūrakuchō Line, Tokyo Metro Namboku Line), Ushigome-Kagurazaka Station 牛込神楽坂駅 (Toei Ōedo Line)
Access: Five minutes’ walk from Iidabashi Station, six minutes’ walk from Ushigome-Kagurazaka Station
Price range: 2,980 yen (tax not included)
Phone number: +81-03-6265-0047
Official homepage: Kagurazaka Sushi Academy