Sushi Katsura – Cheap Sushi Lunch at an Authentic Tsukiji Sushi Bar

Greg Lane

sushi katsura tsukiji

Unlike some of the chains we’ve covered so far, Katsura Sushi Tsukiji is a stand alone store.  If you come here for dinner, your meal will likely cost in the range of 5,000 yen so the lunch deals are incredibly good value.

For an ‘ichininmae’ (1 person) set of 9 pieces of nigiri sushi and 1 maki (roll) sushi the price is 950 yen.  If you go for the 1.5 person set for 1,050 yen, you get an extra 2 pieces of nigiri sushi, so that’s what I generally go for.  The nidan-chirashizushi is served in two stacked bowls and is also excellent value at 850 yen. There is also no English menu, so if you go there for lunch, just remember the prices above and point to them on the menu.

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katsura sushi tsukiji
The first three pieces delivered. The gari was also extremely good. | Photo by Gregory Lane

Katsura offers three quite different experiences depending on where you are seated.  If you get a seat at the bar in front of the chef, the sushi will be served to you as it is made.  If you get a table in the dining room or a private room (koshitsu) on the second floor, your sushi will be brought to you in a beautiful lacquered box.

The beautifully presented sushi.
The beautifully presented sushi. | Photo by Gregory Lane

Although they officially have a “high-level nigiri” set for 1,900 yen and a “super high nigiri” set for 2,900, the sushi in the 1,050 yen option tasted first class to me.  Each of the neta (toppings) are always succulent, glistening and fresh—not surprising given that Katsura is located only a couple of hundred meters from Tsukiji Fish Market.  When at the bar, the sushi is served on a bamboo leaf and the 1 makisushi (sushi roll) was actually sliced into 6 smaller rolls so even the cheaper set included 15 pieces of sushi and soup. The miso soup also was perfect—just the right amount of stock, miso and finely sliced spring onion. Extra bowls are available at no extra charge.

katsura sushi tsukiji

If you speak some Japanese you may be familiar with the word ‘katsura’— it’s probably not what you think though. The store is named after the Katsura tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum).  However, if you ask the sushi chef if he’s wearing a katsura (wig) under his chef’s hat, hilarity will undoubtedly ensue.

If you arrive when Katsura opens at 11:30, you can get one of two private rooms.
If you arrive when Katsura opens at 11:30, grab one of the two private rooms on the 2nd floor. | Photo by Gregory Lane


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Finding the place may be slightly challenging as it’s down a narrow backstreet. To get there, take Exit 2 of Tsukiji Station on the Hibiya Line then head towards Harumi Dori (the Indian inspired Honganji temple will be on your left on the other side of the road). Take the second road on the right and then walk about 50 metres—Katsura Sushi is on the corner of the first road you come to on your left.

Originally published December 31, 2012. Updated June 2015.
Name: Sushi Katsura (すしかつら)
Pricing info: From 800yen for lunch.
Address: 東京都中央区築地2-15-4
Location(s): Tsukiji,
Phone: 03-3543-1800 03-3543-1800
Business hours: Weekdays: 11:30 - 2pm, 5pm - 11pm Closed on Sundays
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17 Responses to “Sushi Katsura – Cheap Sushi Lunch at an Authentic Tsukiji Sushi Bar”

  1. Avatar
    Marcus March 3, 2013

    Thanks to this article, I had a wonderful lunch during my recent trip.

    • Avatar
      CheapoGreg March 5, 2013

      Hi Marcus, Glad to hear it! It is a great little sushi bar – and the lunch is unbelievably good value.

      • Avatar
        Nelissa Garcia March 8, 2013

        I’m definitely going today. Thanks, Greg.

  2. Avatar
    farkennel July 11, 2014

    I`m going to Japan in September…I hate missing out on a good food deal….I`m a glutton…my problem is…not a big seafood man….the locals are going to hate me….

    • Avatar
      CheapoGreg July 13, 2014

      There are plenty of non-seafood options. If you eat loads, just go to an Izakaya and order everything on the menu. Yakiniku (also called Korean barbecue) is huge in Japan – although we haven’t covered it yet. However, this donburi (various toppings on rice) place might be worth checking out – serving sizes are huge.

      Not sure how much Japanese you speak, but a useful word to remember if you like to stuff yourself is “Ōmori” – it basically means super size.

  3. Avatar

    Wow!! This sounds like a steal! Will definitely check this place out during our trip to Tokyo this September. By any chance, do they also have non seafood options? As some of our companions don’t eat seafood ;(

  4. Avatar

    Hey!!! The best sushi that i’ve eaten since one week!! And the cheapest too!!!!!!! Recomended!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks for the hints

  5. Avatar

    Hi Guys,

    Now they have English menu 🙂 Thanks for the suggestion btw, it’s an awesome place with amazing food!

  6. Avatar
    ToursLepantoVienna April 16, 2016

    Great choice, Greg. After escaping the Saturday morning tourist hordes in Tsukiji, my wife and I visited Katsura, primarily based on your recommendation.

    We enjoy sushi, but would hardly call ourselves sushi fanatics. After 3 orders of nigiri and an order of rolls at a typical North American sushi joint, I’m done. In fact, it starts to become cloying at that point. There was no way we were leaving Tokyo without sampling sushi in its birthplace, however.

    It’s beyond cliche nowadays to claim that you haven’t really tasted sushi until you’ve tried it in Japan, but what a revelation. The flavor, texture, preparation, and presentation were far superior to anything we had ever experienced. After finishing our set, we had to have more hamachi and meguro. Washed down with a Kirin, some green tea, and a delicious bowl of miso, it was a thoroughly satisfying meal whose pleasant memory will linger.

    Some might consider the portions small, but they’re perfect in my opinion. I dislike the mouth-bursting, chewy clods that others regard as “good value”. The staff barely speaks a word of English, but it’s more fun, and authentic, to be in a place that caters primarily to Japanese. They are extremely welcoming and gracious regardless. There is an English menu if you like.

    At 2,300 yen for the two of us, it was an utter bargain as well. Thanks again.

    • Avatar
      CheapoGreg April 20, 2016

      It’s a great place isn’t it? Glad you enjoyed it.

  7. Avatar
    polar_beagle April 26, 2016

    Hi Greg. This is kind of embarrassing to ask but..uh.. can 2 people share the 1.5 person set for 1,050 yen? Or do they have a strict no sharing policy? Thanks!

    • Avatar
      CheapoGreg June 5, 2016

      I guess you could. It’s normal at any restaurant for each person at the table to order something though.

  8. Avatar
    Deidara Kun April 28, 2016

    Hi Greg. I would like to ask, is reservation necessary? As I am most probably going Tsukiji on a weekday for lunch.

    • Avatar
      CheapoGreg June 5, 2016

      In my experience, no. Although we have made this place a bit more popular 🙂

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