Looking for a low-budget spot to feast on raw fish in Shinjuku? You’ve come to the right place. Here are five top picks to make the choice of Shinjuku sushi restaurants a little easier. The ones you’ll see below are all awesome, good quality and—perhaps most importantly—downright affordable. Grab those chopsticks and prepare the pickled ginger and wasabi!
At the south and west exits of Shinjuku Station, you’ll find bustling branches of this mega sushi chain. Ganso Zushi is the Japanese conveyor-belt sushi experience at its best; fresh, no frills and fast. Oh, and friendly, too. There are 60+ dishes on the menu (which is available in English, don’t worry), with the lowest-priced going for around 100 yen. The yellowtail nigiri comes recommended, and will set you back about 216 yen per plate. The salmon, for the same price, is also worth a taste. For more on what to expect at Ganso Zushi, check out our review.
An alternative with a similar-sounding name, Ginzo Sushi offers a different culinary experience to the Ganso go-round. It’s somewhere between low-cost conveyor-belt sushi and a high-class fish joint. You can order sushi by the piece or in a set (we recommend the latter, as it works out to be much more economical), and they have a range of other dishes, including hot items, on the menu too. Ginzo is a favorite among salarymen (and office ladies), so expect to eat among the suits. Budget 1,000-1,500 yen for a solid meal.
A (very) foreigner-friendly sushi restaurant that offers basic types of sushi for under 100 yen, and fancier pieces for around 130-400 yen. There are sets too, which are often the most cost-effective option—especially for lunch. Ask for the English menu and order whatever takes your fancy. Recommended dishes include the egg roll, tuna* (the fattier the cut the better) and horse mackerel. If you have room left over, go for a plate of tempura too. You can sit at the counter or a table (there’s no conveyor belt here).
*At Itamae, and many other sushi shops in Japan, bluefin tuna is a big deal. Before ordering any, bear in mind that it’s an endangered species.
This place punts itself as the top-ranking conveyor-belt sushi joint in Shinjuku. While we’re not sure we fully agree, Numazuko is geared towards tourists, and does serve up some decent sushi with generously-sized toppings. Pull plates off the belt or order directly from the waitron; prices are a little higher than average here, so expect to shell out between 100 and 600 yen for each item. You can make a good meal of the mid-range dishes. The sea urchin (uni) is popular, but be warned that it’s not a taste (or texture) for everyone!
Kizuna Sushi (Kabukicho)
This is the place to go if you want quality sushi, and LOTS of it. Open 24/7, Kizuna Sushi’s Kabukicho Main Store is a little high-end when it comes to pricing, unless you know what to order. Between 11am and 10pm, you can take advantage of the all-you-can-eat sushi special (times differ at the other outlets). This costs around 4,300 yen for men and 3,760 yen for women (tax and gender discrimination included) and gives you a choice of 100 dishes. An affordable alternative is a fish and rice bowl (barachirashidon) which is around 1,000 yen. You can also cobble together a meal by ordering single pieces of sushi, which start at 108 yen.
BONUS FISH: Yarou Sushi Honten in Kabukicho is also worth a mention when it comes to Shinjuku sushi. The restaurant has been serving up delectable fish dishes for over 25 years now. Open from 11am till 7am, it’s a favorite post-party snack spot among locals. They ain’t super cheap (if you go for dinner, you can expect to pay around 4,000 yen), but they are super good. You’ll also want to pop your head into this nondescript 10-yen sushi restaurant in nearby Yoyogi.
Note for those not so into fish: All of these sushi restaurants serve at least some other dishes too. Examples include miso soup, noodles and steamed savory custards (chawanmushi).
Ticked all of these Shinjuku sushi joints off the list? Tell us about it on the community forum. Looking for other places to feed your sushi addiction? Take a look at our article on the 7 Best Budget Sushi Restaurants in Tokyo.
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