- A Place to learn and a place to eat
- The price is right
- Reservation required
- Rules and tips to make the most of your meal
- Not your typical sushi shop
A Place to learn and a place to eat
Owned and operated by the Tokyo Sushi Academy, an institution that trains aspiring sushi chefs from all over the world, the Kagurazaka Sushi Academy restaurant is a place for students to practice their trade while delighted customers eagerly reward their taste buds. Considering the reasonable pricing, fresh fish from the Toyosu (formerly Tsukiji) fish market, and professional customer service, this is definitely a win-win arrangement.
The price is right
Depending on the time you prefer to dine, the pricing of your meal may vary. Other factors that influence your bill include gender and age. Pricing and dining options were updated in March 2019, and you can find all the details on the official website. The basics are as follows:
- ・All-you-can-eat sushi and buffet (two hours): This following pricing applies to dinner on weekdays and lunch and dinner on weekends.
- – Men: 3,780 yen
- – Women: 3,380 yen
- ・Weekday all-you-can-eat sushi and buffet lunch (90 minutes)
- – Men: 3,480 yen
- – Women: 2,980 yen
Elementary school students can dine anytime for 2,000 yen, and children younger than that get an even better deal at 1,000 yen. Children under three years old can eat for free.
Note that prices do not include tax and you’ll need to make your final orders 30 minutes before the end of your dining period.
With the particulars out of the way, let’s cover what it takes to partake in this feast of fish. Making a reservation is a must, and do make sure to arrive on time. The Kagurazaka Sushi Academy runs more smoothly than an eel’s skin and customers are seated in waves, strictly based on the blocks of time they reserved.
You might have heard that reservations are difficult to come by. However, by picking the earliest possible time slot (11:30 a.m.), I was able to get a spot a mere two days in advance. If you don’t read Japanese, perhaps the most difficult part of the reservation process is making your way through the website to book your table.
You can start by clicking here, but at the time of this writing, the vast majority of the page is in Japanese (even when the English option is selected). Don’t let this deter you, though. Once you hit the “book now” button, the rest of the process should be straightforward (and in English). Alternatively, you could try making a reservation via Google Maps.
Rules and tips to make the most of your meal
Now that you’ve made your reservation, you can kick back and daydream about all of the sumptuous seafood that awaits. That being said, it’s a good idea to keep some important rules in mind. Even though the Kagurazaka Sushi Academy usually has bilingual staff available, knowing what to expect, and what is expected of you, is a great way to minimize any chance of miscommunication and maximize your sushi-savoring experience. Keep the following in mind:
- The sushi you order will be brought to your table, however side dishes, drinks, and desserts are self-serve from the buffet.
- You can order up to 10 items at a time. You can order more only after those items arrive.
- Don’t let your eyes get bigger than your stomach. If you order more than you can eat, you’ll have to pay extra.
Additionally, here are a few tips based on my experience:
- Be on the lookout for exclusive limited-time menu items. Since the sushi is fresh, the menu varies depending on the season.
- Keep an eye on the buffet which includes miso soup, tamagoyaki (Japanese omelet), salad, and much more. As time goes by, the chefs will put out new side dishes.
- Make a mad dash for the buffet desserts! Once the restaurant fills up, they disappear quickly.
- If your schedule allows, I recommend the weekday lunch plan. This will offer the best value for most diners. Ninety minutes of all-you-can eat sushi was more than enough for me!
Not your typical sushi shop
So, there you have it—everything you need to know in order to enjoy an amazing sushi meal in the quaint district of Kagurazaka. Dining at the Kagurazaka Sushi Academy might not be as simple as dropping into a local conveyor-belt sushi shop, but a little effort goes a long way in creating a memorable dining experience.