Seeking Nagoya’s Sushi

ByBert Wishart
Mar 15, 2023

Seeking Nagoya’s Sushi

Think ‘Japanese food,’ and your mind automatically goes to sushi, right? It is the food that typifies the nation and is the first thing most people want to eat when they come to Japan. Nagoya isn’t known for sushi, but having the second-largest fish market in Japan, it should come as no surprise that there are still some fantastic places to try.

Below are some of my favorites.

Sushi Zanmai

Okay, it seems like a bit of a cop-out to wax lyrical about Nagoya’s sushi scene and then begin our list with a branch of a Tokyo chain, but there is a reason why Sushi Zanmai has become the capital’s number one choice.

With its links to the Tsukiji fish market – the chain is owned by Kiyoshi Kimura, the ‘Tuna King’ famed for bidding big on high-quality tuna at the fish auctions  – the fish on offer is some of the best around. It’s also very reasonable, with individual pieces from as little as 105 JPY or an assortment tray from 745 JPY, and is open until 5 am.

  • Where: Naka Ward, Nishiki, 3 Chome−18−12 MINEX881F (map)

Sushi Shunbi Nishikawa

Sushi is a bit of a serious business, with sushi chefs generally held in very high regard, and as such, it can be a bit of a daunting and somber affair. Sushi Shunbi Nishikawa looks to buck this trend, emphasizing fun and enjoyable dining.

Not that this takes priority over quality, as the two Michelin stars Sushi Shunbi Nishikawa holds can attest. This award is thanks to its daily sourcing of top-quality ingredients from the nearby Yanagibashi fish market and its use of citrus fruit in the vinegared rice that gives it an additional tang. For this experience, however, do expect to pay a bit extra, and as of March 2023, lunch ‘omakase’ [chef’s selection] had risen to 16,500 JPY, with dinner at 22,500 JPY.


If that seemed a bit pricey, Furari is slightly nicer to the bank balance. Furari is another chain, but this time it is based in Nagoya. Of the numerous Furari shops around town, my favorite is the Fushimi branch and its English menus. However, I may have changed allegiances after repeated trips at my mother-in-law’s insistence to the Meieki branch.

Everything I have had at Furari has been top-notch, but perhaps the best thing about Furari is their 90 minutes all-you-can-eat sushi bar for 3,580 JPY for males and 3,280 JPY for females, which is pretty unbeatable for the price.

  • Where: Nakamura-ku, Meieki, 4 Chome−24−8 Ichigo Nagoya Building (map)


Not to be confused with Sushiro (more about which coming up), Sushiho in Marunouchi is a counter-only restaurant that sits nine, giving it a cozy and warm atmosphere, though a sense of exclusivity. The owner is well known at Yanagibashi Market, where he chooses the best and freshest seasonal ingredients and locally-sourced “Aichi Kaori” rice.

This quality taste of the seasons comes at a price, with the chef’s ‘omakase’ course coming in at 33,000 JPY, though a lunch ‘omakase’ course is a little more affordable at 22,000 JPY.

  • Where: Nagoya, Naka Ward, Marunouchi, 2 Chome−19−19, Marunouchi Hills, 3F (map)
  • Website:


Nationwide chain Sushiro is Japan’s number one ‘kaitenzushi’ [conveyer belt sushi] chain and is precisely what comes to mind when you think about sushi. There are over 100 dishes to choose from, and you don’t even have to order. You pick up whatever looks good as the sushi passes on a little conveyer belt.

Furthermore, many of their dishes are just 150 JPY, meaning you can eat until your heart is content, and it still comes nowhere near the price of the Sushiho mentioned above. But perhaps don’t go as wild as Chris Broad in the above video. That’s just too much…

Kitaro Yanagibashi

When it comes to the freshness of the fish, Kitaro Yanagibashi takes some beating. Located in the Yanagibashi fish market, this sushi-ya is a branch of Tokyo’s Tsukiji Tamazushi. It is considered one of the city’s best places for its quality-to-cost ratio.

While you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, perhaps the number one recommendation at Kitaro Yanagibashi is their ‘kaisendon,’ a sashimi-topped rice bowl that is a steal at 1,500 JPY.


I was unsure whether or not to include Senju on this list. Not due to quality, you understand, but if my wife finds out, she’s gonna kill me; this is our secret place, you see.

With an extremely friendly atmosphere, Senju is very relaxed and always bustling with families and friends, but the food is top quality. You can sit at the counter and watch the chef prepare the food, at a table, or reserve an entire room with your friends for a party. It’s an anything-goes kind of place, and on weekends it’s just 180 JPY a piece, which is a real bargain. But if you see my wife and I there, don’t tell her that I told you about it!

Nigiri no Tokube

At ‘Kaiten zushi,’ where the chefs place sushi on a conveyer belt, and you pick up what you fancy as it comes by, is a large part of the sushi experience. There are many cheap family restaurants in Nagoya of this nature (Sushiro and Kappa Sushi are perhaps the best known). If you want a similar experience with perhaps better quality, Nigiri no Tokube in Sakae’s Oasis 21 is a good place to start.

There is a wide array of sushi to choose from, with both classic dishes and modern interpretations – such as the broiled prawn with torched mayo on top – available to discover a variety of new taste experiences.

  • Where: Oasis 21, 1 Chome-11-1 Higashisakura, Higashi Ward (map)

If you want to know more about sushi, check out our Beginners’ Guide to Sushi.

Image: “sushi” by kana hata (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Image: By Bert Wishart

About the author

Bert Wishart editor

Novelist, copywriter and graduate from the most prestigious university in Sunderland, Bert whiles away his precious time on this Earth by writing about popular culture, travel, food and pretty much anything else that is likely to win him the Pulitzer he desperately craves.

Leave a Reply