The best Tokyo sushi restaurants can be very expensive, typically charging between ¥20,000 and ¥35,000 per person for a full omakase experience. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t find incredible sushi in Tokyo at more reasonable prices. You don’t have to settle for kaiten-zushi (conveyor belt sushi) shops or large chains, even if you’re on a tight budget. Below is a list (in no particular order) of ten Tokyo sushi restaurants that offer lunch deals for around ¥5,000 or less. These cheaper offerings are typically comprised of “nigiri-only” sets (no expensive otsumami, or appetizers, are offered) and won’t feature the priciest ingredients like o-toro (tuna belly) or uni (sea urchin), but you’ll be able to indulge in great sushi without breaking the bank.
1. Sushi Ryusuke
My recent experience at Ginza’s Sushi Ryusuke surpassed my expectations in every way. To sum it up: incredibly delicious, somewhat unorthodox sushi priced very reasonably and served by a friendly chef. Ryusuke alternates between akasu shari (sushi rice seasoned with red sake lees vinegar) and gomesu shari(sushi rice seasoned with rice vinegar) depending on the neta (sushi topping) served. He is known for occasionally using non-traditional ingredients and also for offering unexpected dishes. A 10-piece nigiri set is offered at lunch for only ¥5,000. Reservations are required.
Lunch: 12pm. Tel: 03-3572-1530. B1 Kanai Building, 7-3-13 Ginza, Chuo-ku.
2. Bentenyama Miyako Sushi
Located in the no-frills, blue-collar neighborhood of Asakusa, Bentenyama Miyako serves up delicious, traditional Edomae sushi. Fifth generation master chef Tadashi Uchida has an encyclopedic knowledge of sushi and is a pleasure to chat with, making this shop a must-visit for anyone interested in trying classic Edomae sushi. Nigiri sets start at only ¥2,200. Reservations are not required but they are recommended to avoid disappointment.
Lunch: 11:30am – 2:30pm. Tel: 03-3844-0034. 2-1-16 Asakusa, Taito-ku
3. Ginza Iwa
If I had to describe chef Hisayoshi Iwa’s sushi in one word, it would be “balanced” — seasonal ingredients prepared skillfully, paired with delicious sushi rice to form a whole that is tasty, refreshing and addictive. Iwa’s cheapest lunch set will set you back merely ¥5,000, for ten mouthwatering pieces. Reservations are required; I would recommend booking two or three weeks ahead.
Lunch: 12pm – 2pm. Tel: 03-3572-0955. 1F Miura Bldg., 8-4-4 Ginza, Chuo-ku.
Kyubey offers a foreigner-friendly atmosphere, making it my top recommendation for those looking for their first high-end sushi experience. The chefs are highly skilled (many top sushi chefs apprenticed here at some point), the food is very good, and the service impeccable. Nigiri lunch sets start at ¥4,000. Walk-ins are allowed at this Ginza institution, but I would recommend calling a few days ahead to reserve.
Lunch: 11:30am – 2pm. Tel: 03-3571-6523. 8-7-6 Ginza, Chuo-ku.
5. Sushi Taichi
Chef Taichi Ishikawa has been operating this L-shaped, nine seat counter in Ginza since 2008, and has gained a very loyal local following. His sushi is fairly classic in style: pieces are on the larger side, rice is seasoned with akazu and sea salt, and neta is of excellent quality, with an emphasis on seasonality. This shop is without a doubt one of my very favorites in Tokyo. The basic lunch set is priced at ¥5,000 + tax, and reservations are necessary.
Weekday Lunch: 11:30am – 2pm; Saturday Lunch: 11:30am – 2:30pm. Tel: 03-3573-7222. 2F Asagi Bldg., 6-4-13 Ginza, Chuo-ku
6. Sushi Keita
Sushi Keita opened in September of 2017 and is located in Tsukiji, not far from the famed market. Keita apprenticed at Sushi Taichi so his sushi is reminiscent of Taichi’s style: medium-sized pieces with an emphasis on seasonal items and shari seasoned with akazu and salt. Keita’s rice, paired with excellent quality neta, has a good sourness to it and a lot of presence. Some pieces (like the fantastic kohada — gizzard shad) are right up there with the best I’ve ever had. The base lunch course is priced at only ¥5,000. Reservations should be secured a few weeks in advance.
Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday Lunch: 11:30am – 1:30pm. Tel: 03-6264-2234. 6-6-4 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku.
7. Yoshino Sushi Honten
An old-school shop with a vibe that is distinctively working class, this is not a fancy Ginza sushi-ya but rather a neighborhood joint. The cheapest nigiri set consists of eight pieces of nigiri and one hosomaki (sushi roll) for a very affordable ¥2,200. I am amazed by the high level of quality Yoshino is able to deliver at such low prices. The food is much better than most other sushi options at that price point, including chains like Sushi Zanmai or Umegaoka Sushi No Midori. Anyone looking for affordable, great tasting sushi should put lunch at Yoshino Sushi Honten high on their list. Walk-ins are fine at lunch.
Weekday Lunch: 11am – 1:45pm; Saturday Lunch: 11am – 2pm. Tel: 03-3274-3001. 3-8-11 Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku.
Another traditional shop in an old Edo neighborhood, this time we have Kizushi in Ningyocho. Sadly, third generation sushi chef Ryuichi Yui recently passed away, but his sons continue to strictly adhere to Edomae-style preparation techniques. The rice here is really good: seasoned with komezu, a little salty and fairly sour. A ten-piece nigiri set is available at lunch for a mere ¥3,000 — fantastic value. Walk-ins might be okay at lunch, but I personally wouldn’t risk it and would recommend calling to reserve a few days ahead.
Weekdays and Saturday Lunch: 11:45am – 2:30pm. Tel: 03-3666-1682. 2-7-13 Nihonbashi Ningyocho, Chuo-ku.
9. Sushi Tokami
If you love tuna, Sushi Tokami is the place for you. Partially owned by a famous Tsukiji tuna wholesaler, this Ginza shop is known for offering some of the very best hon-maguro available. Those on a budget should order the ten-piece lunch set for ¥5,000 — it features some of that amazing tuna. Reservations are required and should be made a month in advance.
Lunch: 12pm – 2:30pm. Tel: 03-3571-6005. B1F Ginza Seiwa Silver Building, 8-2-10 Ginza, Chuo-ku.
10. Sushi Ichijo
This fairly new shop in Higashi-Nihonbashi is not well-known to foreign sushi enthusiasts, but I have a feeling this might change as the sushi served here is truly excellent. I enjoyed absolutely everything that was put in front of me, but particularly loved Ichijo’s shellfish preparations, especially the akagai (red clam) and kobashira (clam muscle). A nigiri lunch set can be found at this wonderful shop for under ¥5,000.
Lunch: 12pm – 2pm. Tel: 03-6661-1335. 1F Okuda Bldg., 3-1-3 Higashi-Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku.