June 4, 2017
The Best 10 Sushi Restaurants You Must Eat in Otaru, Hokkaido
The city of “Otaru” is located about 30 kilometers northwest of Sapporo, Hokkaido. Otaru is often called a sacred city of sushi, and there are more than 100 sushi restaurants. However, it’s difficult to decide which sushi restaurant you should go when visiting the city, isn’t it? In this article, we will introduce you the 10 best sushi restaurants we recommend in Otaru.
1. Otaru Masazushi
“Otaru Masazushi” has been open for about 80 years on the Sushiya-dori street. It’s an authentic sushi restaurant loved by locals and tourists. The restaurant serves fresh seafood of the area. You can order a la carte menus, combo meals, and sushi from single piece. The restaurant’s recommendation is “Takumi”, a combo meal includes 12 pieces of assorted sushi.
The shop is famous for fresh seasonal seafood, such as fatty tuna, spot shrimp, surf clam, and scallop. A la carte dishes include sashimi, grilled dishes, tempura, fried chicken and steak, etc.
You can have a counter seat on the first floor, and private rooms and tables are available on the second and third floor. Let’s have a counter seat and enjoy watching sushi chiefs preparing orders.
Name: Otaru Masazushi honten
Address: 1-1-1 Hanazono, Otaru-city Hokkaido
Hours: 11:00am ~ 3:00pm / 5:00pm ~ 9:30pm
Closed: Wednesday, New Years day
Map: Map to Otaru Masazushi honten
“Isezushi” is a famous sushi restaurant in Otaru and stands quietly on a off- street. The restaurant has been satisfying the stomach of picky locals since 1967. The head chief and the landlady as well as other staffs are very friendly, and you can enjoy sushi and a la carte dish at the counter and watch skillful chiefs work. There are also tables available for family and groups.
The head chief carefully selects seasonal sushi items, so the quality is guaranteed. The price range is from about 3,000 yen for a set of 10 pieces of sushi to 6,300yen for a set of 16 pieces.
You can enjoy sushi with sake recommended by the landlady who is also a master of sake. Isezushi is a well-known restaurant as they were awarded to one star in the Michelin Guide for Hokkaido, 2012 edition, so don’t forget to make a reservation!
Address: 3-15-3 Inaho, Otaru-city Hokkaido
Hours: 11:30am ~ 3:00pm / 5:00pm ~ 10:00pm
Closed: Wednesday, first Tuesday
Map: Map to Isezushi
3. Sushi Washoku Shikama
The unique building of “Sushi Washoku Shikama” stands out on the Sushiya-dori street. The restaurant belongs to the “Otaru Sushiya-dori Association” and one of famous restaurants in Otaru. There are counter seat and tables on the first floor, tables and private rooms with tatami mat on the second floor, and rooms capable to host up to thirty people on the third and fourth floor.
The restaurant serves the freshest seasonable sushi. The reasonable prices attract many people, and 8 pieces of sushi is from 1,080yen and special assorted sushi is about 5,000yen.
All the sushi is served with a special soup made from the bony parts of salmon. There are also a variety of rice bowl dishes (don), such as a rice bowl with salmon roe (ikura-don) and a rice bowl with sea urchin (uni-don).
Besides sushi, there are many a la carte dishes, such as homemade salted squid guts, tempura, fried chicken, etc. There are so many selections on the menu, so It’s best to go there when you are hungry. There are enough parking spaces, and there is no problem to go there by a rental car.
Name: Sushi Washoku Shikama honten
Address: 1-2-5 Hanazono, Otaru-city Hokkaido
Hours: 11:00am ~ 3:00pm / 5:00pm ~ 10:00pm
Map: Map to Sushi Washoku Shikama honten
4. Otaru Tatsumi Sushi
The “Sakaimachi-dori” street is the most popular tourist spot in Otaru and is filled with countless shops and restaurants, such as the Kitaichi Glass, Otaru Orgel Do Co., Ltd., a music box shop and museum, and Kitakoro and Le TAO that both are famous for confectionery.
“Otaru Tatsumi Sushi” is a perfect place to stop for good sushi while strolling the area. You can have a seat at the counter both on the first and second floor and enjoy fresh and delicious sushi while observing skillful chiefs.
Sushi is mainly prepared with seasonal seafood from the sea around Otaru. Assorted sushi is reasonably priced from 1,200. The most recommended menu is “Otaru combo meal” at 2,000yen. This meal includes 5 pieces of sushi, tempura, chawan-mushi which is a Japanese egg custard, soup and a small size rice bowl.
Other menus are kaisen-don which is a dish with assorted seafood over rice, baked and fried dishes, etc. When you are visiting the Sakaimachi-dori in Otaru, you should not only go sightseeing but also try delicious dishes at “Otaru Tatsumi Sushi”!
Name: Otaru Tatsumi Sushi
Address: 3-15 Sakai-machi, Otaru-city Hokkaido
Hours: 9:00am ~ 8:00pm
Map: Map to Otaru Tatsumi Sushi
5. Otaru Sushiden
“Otaru Sushiden” has been opened for 15 years on the famous sushi street, Sushiya-dori street. As a sushi restaurant in Otaru, the restaurant is still considered as a new shop, but “Otaru Sushiden” is always crowded with repeated customers looking for professional tastes and skills.
Besides counter seat, tables and raised tatami-floored seating areas are available. The restaurant also welcomes a single guest to a group of people. If you want to eat fresh seafood in the season, try the chief’s choice of the day.
The price varies depending on the season, but sushi including fatty tuna, scallop, turbot and red king crab is around 5,000yen. The restaurant serves short-spined sea urchin from Otaru in summer and sailfin poacher in sashimi from winter to spring.
If you are lucky, you may be able to try rare kinds of sushi, such as baby salmon from Rausu and pandalopsis coccinata (sea urchin) from Monbetsu. Don’t forget to ask for chief’s recommendation of the day when you order!
Name: Otaru Sushiden
Address: 2-3 Sakai-machi, Otaru-city Hokkaido
Hours: 9:30am ~ 9:30pm
Map: Map to Otaru Sushiden
6. Nigiri Kukizen
“Nigiri Kikuzen” is in a unique and stylish glass building that doesn’t look like a typical sushi restaurant. The restaurant was awarded to two stars in the Michelin Guide for Hokkaido, 2012 edition.
The restaurant is so popular that you must have a reservation. Unlike other sushi restaurants, the restaurant is known to use glass plates and bowls made in Otaru. Depending on sushi and a la carte dishes, each dish is all served in different glass plates that are selected to each ingredient.
Fresh and seasonal ingredients are presented beautifully. Assorted sushi of chief’s choice is 5,000yen and a combo menu of chief’s choice is from 11,000yen. “Otaru Kaisen-don (assorted seafood bowl)”, at 4,200yen, served with scallop, sea urchin, salmon roe, crab and salmon is also recommended. The local sake is available, so it’s good idea to enjoy sake and fresh seafood!
Name: Nigiri Kikuzen
Address: Vista Shinonome 1F, 2-4 Shinonome-cho, Otaru-city Hokkaido
Hours: 11:30am~, 5:30pm~
Map: Map to Nigiri Kikuzen
7. Sushidokoro Yoshi
Have you ever felt hesitant to go in to the restaurant when the restaurant appears too formal from outside? If so, “Sushidokoro Yoshi” is a good place to go. Located little farther from the Sushiya-dori street, this restaurant offers friendly neighborhood atmosphere.
Once you are inside, you will see a nice selection of natural seafood from Hokkaido selected carefully by the chief. Depending on the stock, tuna from Ooma-machi, Aomori, is available.
The seasonal seafood by chief’s choice is from 4,500yen. The most popular dish is “tokujo kaisen-don”, a special assorted seafood bowl, and a special sea urchin from Otaru is served in summer. There are also unique menus, such as homemade whale bacon and sun-dried idiot fish from Rausu. This is a well-known restaurant that everything is managed and prepared by the owner chief alone.
Name: Sushidokoro Yoshi
Address:1-10-9 Ironai, Otaru-city Hokkaido
Hours: 11:00am ~ 10:00pm (until 9:00pm from October to March)
Map: Map to Sushidokoro Yoshi
8. Otaru Take no Sushi
Located in the tourist area of the sakaimachi-dori street, “Otaru Take no Sushi” is popular among tourists for the casual atmosphere. The shop is more like a family friendly restaurant rather than a formal sushi restaurant.
There are counter seat and tables on the first floor and tables are available on the second floor. You can savor delicious fresh sushi in a friendly relaxed atmosphere. The restaurant serves meals under the concept of “food should be enjoyable”.
The restaurant features mainly seafood from the nearby sea. The fresh seafood goes well with rice made in Hokkaido. A combo meal is from 1,188yen, and the chief’s choice is 4,320yen. “Ainori-don” which is a rice bowl with sea urchin, salmon roe, tuna and salmon at 2,160yen is also recommended.
The restaurant offers a good selection of sake from Hokkaido and other areas of Japan. A la carte menus like grilled dishes and tempura are also available. Try sake with their fresh and delicious sushi and dishes.
Name: Otaru Take no Sushi
Address:2-22 Sakai-machi, Otaru-city Hokkaido
Hours: 11:00am ~ 4:00pm / 5:00om ~ 9:00pm (close when out of stock)
Map: Map to Otaru Take no Sushi
“Nishizuka” is not located in the center of Otaru, but this restaurant is known to those in the know. The restaurant won the first place at the Japanese Culinary Art Competition in February 2012. You can savor dishes prepared with their skillful culinary techniques. The restaurant features “sushi and seasonal dishes of Otaru”. You can enjoy not only the taste but also the art of Japanese cuisine.
“Nishizuka” uses seasonal fresh ingredients and serves sushi, sashimi, fried and grilled dishes. The restaurant is known for locals as a place to enjoy fish in the season. For example, eel for summer and blowfish in winter, etc.
The recommendation is a combo meal called “kayuzen”, reasonably priced at 2,900yen. It comes with sushi, rolls, tempura, steamed egg custard and soup, and you can order this menu without making reservations in advance. When you are visiting the Old Aoyama Villa or the Otaru Aquarium, why don’t you make a stop here and enjoy award wining dishes?
Address: 4-9-14 Takashima, Otaru-city Hokkaido
Hours: 11:30am ~ 9:00pm
Map: Map to Nishizuka
10. Otaru Yamatoya
“Otaru Yamatoya” belongs to the “Otaru Sushiya-dori Association” that was established to promote Otaru as a town of sushi to all over Japan. Founded in 1937, “Otaru Yamatoya” has 80 years of history as a sushi restaurant.
This restaurant is a traditional sushi restaurant while unique sushi restaurants are increasing nowadays. The restaurant features carefully selected fish, thorough works and techniques, and reasonable prices. You can always enjoy the best sushi of the day with delicious rice.
“Tencho no osusume sushi” which means the owner’s recommendation is only 2,000yen. “Omakase nigiri”, chief’s choice of assorted sushi, is also reasonable at 4,200yen. During lunch time from 11am to 2pm, the restaurant serves sushi, chirashi which is scattered sushi, and tempura combo meal for less than 1,000yen.
Conveniently located near JR Otaru station, the parking space is also available. You can casually go to the restaurant when you are staying a hotel nearby or visiting the area.
Name: Otaru Yamatoya honten
Address: 3-4-11 Inaho, Otaru-city Hokkaido
Hours: 11:o0am ~ 9:00pm
Map: Map to Otaru Yamatoya honten
Let’s Enjoy Delicious Sushi in Otaru!
Otaru is where you can enjoy the freshest seafood in the season regardless of the season throughout the year. It’s rare to find a city where you find so many sushi restaurants in one place. There are so many choices in Otaru, and that makes you want to visit more than one sushi restaurant. Why don’t you stay little longer and visit many different sushi restaurants? Let’s find your favorite sushi restaurant in Otaru! Enjoy your stay!