Shinjuku is one of Tokyo's representative bustling districts, alongside Shibuya and Ikebukuro, attracting a vast number of people regardless of nationality. At its center, Shinjuku Station holds the world record for the highest average daily passenger traffic, with 3.59 million passengers recorded in a single day in 2015, earning it a place in the Guinness World Records.

People flock to this area for various reasons, as it serves multiple purposes - from being a political center to a shopping district and an entertainment hub. Within a compact area, you'll find diverse spots catering to a wide range of needs, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, department stores, electronics retailers, fashion buildings, and the Kabukicho district.

Where there are many people, the demand for restaurants naturally increases. To meet this significant demand, Shinjuku is lined with numerous eateries.

While Shinjuku boasts many famous restaurants, this article will focus on introducing popular sushi establishments in the area.

The State of Sushi in Japan

When people think of sushi, many imagine "nigiri-zushi" - hand-pressed rice topped with raw fish. However, there are many other types of sushi. For example, there's "maki-zushi" (cylindrical rolled sushi), "oshi-zushi" (pressed sushi made in a square box), and "chirashi-zushi" (sushi rice topped with fish, vegetables, and egg) - the list goes on and on.

Interestingly, sushi was initially sold at street stalls. When these stalls were banned for hygiene reasons, the tradition was nearly lost. However, it has made a remarkable comeback, now considered a representative of Japanese cuisine. The catalyst for this revival was the introduction of conveyor belt sushi.

At conveyor belt sushi restaurants, sushi is transported around the restaurant on a belt, allowing customers to freely pick what they like. This innovation made sushi more accessible to the general public, leading to its resurgence. I remember my parents often taking me to these restaurants as a small reward after sports days or exams during my childhood.

Recommended Sushi Restaurants

Sushi Maru

Sushimaru
source:Tabelog

Sushi Maru's appeal lies in its extensive menu featuring over 130 types of sushi. You're sure to find your favorite sushi to match your mood of the day.

My personal favorite is "Kan-saba" (horse mackerel). Kan-saba is caught only in limited southern sea areas, with strict regulations on fishing and preservation methods to maintain the fish's quality. This labor-intensive process results in a firm, flavorful fish with concentrated umami.

Despite the wide variety of fish offered, Sushi Maru maintains a strong commitment to quality, sourcing directly from producers for each fish. This ensures you can always enjoy thick, rich fish.

Another attraction of this restaurant is its counter seats. Watching sushi being prepared right before your eyes and eating it fresh is an unforgettable experience. Counter seats are popular and fill up quickly, so it's recommended to visit early.

<Basic Information>
- Address: 3-31-6 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
- Phone: 03-3356-7077
- Hours: Mon-Sat 11:30 - 23:30 (L.O. 23:00)
    Sun & Holidays 11:30 - 22:00 (L.O. 21:30)
- Closed: December 31, January 1 (December 30 closes when sold out)
- Official Website: https://sushimaru.jp/

Sushi Iwase

Sushi Iwase
source:Tabelog

Sushi Iwase is known for its course meals that alternate between appetizers and sushi. Many of the appetizers, like the sushi, are made from seafood. This makes it highly recommended for those who want to enjoy seafood dishes beyond just sushi when visiting. My personal recommendation for an appetizer is the seared firefly squid.

The appetizers here tend to have strong flavors that pair well with alcohol. So, if you want to enjoy a good drink with your meal, this place is perfect. If you ask for the "omakase" (chef's choice) for drinks, they'll serve you something that matches the food and your mood. It's recommended for both first-time sake drinkers and those looking to explore new favorite drinks.

I personally expanded my knowledge of alcohol at this restaurant and learned to drink more sophisticatedly, considering the pairing with food.

<Basic Information>
- Address: 3-4-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
- Phone: 050-5486-9676
- Hours: Tue-Sun, day before holidays, holidays 15:00-21:30
- Closed: Mondays, 1st Sunday of the month
- Official Website: https://sushiiwase.gorp.jp/

Shinjuku Makoto

Makoto
source:Tabelog

At Shinjuku Makoto, you can enjoy dishes that are both visually appealing and delicious. The charm of their sushi lies in the skilled knife work, resulting in beautifully even cross-sections and elegant cuts, as well as the attractive presentation. These elements combine to make the sushi appear almost luminous. When presented with their sushi, you'll likely feel torn between wanting to eat it immediately and feeling it's too beautiful to eat.

Of course, the taste is also superb. The calculated knife work contributes not only to the appearance but also to how the sushi's umami spreads in your mouth. The sushi rice, made with an original vinegar blend, not only enhances the fish's flavor but is delicious enough to eat on its own.

Takeout is also recommended at Shinjuku Makoto. The sushi packed tightly in elegant takeout boxes is a feast for the eyes alone. Being able to enjoy top-quality sushi at your preferred location, be it a hotel or park, may be truly a great experience.

<Basic Information>
- Address: Shinjuku Island Annex 103, 6-2-3 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
- Phone: 0363045266
- Hours: Thu-Sun 17:00-22:00 (L.O. 20:30)
Takeout: Thu-Sun 16:00-22:00 (L.O. 20:00)
- Closed: Mon-Wed
- Official Website: https://shinjuku-makoto.myshopify.com/

Ginza Kyubey

Kyubei
source:Tabelog

Kyubey is one of Japan's representative high-end sushi restaurants, often used for entertaining politicians and other VIPs. When international dignitaries visit Japan, including former U.S. President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, they have enjoyed Japanese culture at this restaurant.

As befitting a high-end establishment, every menu item maximizes the quality of its ingredients. Among these, my highest recommendation is the "seared toro" (fatty tuna). The well-marbled toro is so soft it almost falls apart, melting in your mouth before you even start chewing. Even after it's gone, the rich aftertaste of toro lingers in your mouth, leaving you with a sense of contentment.

This luxurious restaurant is perfect for special occasions. Why not make your special day in Shinjuku even more memorable with sushi from Kyubey?

<Basic Information>
Ginza Main Store
- Address: 8-7-6 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061
- Phone: 03-3571-6523
- Hours: 11:30-14:00, 17:00-22:00
- Closed: Sundays, Mondays, Obon (August holidays), New Year holidays
- Official Website: http://www.kyubey.jp/sp_shoplist_keiou

Recommended Conveyor Belt Sushi Restaurants

Numazuko Shinjuku Main Store

Numazuko
source:Tabelog

"Numazuko" is a conveyor belt sushi restaurant in Shinjuku. As mentioned at the beginning of the article, you can pick and eat sushi as it comes around on the conveyor belt.

The sushi at this restaurant is characterized by its exceptionally large toppings (the fish part of the sushi). For nigiri sushi, the rice underneath is barely visible, and the gunkan (oval cylindrical sushi) is piled high with ingredients almost to the point of overflowing. As a result, all the sushi flowing by on the conveyor belt looks so delicious that it's hard to choose.

You can also order directly from the staff, so don't hesitate to ask if you can't find your favorite sushi on the belt.

My personal recommendation when visiting this restaurant is the "Mt. Fuji-style sea urchin." Even in this restaurant known for its generous portions, this dish stands out with its mountain of sea urchin. This sushi, which fills your entire mouth with sea urchin, is an ultimate delicacy for sea urchin lovers.

<Basic Information>
- Address: 3-34-16 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
- Phone: 03-5361-8228
- Hours: 11:30 - 22:30 (L.O. 22:00)
- Closed: Irregular

Rotating Sushi Restaurant HiBaRi

Hibari
source:Tabelog

At Rotating Sushi Restaurant HiBaRi, you can enjoy authentic sushi at reasonable prices starting from 130 yen per plate. The restaurant's atmosphere is bright and always lively, making it perfect for those who want to dine in a fun environment.

You might worry about not knowing the prices of sushi coming around on the conveyor belt, but at this restaurant, prices are differentiated by plate patterns. Look for the sign in the store that shows which plate pattern corresponds to which price.

In addition to standard menu items like salmon, toro, and shrimp, this restaurant also offers a variety of unique sushi options like duck and herring roe. Be sure to try different types.

My personal recommendation is the marinated tuna. The tuna, infused with soy sauce flavor, pairs well with the vinegared rice.

<Basic Information>
- Address: Hotel Listo 1F, 2-36-1 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
- Phone: 03-3209-5656
- Hours: Mon-Sat 12:00 - 08:00
    Sun 12:00 - 21:00
- Closed: None

Himawari Sushi

Himawari
source:Official facebook

At Himawari Sushi, you can enjoy delicious fish at affordable prices. Despite the reasonable price range, the taste is excellent, offering great value for money. The fish is fresh and well-marbled, and the rice is hand-pressed by people rather than machines, ensuring high-quality sushi.

The chawanmushi (steamed egg custard), a staple of Japanese conveyor belt sushi restaurants, is also very delicious. This traditional Japanese dish made with steamed eggs has a rich dashi flavor that pairs perfectly with sushi. I always order it.

Although it's a conveyor belt sushi restaurant, you can also enjoy seafood bowls during lunchtime. You can choose from five types of seafood bowls, which come with miso soup and salad for just 600 yen, offering an affordable way to enjoy Japanese cuisine. Even during lunch hours, sushi continues to circulate on the belt, so if you're still hungry, it's recommended to add a few extra pieces.

<Basic Information>
- Address: 1-15-3 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
- Phone: 03-3344-3576
- Hours: Mon, Wed-Sun 11:00 - 15:00, 17:00 - 22:00
- Closed: Tuesdays
- Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Himawari.Sushi.ShinToshinTen/

From high-end establishments to affordable conveyor belt options, Shinjuku in 2024 promises to satisfy all sushi cravings. Don't miss the chance to explore these fantastic sushi spots during your visit to Tokyo!