SUSHI HANABUSA: TRADITIONAL EDO STYLE SUSHI


Hokuto Aizawa restaurant

Authentic Sushi Experience and Proper Etiquette.

It has been a long time since "Sushi" became famous all over the world, but traditional etiquette at Sushi restaurants comes from a long history of Sushi. The etiquette at Sushi restaurants is not as well known as the taste of Sushi itself, because it is not something you can learn from a book, you must learn this from someone who brings you to a Sushi restaurant.

The etiquette and mannerisms are one of the reasons why people in Edo/Tokyo have always dreamed about Sushi restaurants - it’s where you can meet people that you look up to. Moreover, going to a Sushi restaurant is a symbol of independence as a man.

Chef Hideki Nakajima trained for 23 years at Yanagibashi Miyako Sushi which has over 200 years of history, making it one of the oldest Sushi restaurants in the world. After spending 23 years at Miyako Sushi, he opened his own restaurant Hanabusa in Akasaka Tokyo in 2015.

This cozy restaurant has only 8 seats at the counter, and accepts only a small number of customers every evening to maintain a high quality of service.

We have collaborated with Hanabusa to customize a special tasting menu which includes one soup, six Edomae style Nigiri Sushi - which is a bit bigger than normal Sushi - and one Maki Sushi for 10000 JPY (including tax) for enjoyment from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM.

Please read "Kokoroe Manner Guide" before coming to the restaurant, as this manner guide was made with Chef Hideki. He believes this is how best to enjoy Edo style sushi restaurants.

If you have any questions during or after dinner, please post your question on our website, so we can answer with Chef Hideki.

Having a conversation with the chef is how people in Japan enjoy Sushi restaurants, learning and becoming a better man during the conversation with the chef. We want foreigners to feel the same way as Japanese people do even if you speak a different language, so we hope this helps you to understand more about Sushi and etiquette.

We accept reservations from pairs only but may also accept an individual reservation if there are other guests at the same time. Please inquire when booking. Also, we welcome reservations from chefs, cooks or hospitality industry staff who want to know and learn about Edo style Sushi. Please feel free to contact Hitohira if you would like a custom order.

Kokoroe Manner Guide

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Kokoroe Manner Guide

Reservation

Generally, reservations for Sushi restaurants are made over the phone, this is also your opportunity to tell the restaurant if you have any dietary restrictions.
For this special collaboration, Hitohira can take your reservation in English or Japanese. Please let us know your name, preferred date and arrival time, number of people in your party and any questions or special requests. Hitohira will inform the Chef.

Changing and Cancelling

The most important aspect of making Sushi is the freshness of ingredients. Chef Hideki could try to accommodate walk-in guests but generally only prepares food for expected reservations so as not to waste any dairy ingredients. If he were to purchase more ingredients in anticipation of walk-in customers, he would need to raise the price of the menu to balance any wastage.
This is the main reason why you absolutely cannot cancel your reservation at a Sushi restaurant on the same day or even the day before as the Chef has already purchased and begun preparing the freshest ingredients already.
Recently, this has become an issue at Japanese Sushi restaurants. Japanese people understand this as a part of their culture, but many foreigners do not realize the consequences of their cancellation and restaurants have a hard time explaining the hardship to foreign customers. We hope this will be a good opportunity to teach people why you cannot cancel a reservation at a sushi restaurant at the last minute.
Please let us know at least a week before if you need to change or cancel your reservation. (We charge full amount as a deposit, this will be refunded if you cancel 7 days before the reservation or visited Hanabusa.*)

*Please understand that it may take 2-3 weeks to refund through credit card company. 

Grooming

Because Sushi was a type of fast food during the Edo period, there is no dress code. Even if you are going to a high-end sushi restaurant, it is not comparable to a high-end French restaurant. You can come to the restaurant casually using your best judgment. It is respectful to avoid wearing damaged denim, shorts, or anything too revealing.
Also, Sushi restaurants have a unique atmosphere mostly because of mixing the smell of wood, vinegar, and fresh fish. Please don't wear any perfume or cologne because it might affect the mood of the restaurant.

Chef Hideki understands that this is a difficult problem because it may be a part of your culture, but please respect the restaurant mood experience for other customers.

Arrival Time

Please try to arrive neither early nor late for your reservation. Chef will prepare your food to be the best consumed at your reservation time. Call ahead to the restaurant directly at 03-3478-1010 should you be running late. Chef can understand simple English phrases.

Entrance

Check the Noren shop curtain at the entrance. For a Japanese restaurant, this is the sign of business hours; if you do not see a curtain, it might not be open yet even if you see light in the restaurant.
Back in the Edo period, people used to dry their hands on that curtain after eating sushi. So if you saw a dirty curtain, people believed it to be a popular Sushi restaurant. Nobody dries their hand with the curtain these days, but you can learn a little bit of history behind the curtain.

Omakase

Many restaurants change their menu each season, but Sushi restaurants typically change their menu every day because of the seasonality of fish and various fresh hauls of the day. The order of Nigiri is decided by Chef so as you do not become bored with the flavours. You are welcome to let Chef know any foods that you prefer not to eat, and then allow Chef to decide ingredients through his judgment. Please leave a not on the cart page if you have any request for food.

- Tip on how to enjoy Sushi -

Sushi restaurants don’t stock all types of fish at a restaurant, they only stock and serve fish that Chef believes to be of good quality for that day. Sushi lovers can go to the same restaurant every day, and if one day, you get a phone call from Chef because he found the fish that you like, then Chef truly thinks you are one of his most important loyal customers.
Hanabusa usually keeps 1 or 2 seats empty for these loyal customers, so that whenever they come, they will always have space to eat.

Courses

Hitohira for 10000 JPY

Accepted from pairs (2 guests) only
Hitohira designed a special menu with Hanabusa which is six pieces of classic Nigiri (which is a bit bigger than Nigiri these days), one Maki, and soup.
This menu will only be available from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM. If you stay past 6:30 PM, it is expected that you continue to order Sushi from the regular menu.
Originally, Edo style Sushi served 4 pieces of Nigiri per person, but it has since followed the changing needs of people and the flow of the times to include more pieces that are of a smaller size. With this menu, the Chef will serve slightly bigger sushi than what is typically served now, so you can get a sense of classic Edo style sushi.
The Akasaka/Roppongi area where Hanabusa is located boasts a variety of restaurants and bars. It is a famous area for nightlife, please try a few and enjoy the rest of your evening after Hanabusa.

Omakase Sushi from 14000 JPY

This is basic Sushi course at Hanabusa, there is 10 - 12 Nigiri Sushi with soup and Maki Sushi depends on ingredients they have come with the normal modern size of Nigiri.

Omakase Course from 21500 JPY

If you want to stay for a longer period of time, please order this, these include appetizers with Omakase Sushi course and are designed for drinking and staying longer.

How to eat Sushi

Please warm your stomach up with soup first.
Originally, Sushi was a type of fast food. People generally believe it is better to eat quickly than to stay on the seat for a long time to chat. Sometimes, Chef makes the food really fast because it was how Sushi used to be, but please feel free to ask him to slow down if you need.

If you need more, you can order Sushi one by one for 800 - 1300 JPY for each depends on ingredients. 

- Hand or chopstick -

Although it is not rude to eat with chopsticks, Chef believes that because Sushi is made by hand, it is better to eat with your hands too. Also, Hanabusa's sushi is really soft and designed to melt in your mouth, making it a bit difficult to eat with chopsticks.
The best timing to eat Sushi is right after Chef prepares it and places it in front of you, so please eat right away.

Drink

Generally, people drink alcohol that has clear taste such as beer or Sake.
With this menu, we prefer beer (1080 JPY/grass) or Taru Sake (1620 JPY / 180ml), but please ask Chef if you have any requests.

Payment

We will only be accepting cash payments for Hitohira course, so please don't forget to bring cash. (You can pay with credit card for other courses)

Photography

The appropriateness of taking photographs at a Sushi restaurant differs depending on the restaurant. Hanabusa allows photography only if it does not bother another customer, please ask Chef before taking a photo.

Questions

Afterwards, you may have some questions. Of course, you can ask Chef directly at the restaurant, but if there is anything that you can not ask him because of a language barrier, you can post your question on our website, and we will answer with Chef Hideki.

Ask questions from here (Please leave your question with reviewing on it)

 

Nigiri Sushi was originally made in Edo, so all Sushi restaurants used to make Edo style sushi. After Edo became Tokyo and time has passed, there are now many different styles of Sushi restaurants. Sushi has become so popular but there are only a few people who know how to make true Edo style Sushi nowadays. We want you to know true Edo style Sushi etiquette and taste with Chef Hideki. Please, enjoy.

Restaurant

Hanabusa
akasaka-hanabusa.jp
Akasaka Residential Hotel 1F, 9-1-7, Akasaka, Minato-Ku, Tokyo, 107-0052, Japan
TEL: 03-3478-1010
Weekday and Holidays 17:00~22:00
Sunday 12:00~14:00 17:00~22:00
Closed on Saturday

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Courses

Hitohira

Accepted from pairs (2 guests) only.
This menu will only be available from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM. If you stay past 6:30 PM, it is expected that you continue to order Sushi from the regular menu.
Price: 10000 JPY (Cash Only)
Food: Six pieces of classic Nigiri (which is a bit bigger than Nigiri these days), one Maki, and soup.

Omakase Sushi

Food: 10 - 12 regular size Nigiri Sushi with soup and Maki Sushi
Price: Starting from 14000 JPY

Omakase Course

Food: Omakase Sushi and appetizers. 
Price: Starting from 21500 JPY

Others
Drink: Beer 1080 JPY, Taru Sake 1620 JPY and more
Extra Nigiri Sushi: 800 - 1300JPY

*Please let us know at least a week before if you need to change or cancel your reservation. (We charge full amount as a deposit, this will be refunded if you cancel 7 days before the reservation or visited Hanabusa.*)

Question about course

Hitohira
hitohira-japan.com
info@hitohira-japan.com

*Prices are all included tax 8%

 

BOOK HERE

ABOUT AUTHOR

Hokuto Aizawa

President of Hitohira. Traveling Japan to find new craftsman and passion.

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