Tokyo: Kashigashira Sashimi Bar

Kashigashira Sashimi Bar, Tsukiji, Tokyo

Wednesday evening, I had arranged to meet with Ryoko who blogs at Ryoko Traveler. We’ve never met before, but we’ve known each other through our blogs for years. During the last couple of years I’ve met quite a few blogger friends and my experience so far is, that if I like the blog, I’ll also like the blogger.

We went to one of Ryoko’s favorite Tsukiji restaurants, Kashigashira. It is one of those places which haven’t yet made it to the mainstream guidebooks, but which is extremely popular among locals, and we were very lucky to get a reservation on short notice.

I’ve been to Kashigashira once before, but it was for lunch.  In the evening, Kashigashira only serves omakase (chef’s choice), which is 4500JPY. Considering all the good food you get, it’s actually quite a bargain.

We had sushi, sashimi, grilled fish, fish roe, clams and scallops and everything was insanely delicious, but if I were to pick a favorite, I think it would be the raw tuna in pepper marinade, which we had as one of the first dishes.

Beverage-wise, we started with a glass of Sapporo beer and then went on with a glass of sake. The sake was poured in a glass standing in a square box and the lady behind the bar didn’t stop pouring until both the glass and the box was full.

It was a really nice and smooth sake, but the alcohol content was 60%, so no wonder I had troubles keeping track of all the dishes we had by the end of the meal.

Kashigashira is a long time darling among the locals. At lunchtime, office workers from nearby fill the restaurant within minutes after they open the doors, and there’s usually a line outside of people patiently waiting for a table. In the evening, Kashigashira is a very popular place to go dining and drinking, and a table reservation is essential, sometimes weeks in advance.

Kashigashira is a true hidden gem (emphasis on hidden) in Tsukiji. The restaurant is located one stair down in a white building called Lions Mansion Higashi Ginza. Even if you know that the restaurant is there, it can be really hard to find, so make sure you have access to the map below.

At lunch, you order a la carte, and the menu is in Japanese only. Some of the staff members speak some English, but don’t expect them to provide you with a long introduction to the menu, as they are usually very busy serving the customers.

The tuna bowl (raw tuna on top of rice) for only 600JPY provides some excellent value for money, but Kashigashira is probably most famous for the Tsukiji Yogai Don, which is a double-bowl packed with fresh seafood.

At dinner, it’s omakase only, which means that diners are served a range of dishes decided by the chef. Usually, the omakase at Kashigashira includes assorted sashimi, a grilled fish, soup, rice and different kinds of small dishes. The omakase menu costs 4500 JPY, and it’s a real bargain considering both the number of dishes and the tastiness of the food. Kashigashira is a casual spot, so there’s no need to dress up.

• Kashigashira has a really good selection of sake, so make sure you try at least 2 different kinds.

• Kashigashira takes reservations over the phone and in the evening, a reservation is not only recommended, but crucial, if you want to get a table.

• Cash payment only. Kashigashira doesn’t take credit cards.

Kashigashira, Lions Mansion Higashi-Ginza Building B1F, 4-12-2 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Tel: +81- 36383-4597

Address in Japanese: 刺身BAR 河岸頭, 築地4-12-2ライオンズマンション東銀座地下一階 Kashigashira on Gurunavi

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