Azumasushi Honten has been serving Nagoya sushi for over 145 years
Fushimi is known for tall buildings and modern shops but tucked away just one block in from the hustle and bustle of Hirokoji-dori is a beautiful old sushi shop with a peaceful garden called Azumazushi Honten.
Azumazushi was founded over 145 years ago by Mr. Seishichi Yokoi who first brought Edo-style sushi culture to Nagoya. At the time the only kinds of sushi available here were Inarizushi (the kind found stuffed in little bags of fried tofu), Chirashizushi (basically a bow of sushi) and Oshizushi (pressed sushi).
Yokoi went to Edo (which we now call Tokyo) to learn about Nigirizushi (hand-pressed sushi), which went on to become the most popular kind of sushi today. After returning to Nagoya Mr. Yokoi opened Azumazushi Honten in 1869. Back then they didn’t serve tuna as transport to the ocean took longer and it was difficult to keep it fresh. So mainly they utilised bluefish like Mackerel and Horse Mackerel, white fish like Cod, and octopus and squid. These were marinated with salt and vinegar to keep them fresh and to help them last longer as there was no way to refrigerate them.
What to eat
One thing that definitely sets Azumazushi apart is their sushi rice which balances a blend of rice, salt, sugar and broth to create their own unique flavor. The recipie has been passed down for generations and hasn’t changed since they first opened. Even their sushisu (sushi vinegar) which is mixed into the sushi rice is made from a secret recipe, known only to the staff.
There is truly an amazing variety of dishes to choose from here but we highly recommend the Chirashizushi (pictured above) – by far their most popular dish. This delicious bowl of “scattered sushi” includes 18 different toppings such as prawns, eggs, fish roe, white fish, squid and shiitake mushrooms which are all cooked to impart a special flavor that you simply can’t get anywhere else.
Azamazushi Honten serves everyone from individual customers as well as groups in a variety of different seating environments – all gathered around the beautiful central garden which in and of itself is a great reason to visit.
How to get there
To get there come out of Exit 7 Fushimi subway station, and walk straight ahead (west) towards the Hilton. At the first set of lights turn left and you will see it on your left.
1-5-21, Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya
(2mins walk from Fushimi Station exit 7)
Closed on New Year’s Day