Japan has a very unique and diverse culture. One thing that differentiates us from others is our sushi or raw fish consumption.
However, many wonders, “How much sushi is in Japan?”
To answer this question, it depends on what kind of sushi you’re eating and where you’re eating it.
How much is Sushi in Japan in USD?
It depends on the restaurant.
You can get a good meal at an upscale sushi bar for 10.000 yen ($89) or more, but you can also pay less than half that in a restaurant where a party of four may eat for around 3000 Yen ($26.73). If you go to a conveyor belt sushi shop or a kaiten-sushi restaurant, your bill could be as low as 1000 Yen ($8.91) per person.
What is the best way to eat Sushi in Japan?
The most common way to eat sushi is nigiri sushi, consisting of a slice of raw fish atop a rice ball.
First, you dip the fish in soy sauce and then bring it to your mouth, making sure to catch a bit of rice with the fish (so as not to drop any grains on the counter or table).
As for eating sushi rolls (makizushi), it is best to first bite off a small portion from one end of the roll so you can pick it up quickly with your fingers or dip it in soy sauce.
A sushi master can earn ¥5 million to ¥10 million ($45,000 – $90,000). The monthly salary of a sous chef is around ($2,000) a month. A chef in a sushi restaurant in Tokyo can earn ($2,400 – $3,200) per month.
Sushi Chefs have a very high level of job security because people will continue eating sushi as long as they live! This is one of the few jobs where the older you get, the more sought after you become.
Different types of sushi
Sushi can be eaten in several ways, and there are several different types, but they all involve the raw consumption of a fish placed on top of a tiny amount of rice.
This is called “inari sushi.” This would have been done by putting the fish on top of the rice, covering it with something to help the fermentation process (sometimes sake lees are used for this), and letting it sit in a cool area until ready to consume.
Nare sushi would be eaten in one of two ways; generally, people were either allowed to eat it after three months or trade in their portion of nare sushi for fresh fish after six months.
Nare-sushi would remain edible indefinitely, but it was easier to obtain fresh fish once the fermentation process. Nowadays, what you’ll find in Japan are both “nare-sushi” and “oshi-sushi.”
Oshi-sushi is the more modern version of sushi and is simply a block of rice with fish on top, pressed together with a bamboo mat.
Oshi-sushi came about when more people moved away from their homes, and everyone wanted to take their food with them. As sushi consumption increased, shops that sell oshi-sushi also became prevalent.
This is where the issue of cost comes in. While nare-sushi was eaten sparingly and on special occasions, oshi-sushi is more common and can be found in many areas throughout Japan.
The price of sushi largely depends on the type you are looking for. People have different tastes, so there are many kinds of sushi available.
For example, some people prefer freshwater fish like the famous “ayu,” while others prefer sea fish like tuna or squid. There are also vegetarian varieties of sushi that substitute the egg for fish (called tamagoyaki).
Sushi is eaten both at home and as a meal in many shops. The way it’s also eaten changes depending on the type of sushi.
For example, when eating nigiri-Sushi (the kind with a slice or two of fish draped over rice), you’ll use your fingers to hold the sushi and dip it in soy sauce before eating.
When enjoying oshi-sushi, you don’t use your hands and pick it up with the provided chopsticks. This allows for less of the rice to fall off as you eat.
Price varies between stores and regions.
The place where you buy your sushi is significant in determining its price.
A good rule of thumb:
The further from a central metropolitan area (Tokyo, Osaka, etc.), the cheaper the sushi will be. If you buy from a supermarket or department store, it’ll probably even be on sale for half price!
When eating sushi in a shop, many factors go into determining its cost.
The type of fish used is essential because some types are rarer than others, costing more.
This is particularly true with the fish used to prepare sushi for weddings and other significant events because they’re considered higher quality.
Also, whether or not you are eating at a conveyor belt sushi shop (sushi-go-round) will dramatically change your order’s price.
Generally, “sushi-go-round” shops are much cheaper than other sushi bars. They do this by ordering their fish in bulk and only changing the ingredients when they become low.
This fact will also change how you eat your sushi because instead of sitting at a table to eat it as you would elsewhere, you’ll sit around a counter and grab pieces as they go by.
Sushi bars (where you sit down and order your food) are cheaper than higher-end sushi restaurants, but prices can still vary widely depending on the type of restaurant.
For example, many sushi restaurants in Japan offer all-you-can-eat deals called “kaisen-don.” The quality will be better than in sushi-go-round shops but cheaper than eating a la carte.
Sushi is a food defined by its fresh ingredients and simple presentation, so to get the best-tasting Sushi in Japan, you should check or ask what’s currently in season.
With that said, when does sushi go on sale?
Well, that depends on the region, but spring is generally the best time to go because all the fish are fresh from the ocean.
In the summer, many seasonal ingredients are available, and sushi chefs will try to use these as much as possible to offer their customers something new and exciting.
So what should you do if you want to eat cheap sushi?
In Tokyo, head to the city’s outer regions. There’s a lot in these areas, so try walking around to find something that suits your taste. Just be sure to go there between lunch and dinner because many shops close between those hours!
And finally, if you are in Osaka, head to the department stores because they usually have sushi deals on display. Sushi prices vary widely depending on where you buy it and what kind of restaurant you visit.
If possible, try eating different varieties to taste how other fish affect the flavor of the sushi rice.
Also, try eating sushi in the season because it tastes the best. This way, you can enjoy fresh, delicious sushi at a reasonable price!
Where to Buy Cheap Sushi in Japan
Most supermarkets and department stores in Japan have a sushi bar where you can grab a bite, but it’s usually pretty expensive. If you want cheap sushi, your best bet will be the grocery store or a “conveyor belt” style restaurant. If you aren’t sure what those terms mean, read on!
Sushi Go Round / Conveyor Belt Sushi
Most Japanese supermarkets and department stores offer a sushi bar where you can grab a quick bite (see picture below).
But there’s usually only one type of fish, and the prices are pretty high, making them suitable for special occasions but not great if you’re on a budget.
So if you want cheap sushi, the best choice is “sushi-go-round,” also called conveyor belt sushi restaurants in English (see picture below).
These places usually only have one kind of fish, and it’s not always excellent quality, so they tend to be low cost and, therefore, perfect for those times when you need a quick bite.
However, the high turnover rate means the fish is always fresh, and there’s usually a good variety.
Sushi Bars (where you sit down and order)
These places are more expensive than sushi-go-rounds because you pay for the more upscale ambiance.
Some areas have kaiseki-style meals, which means many small dishes are on the menu instead of just one large sushi plate.
Others offer all-you-can-eat deals called “kaisen-don.” Sushi Bars are great if you want to eat some high-end sushi. They provide a lovely ambiance, many kinds of fish to choose from, and are generally more expensive than sushi go-rounds.
If you want to eat a la carte, you are best off at a place specializing in sushi or kaiseki-style meals.
Generally speaking, though, if you’re looking for cheap sushi, then stick to the conveyor belt sushi restaurants or even to grocery stores where you can pick up readymade sushi for roughly 100-300 yen per plate ($0,89 to $2,67) (the price varies depending on location).
Cheap sushi is everywhere in Japan, but it’s best to go to a specialty restaurant where the fish is usually fresh!
What is the most expensive Sushi in Japan?
The most expensive Sushi in Japan is “omakase.” It’s basically when the chef decides what to serve you. Omakase, commonly used by sushi bars, can cost anywhere from 5,000 yen to 100,000 yen (from $45 to $900) or even more, depending on the restaurant! (complete meal).
Usually, you would have to reserve omakase beforehand, but walk-in seating is typically an option with a large party (5 or more people).
There is an extensive price range for how much sushi costs, but the main ingredient (the seafood) also has a vast price range.
Some places have wild-caught fish from areas where they don’t catch many of them and charge higher prices, while others use farmed fish from countries like China or Taiwan which are much cheaper.
In all honesty, I recommend you get a variety of sushi from wilds caught and farmed fish if you want to enjoy the tastes of Japan!
If you go to a place specializing in seafood, you can get whatever is available at a reasonable price.
Seafood is one of the most popular dishes in Japan, so seafood restaurants are usually more affordable than other restaurants.