The Real Deal on Sushi in Japan

Sushi is the food that everyone immediately thinks of when they think of Japan. I would say about 99% of the times I mentioned that I was coming to over here, it was immediately followed with a "hope you like sushi!" comment. So I am going to go ahead and begin this post by clearing up a major sushi related rumor:

Sushi is NOT the only food they eat in Japan. Not even close. I would say that the ratio of sushi restaurants to other type of restaurants in Osaka is pretty comparable to Houston. If you want sushi, you have to actually go to a sushi restaurant. This is popular to contrary belief that sushi is available 24 hours a day at any establishment on any street corner.

Everyone assumes that if you enjoy eating sushi back home, you will love sushi here because it is so much better quality. The truth is, American sushi and Japanese sushi is so completely different, so that may not be true. You could very easily like American sushi and hate sushi in Japan. In fact, we went to eat sushi during my first week here and I was extremely disappointed. Of course, now that I have learned to appreciate sushi here and tried different things, I really love it and crave it all the time. But, the point is that it takes completely different tastes to appreciate the two.

The picture above is a typical plate of Japanese sushi. Sushi here is simple. They dont have fancy sushi rolls. There is no "crunch," no cream cheese, and I have never ever seen avocado at any Japanese sushi establishment. Sushi in Japan is a small piece of raw fish, delicately sliced, and placed on a clump of white rice. Sometimes it is held together with seaweed, and sometimes it comes with a dab of wasabi on top or in the middle. That is it. Simple, clean, healthy, and delicious. 

Sushi is also commonly served on a conveyor belt. This pictures below are of our favorite sushi place in Osaka. 

We brought our parents here when they came to visit, and I have to give them all props for it. With little to no sushi experience, they happily ate (and enjoyed) all kinds of raw fish. 

Nathan and his Dad eating raw squid. 
At the end of the meal they come to your table and count how many plates you ate. That is how they charge you for your meal. Our all time plate record is 42 which we hit with me, Nathan, and Nathan's teammate Rick. It is going to be a hard one to beat!

From left to right: Nathan's stack, Jacy's stack, Rick's stack


  1. Yes, that is a big stereotype for Japan. I love the sushi in Japan and in the US. In the Us they had to adopt to American tastes and regional tastes. That is why you see cream cheese and avocado. But I think in Japan I prefer to eat Ramen, Soba and Okonomiyaki first. Those are truly Japanese cuisine.
    It's the same for China and Thailand etc. The real Chinese and Thai food is really different than US versions with some exceptions at certain restaurants and chefs. The Us versions tend to be a lot sweeter than authentic versions to fit our tastes over here. Your blog I hope clears up some of the stereotypes.