Eating Tokyo: Stand-Up Sushi in Shinjuku

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It’s called Uogashi Nihon-Ichi, but my friends and I just call it “that stand-up sushi bar” as there isn’t another in the area. I found this place about 3 years ago and I try to get here every time (sometimes every night) I am in Tokyo. I typically stay and eat in Shinjuku when I’m on business, and I have yet to find a better place for sushi.

Stand Up Sushi bar in Tokyo

As it is a stand-up sushi bar, I have no problem popping in and out for even just a couples pieces of nigiri. What I do (or at least did) have a problem with is finding the darn place. Right outside the west gate of Shinjuku Station is a delicious hash tag of side streets filled with restaurants, bars, and maybe a few pachinko parlors. It all looks the same and I always struggle to find it. Last year I managed to miss it as I walked around in circles for a very long time trying to remember even what it looks like. It’s small. It was raining and I told myself I was getting wet, it wouldn’t take long, I just needed to walk faster. I could feel the little streams gathering and rolling down my scalp as I stomped around through puddles with determination. In the end I just gave up and sat at a conveyor-belt sushi bar also in that neighborhood. Totally inferior.

To add insult to injury (and the beginning of a head cold) I found the place just half a block from the hotel I was staying at just that one time, right off the edge of the food area. It took that frustrating experience to finally imprint the location in my brain’s mapping app.

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My favorite pieces are the “mayo” items, specifically the Ebi-Mayo: a piece of shrimp with a dollop of mayo on it set under the blowtorch for a few seconds to singe it and give it a slight smokiness. Delicious and a free show to boot.

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They have a menu in English though it is pretty easy to just point along the glass. There is more under the glass than the menu shows, by the way. They also serve some hot green tea when you step inside to order and they also have beer available.

There are daily specials in Japanese on the board behind the itamae (sushi chef) who enters into the space through a small half door in the back wall (it’s fun to watch them back out of it). When I was there they were kind enough to point out the specials and make sure I understood which items they were.

Cash only, so bring some yen. 3/25/2014 Good news! They now take credit cards!

DIRECTIONS:

stand-up-sushi-bar-shinjuku-003Here’s a map with a good street view of it.

From Shinjuku station take the Central West Gate out from the subterranean level and follow the underground walkway that heads west and go up the steps at Exit S2. (There are two of these underground walkways parallel to each other like a divided highway: one with the moving sidewalk heading west, the other with it coming at you (toward Shinjuku Station). I am referring to the one on your left if you are facing west (moving sidewalk heading west). Go up to street level at S2 and continue straight out the steps to the next street. Take a left there, walk just shy of two blocks, and it is on your right. Shinjuku Post Office and Aoki Men’s Plaza are right across the street from the sushi bar.

10 thoughts on “Eating Tokyo: Stand-Up Sushi in Shinjuku

  • April 6, 2013 at 3:15 pm
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    I used to frequent a little stand-up sushi place near the Tsukiji fish market and it was excellent (and very cheap) too. I wish I’d known about this place though, as I lived in Shinjuku and found myself eating around the station area a lot.

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    • April 6, 2013 at 11:29 pm
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      I’d love to know where that is! Next time I can head over there maybe. 🙂

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  • April 6, 2013 at 7:32 pm
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    Great tip for those in Tokyo. I remember eating good sushi in Kyoto, but in Tokyo I had no idea where to go and settled on McDonald’s. I know it is lame, but I was suffering from culture shock after spending months in Southeast Asia where it was easy to find someone who spoke English and could help with directions.

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    • April 6, 2013 at 11:37 pm
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      Not judging, Ted! Tokyo can be overwhelming. My first business trip here I found after a long day of running around for appointments, I was faced with trying to find food at restaurants with not one single sign or menu item in English, plastic food models in the windows that all looked the same (deep-fried cutlets or noodles), no spoken English at all, and the exhaustion, the hunger, the… oh look. The Golden Arches. So I chose something weird to justify it as still trying something new. A McShrimp Burger. Huge mistake. I am better now but I still need that point and buy break sometimes. And then there’s breakfast. Sausage McMuffin with Egg, hash browns, coffee upgraded to cappuccino. It is hard to be adventurous (fried fish and odd items at the “viking”) at 8 am. At home it is always an egg and toast. This is close enough for me. Not too many cereal joints in Tokyo. 😉

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  • March 25, 2014 at 11:10 am
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    Would love to go there and try all sushi. Yumm

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  • March 3, 2015 at 12:31 pm
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    I was there last year nov and the chef are really friendly and the food are incredible! Last but not least it is cheap and few mins walk, you will see value shop! 🙂

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  • April 26, 2015 at 8:45 pm
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    Language can be a little daunting, but this is a very friendly place. My wife and I were staying at the Keio Plaza hotel, and this place is just across and up the street from the hotel. We kept walking by it, and didn’t stop because we thought it might not be that good, but then we finally went there one night, and found the sushi was pretty good and the staff/cooks were very nice. We kept ordering the totoro and they started offering suggestions (in Japaneses) including some kind of vegetable thing, that I think was made out of horseradish. We hesitated on that one, so they gave us a sample dish and WOW – it felt like our noses were going to fall off :)! We’ll be back in Tokyo/Shinjuku again next month, and definitely plan to stop by, at least a couple of times!!

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    • May 1, 2015 at 7:49 pm
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      I’ve stayed at Keio Plaza as well. Not a bad location! And yes, quite close to this sushi. 🙂

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  • January 3, 2016 at 1:34 pm
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    Hi I just come by to say thank you to you. I found this place last year and I wanted to go back but I couldn’t remember where ot was. Lucky my gf took a photo in front of the place. I search for stand up sushi bar shinjuku and boom!! Your blog come. I have 3 days left, will make it in one of them. It’s indeed the best sushi place I reckon in japan. Cheap and good!

    Reply

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