After a(n) night/early morning of waiting for the tuna auction, we were tired, but extremely hungry.

There are at least fifty different sushi restaurants surrounding the market, but we were in search of one that:

  1. had a short line.
  2. opened up before 7 a.m.

We walked around for a few minutes before deciding on Ryu Sushi, which met both of our qualifications.

ryu sushi

Opened in 1959, Ryu Sushi was listed as one of the top places to eat in Tsukiji on multiple travel blogs/vlogs. We had attempted to try Sushi Dai, but the line was ridiculously long (it would have taken hours to get in), so we settled for something a little less crowded.

We got to the restaurant at 6 a.m., and by the time it opened half an hour later, there was a long line of people waiting to get in.

The hostess told us where to sit, and brought us piping hot green tea in Yunomis (traditional Japanese tea cups), along with warm towels to wash our hands with.

Unlike Any Other:

After going to various sushi restaurants in the States, and eating sushi primarily at Kappa Sushi (a popular restaurant chain in Japan), going to Ryu Sushi was unlike any other sushi experience I’ve had.

The restaurant itself is very small, and has limited seating. They only let a few people in at a time (ten or fifteen people at most), which is why the line outside can get so long.

Visitors sit at the sushi bar, which gives an up-close-and-personal view of the chefs creating the fresh sushi pieces.

ryu sushi ryu sushi ryu sushi ryu sushi

Not only had I never been this close to a sushi chef preparing my meal, but I had never eaten sushi this fresh – it comes straight from the market, just outside the restaurant.

What We Ordered:

There were quite a few sets to choose from, but we went with the Kiku Set (¥2500), which came with 7 pieces of sushi, and a few sushi rolls.

The sushi chef first wiped down the black counter in front of us, and then slapped a big pile of pickled ginger in front of each customer.

ryu sushi

If you know anything about me, you know that I love pickled ginger, and the ginger at Ryu was especially delicious.

After ordering our sets, the chef made each piece one by one, and we were able to take the time to savor each bite.

The Kiku Set included tuna (2 pieces), scallop, saba, cuttlefish, and two other fish that I can’t recall. It also included six rolls filled with cucumber and tuna.

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Thoughts on Ryu Sushi:

The saba didn’t taste very good, and left a bad taste in our mouths. The first piece of tuna was excellent, but the second piece was a different cut, and was noticeably less tender than the first. The scallop was perfectly sweet and buttery, and in my opinion, was the best piece of the entire set. The cucumber/tuna rolls were just okay, and the set would have been better without them.

While it was a great and unique experience having the iconic sushi breakfast at Tsukiji, I wasn’t blown away by the sushi, and that’s kind of the point.  For what we paid, next time I would take one for the team and wait for Sushi Dai.

Important Information:

Hours: 6:30 a.m.

Phone: 03-3541-9517 (you probably won’t need this)