Cheap Sushi Lunch Near Shinjuku Station
At some point in your Tokyo travels you will have to deal with Shinjuku Station. This can be pleasant (if you have nowhere in particular to be) or unpleasant (you’re running late for work). Some quick fun facts from Wikiepedia Sensei:
“Serving as the main connecting hub for rail traffic between Tokyo’s special wards and Western Tokyo on inter-city train, commuter rail, and subway lines, the station was used by an average of 3.64 million people per day in 2007, making it, by far, the world’s busiest transport hub (and registered as such with Guinness World Records). The station itself has 36 platforms, including an underground arcade, above ground arcade and numerous hallways. There are well over 200 exits. Another 17 platforms (53 total) can be accessed through hallways to 5 directly connected stations without surfacing outside.”
So, if the populations of Phoenix and San Antonio got up one day and all went to an a train station with a subterranean labyrinth together you’d have Shinjuku Station. Sounds like a blast! Fun note: I ride this station’s busiest line to work every morning. I heard a guy’s iPAd snap in half once…the look on his face. Here’s some video I’ve taken during some of my commutes.
Welcome to Ougisushi. The area around Shinjuku station is a maze of commerce. It’s overwhelming and heard to determine if something is good or just a tourist trap. If you find yourself shopping or touring around here during the day and need a quick, cheap yet really tasty Japanese lunch this is the place. Well…one of many but this is what I was in the mood to write about.
When you walk in You’ll be greeted by a very enthusiastic “irashaimase!”. You’ll be forgiven for assuming that, based on their tone, they are saying “get the hell out” but it means “Welcome!” All the sushi chefs here appeared to be in there early 90’s so…speak up! Someone will seat you, then someone will probably throw an English menu on your table with about 2 options on it, the lunch specials. Kaisendon, Seafood bowls!
This little set comes with the lunch specials. We’ve got our scalding hot green tea, our miso soup and some snacky bits; daikon radish, chikuwa (fish cake) and konyaku (something chewy made from potatoes).
Takao ordered the “Seafood Bowl” as it’s appropriately named on the menu. It’s bluefin tuna, octopus, sea bream and tobiko (a type of white meat fish egg). With a generous dollop of wasabi and some veggies and pickles! Yum!
Seafood Bowl Sidekicks
Now, this place is a full on sushi bar so they dont just have the 2 lunch specials. That’s just all they had bothered to write in English. So if you’re still feeling the fish I have some other advice for you. Go ahead and treat yourself to:
Honmaguro. Not the most prize cut of the tuna but the most common and always a good choice. Just say (loudly and clearly if the old guy comes over) ” hon maguro sashimi” and this tasty dish will materialize.
Next up! This is my personal favorite fish less sushi. Ume shiso maki! It’s maki zushi with ume and shiso leaf wrapped inside. Shiso is an herb. Perilla, in English and I’d never had it before coming to Japan. It’s nothing like mint but that’s the best I can do at the moment. Very effervescent. Ume is salted plum! If you are of a Hispanic background you may be familiar with “salditos”. This is saldito sushi with an effervescent leaf thrown in for added effect. Enjoy and order some more beer because you will be thirsty after this.
Sushi For (way) Less
Attractions near Ougisushi:
Bicqlo (a massive Electronics Store Combined with a Duty Free Uniqlo where they also sell cheap 3 day subway passes),
Isetan (Japanese Harrod’s),
Japanese Video Game Arcades
The neighborhoods of Kabukicho, Golden Gai, Omoide Yokocho.
Tokyu Hands Store (6 floors of all things awesome as well as great souvenirs)
Nearby Stations: Shinjuku Station, Shinjuku San Chome Station