Sushi Inomata in Kawaguchi, Tokyo

Inomata-san is already a very famous sushi chef in Tokyo, and he is definitely one of the top young chefs to watch . His shop is located far away from central Tokyo in Kawaguchi. (Is Kawaguchi even still considered to be in Tokyo proper? I don’t know! All I know is that it was freakin’ far from my hotel in Nihonbashi!) In any case, Inomata is becoming famous for a few reasons: his sushi is delicious, he sources some of the best hon-maguro available, and he is becoming a master of jukusei - aging neta to draw out the best possible flavors.

I had the chance to try Inomata-san’s sushi recently. Here are my thoughts:


  • Yes, absolutely, definitely, the sushi IS delicious.

  • The aging worked for me. The chef knows his stuff, some of the shiromi which are typically a little neutral tasting to me were full of flavor, and the hon-maguro was a bit funky from the aging, but in the best possible way. It is not easy to strike a good balance with aging neta, but he manages to do so.

  • the 鯨 nigiri was amazing! The only other place where I’ve truly enjoyed 鯨 is at Sushi Keita. It was stellar here: mineral, good iron taste, gamey, full of flavor.

  • The hon-maguro (bluefin tuna) is as good as I’ve tasted anywhere. Top quality. Most of the hon-maguro pieces were marinated in soy sauce (zuke) and incredibly balanced.

  • The shop’s atmosphere is super-relaxed and very fun. Chef Inomata is a hardcore shokunin, but he is still quick to crack a smile and joke around. His wife is great too, and speaks English well. She says “I learn English, and he learns sushi!”. Perfect. I was the only foreign customer on the night I visited. Everyone had a great time, and everyone drank too much. Bottles of nihonshu and white wine were passed around the counter as if we were all old friends.

  • Talking about nihonshu: I think Inomata offers a truly enjoyable selection of sake, including some I’ve not seen anywhere else. I’m no nihonshu expert, but wow did they taste good!

  • No otsumami are on offer. It’s straight to the point here: nigiri all night! Personally, I love this.

  • The price to quality ratio is off the chart. I paid less than ¥30,000 for my meal, which included a ridiculous amount of booze. Add this to top quality maguro and top quality uni, and in Ginza, the same would have cost ¥50,000.


  • The shop is really, really far from central Tokyo. It took a bit more than one hour each way from my hotel.

  • No otsumami are on offer. It’s straight to the point here: nigiri all night! Some might miss the appetizers?

  • The nigiri construction is not super refined. Take a look at the photos: it is a bit “rustic”. Personally, when the sushi is that good, I could not care less.

Below you will find photos of all the sushi presented to me, in the order they were served. I think. Again, I consumed a lot of booze that night, and might have missed a photo or two. Oops.



1-12-23 Saiwaicho, Kawaguchi, Saitama

Note: As of 2019, Sushi Inomata is only open on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and holidays. The rest of the time, chef Inomata-san can be found working at Hatsunezushi.