While most people in Japan head back to their hometowns to spend New Year’s with family dining on (osechi ryori / おせち料理), there are many who stick around the city. Similarly, most shops and restaurants are closed for the New Year holiday — but there are those that remain open as well.
Fortunately for Koenjagayans, one of the neighbourhood’s top sushi restaurants is open for business. And it is just steps from Koenji JR Station. Momotaro Sushi (桃太郎すし), serving their quality, fresh fish at decent prices was unsurprisingly packed on New Year’s Day.
Momotaro Sushi opened its doors in Koenji in 1980 — at a time when the neighbourhood was ground zero for Japan’s burgeoning punk scene and still managing to avoid the concrete modernization and gentrification eradicating culture across Tokyo. The business did well, keeping the food good, prices low and hours late (they’re open until 5 am). With a loyal customer base they expanded the shop, so they now have not one, not two, but three locations there. All beside each other.
In 2011, the shop underwent renovations and expansion. This resulted in the main shop (honten / 本店) consisting of booth and kotatsu seating on tatami mats, and a second shop of counter seating becoming the branch shop (bunten / 分店). There is also a third shop called Koenji Part II with counter seating for 16 people. It’s open from 5 pm to 11:30 pm (last order at 11:00).
They’ve also got four other shops in Tokyo (in Nerima and Nakano) and one in Komazawa.
Note: Those hankering for sushi on an even more limited budget can find Chiyoda Sushi (回鮮ちよだ鮨), a good kaitenzushi (conveyor belt sushi), just north of the station up Koenji Junjo Shotengai (高円寺 純情商店街). They’re open January 1st and closed January 2nd.
Suginami-ku, Tokyo, 166-0004
Tel: (03) 3330-6004
11:00 to 29:00
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