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Takumi Sushi Kou


A sushi craftsman who has inherited the genealogy of the famous Sushisho in Yotsuya, Mitsuhiro Hokayashiki wields his skills at this establishment, combining with the unique sensibility to entertain guests. With thorough attention to detail, such as the three types of vinegared rice used depending on the sushi ingredient, the excellent omakase course provides a pure enjoyment in its semi-hidden location in Aoyama.

Sushi Kou is in the basement of a building on Kotto-Dori in Aoyama, also known as the antique street. Going down the narrow stairs, expectations start to rise, and upon entering through the door, there is a luxurious space with impeccably arranged seats, which provides a sense of relaxation and liberation despite its underground location. When seated, a white Japanese paper wall with a refined texture that gives off a warm light comes into view, and a cypress counter made of one single piece promises an extravagant time.

Sushi Kou opened in February of 2013. Its name "Kou" was taken from the name of the son of the previous owner. In September of 2019, the restaurant re-opened under Mitsuhiro Hokayashiki as the head chef, who worked as the second sushi chef until then. Currently, the restaurant is open from 3:00 p.m., and while the idea of enjoying the sushi at an early hour without any rush is tempting, it also provides an option for those who are not able to dine at the regular time due to the flight schedule.




The course features a style that serves nigiri and “otsumami”, which are the seasonal dishes in Japan, alternately. It always starts with two pieces of Spanish mackerel, followed by squid. Then, there are three types of otsumami and two pieces of nigiri. Halfway through the course, kohada and oysters are served, and in the second half, rich-flavored ingredients such as tuna, rosy seabass, conger eel make the selection. There are 12 types of otsumami and 11 pieces of nigiri in total.

The nigiri is characterized by the use of three different types of sushi rice. White rice with rice vinegar only, red rice with a blend of rice vinegar and red vinegar, and dark red rice with red vinegar only. There is also the delicate craftsmanship of the sushi chef, who is conscious of the temperature of human skin.

The seasonal dishes are served in small portions, seemingly simple, yet they are hand-crafted gems. Many of them shine with their originality, arranged to encourage drinking. The selection of 4 to 5 white wines is mainly from France and Japan. There are 12 to 13 types of sake, including Hidakami and Funanchu Hassaku, with distinctive flavors from several regions.
Sardines from Iwate Prefecture are glazed with soy sauce and grilled on the surface, served with grated daikon and mandarin orange juice on top.
The gelatinous part from the spine of the tuna is simmered in cubes and served with flavorful Japanese mustard from Kyoto. Despite its small size, it holds a significant impact.
The medium fatty tuna on this day was approximately 100 kilograms, caught in a fixed net in Yamaguchi Prefecture. It has been aged for four days then marinated for four hours. The marinated fish is brushed with more sauce and served with the dark red rice.
Kohada from Saga Prefecture has been vinegared then aged for one day before being vinegared for one more day to achieve a refreshing taste. The lattice-shaped knife adds to its exquisite finish. It is served with the red vinegar rice.
Kinme is from Choshi, Chiba Prefecture. Its skin is seared then served with grated daikon in soy sauce for a refreshing taste. The red vinegar rice is used.
The spear squid is grilled at 60 degrees, with a knife inserted in parallel on the surface and crushed sesame seeds sprinkled. The white vinegar rice would be used for raw squid, but because it is grilled, the red vinegar rice is used instead.
Japanese butterfish from Nagasaki Prefecture are served to guests while freshly caught. The white flesh has a refreshing texture, and the white rice accompanies it.
Homemade monkfish liver and slices of small melon marinated for two months are wrapped together in nori seaweed, served with the dark red vinegar rice.

The tuna is sourced from Yamakou in Toyosu Market, from a long-time acquaintance of Sushi Takumi in Yotsuya. This trusting relationship provides him with the opportunity to purchase the most premium quality tuna. While most ingredients come from Toyosu Market, other ingredients are sourced from his hometown, such as the octopus from Awaji, which creates a well-rounded selection. The wasabi is from Gotemba.

There are three different kinds of seaweed. For gunkan, the seaweed from Hyogo Prefecture; for maki, Kontobi, flavorful seaweed with green algae; finally, Ariake seaweed for isobeyaki, the grilled rice cakes. These are new additions since Hokayashiki took charge of the restaurant.

The soy sauce is koikuchi soy sauce made by Suehiro Shoyu in Tatsuno City, Hyogo Prefecture, another local product the chef has personally chosen from his hometown.

Takumi Sushi Kou cuisine #0
Takumi Sushi Kou cuisine #1


Mitsuhiro Hokayashiki

Mitsuhiro Hokayashiki was born in Hyogo Prefecture in 1980. After graduating from school, he went to Osaka to work in the construction industry. At the age of 20, he decided to join Akita Sushi Takumi in Akita Prefecture, a branch of Sushi Takumi, where he devoted himself to the apprenticeship for two years. After that, he worked at the main Sushi Takumi in Yotsuya for three years, then back to the Akita outpost again, and in 2015, he joined Sushi Kou.

Just when he was thinking of starting his restaurant in his hometown in Hyogo, Keiji Nakazawa of Sushi Takumi made his plan to open a restaurant in Hawaii, and the owner of Sushi Kou decided to accompany him there. Hokayashiki, who worked as the second chef, was then asked to become the head chef of Sushi Kou. Thanks to Mr. Nakazawa's encouragement, Hokayashiki made up his mind and became the new owner of the restaurant in the fall of 2019.

According to Hokayashiki, Mr. Nakazawa has been the most influential person to him: ”He is a master who has taught me how to live as a human being. He also taught me to endure the repetition of the same hard work day after day, as well as to be always inquisitive at work. This is reflected in my work today.”

At one point, he thought about opening a restaurant in his hometown in Hyogo, but now he is wholly devoted to running Sushi Kou in Aoyama and challenges himself every day.

Most importantly, he would like to make Sushi Kou a success, attracting many customers. With this aim in mind, he is experimenting with new ideas, such as opening the restaurant at 3:00 p.m.

“I would like to express my originality in the creation of sushi while pursuing Edomae." he adds; "I plan to introduce new ideas to the extent that they are not too odd while respecting the tradition.”

3 Types of rice

The rice was the focal point of improvement for the re-opening of the Sushi Kou. Carefully selected from Hyogo, the old rice of Kinuhikari that features a distinctive presence of each grain is used.

The rice is made into three types of sushi rice: the first is the white rice made by blending Shiragiku and Yamabuki, the second is the red rice made with Yamabuki and Yohei, and the third is the dark red rice made only with Yohei. The first is used for squid, shellfish, and salmon roe; the second for sea bream and kombu-jime; and the third for tuna and so on. Each sushi ingredient determines the combination with the rice.


Sushi Kou lunch course from April
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
Reservation Request
Lunch / Dinner
Sushi Kou Omakase course from April
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
Reservation Request


Takumi Sushi Kou


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Sushi, Aoyama
B1F, 5 Chome-13-1 Minamiaoyama, Minato City, Tokyo 107-0062, Japan
Lunch:12PM-1:30PM, Dinner: 3PM-9PM (LO)


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