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Sushi Sanshin

鮨 三心

At the top-class, lunchtime-only Sushi Sanshin not far from Osaka Castle, you can devour delicious sushi while soaking in the beauty of the natural light in a quaint traditional Japanese house. Sushi Sanshin has won the hearts of guests, sushi rice brokers, and producers through its delightful cuisine and positive, engaging style. Not afraid of effecting change in a deeply traditional facet of Japanese cuisine, the chef serves as a role model for up-and-coming sushi artisans around Japan.

The rising star of the Osaka sushi world, Sushi Sanshin, is found in a residential neighborhood away from the busy areas of Umeda and Minami. The sushi restaurant occupies one building in a traditional row house where a soba restaurant once stood. The tasteful exterior has a wabi-sabi feel and a fence of many fine tree branches. In spring, guests can enjoy the soft pink light created by sunshine and cherry blossoms at the adjacent park in an interior designed for the sunlight to spill in. Chef Ishibuchi had passed by the building in its days as a soba restaurant, thinking it would make a great location someday, only to find it available when his preparations for going independent began. He felt it was fate and signed a contract for the property immediately. These days, he also runs the tea room next door, welcoming guests to relax until their reservation time or for an after-lunch dessert.



The rising star

The Sushi Sanshin course is a filling array of delectable bites, starting with three appetizers followed by as many as sixteen nigiri pieces. The content and order change based on season and supply, but the underlying philosophy is based on the sushi aesthetic of not overhandling one’s ingredients. Thus, the rice and toppings each need to be their best at that precise moment, and the focus is on presentation almost as much as flavor.

One Sushi Sanshin appetizer is vinegared Kintaro pilchard caught in Osaka Bay, wrapped in a piece of crisp toasted seaweed with green onion sprouts. Another is the chef’s famous soft-boiled octopus. Here, the preparation begins with washing in fresh water multiple times in contrast to the typical salt massage treatment to remove the slimy texture. Next, Ishibuchi simmers the octopus in a mixture of soy sauce and large sugar crystals, resulting in a unique texture and succulent flavor.

The parade of nigiri sushi pieces might include gently aged white tilefish given a light brush of soy sauce reduction and outstandingly delicious toro tuna with the perfect amount of fat that melts in your mouth instantly. Kohada gizzard shad, gently pickled in vinegar, is accented with a squeeze of sudachi citrus immediately before serving, and swordtip squid has an incredibly light texture made possible by the chef’s deft knife cuts. Sandwiched between the sanma Pacific saury and rice is shredded green onion for a refreshing crunchy kick. In what is often described as Chef Ishibuchi’s specialty, ikura salmon roe is lovingly prepared by separating the individual eggs before marinating them in soy sauce.

Chef Ishibuchi visits the fish market each morning to purchase ingredients, and some items are shipped directly from ports around Japan. He has also been building relationships with producers to have the vegetable and herb accompaniments to sushi, like ginger, daikon, and shiso sent directly to the restaurant. In addition, Ishibuchi is constantly testing new varieties of the essential sushi seasonings of salt and vinegar. Alcoholic beverage options include sake, champagne, and wine in styles that complement sushi.

Sushi Sanshin cuisine #0
Sushi Sanshin cuisine #1


Yoshitaka Ishibuchi

Yoshitaka Ishibuchi was born in Kyushu’s Kumamoto Prefecture in 1978. After a meal at a local sushi restaurant, his father said it would be great if one of his children started a restaurant like that, in a comment that Ishibuchi would never forget. So, armed with a dream, he made his way to Osaka immediately after graduating high school. His work began at a sushi and catering restaurant for 18 months, and he trained as a sushi chef in earnest upon joining Sushi Nakamura. But the untimely death of his father when Ishibuchi was just 24 affected his job choices, and for a while, he worked a day job and nights part-time in the restaurant industry to support his mother and family.

At age 30, Ishibuchi followed a senior apprentice from Sushi Nakamura upon his opening of Sushi Taisuke. He supported that chef for nine years before opening his restaurant in 2016 at age 39. He adopted a lunch-only model with two sittings, capitalizing on the excellent location near a park, with beautiful cherry blossoms and soft natural light. Ishibuchi is confident there are many chefs to protect and carry on the traditions of the art of Edomae sushi; he wants to be a sushi chef that implements innovations to take it in a new direction and create sushi not found anywhere else. In 2020, he made the space next door into a tea room called Tokiya, which serves as a waiting room before meals and space for dessert after the meal.

Sushi was first created in the Edo period, and Ishibuchi’s vision entails constantly innovating the cuisine to meet the context and needs of the times. Some imminent changes are switching from rice with some proportion of red vinegar to entirely white vinegar rice ovals to ensure the delicate flavors of fish like seabream are not overwhelmed. The key is to adopt a simple approach to extract maximum flavor from the seafood toppings to pursue ever more refined umami. Ishibuchi wishes to continue his lunch-only service model for better working conditions for his team. And he dreams of the day when an apprentice sushi artisan armed with the flavors and style of Sushi Sanshin branches out to open their own sushi restaurant.


The quest for the perfect rice occupies most of the chef’s time. The production of the seafood and vegetable components are made by others and therefore out of Ishibuchi’s control; thus, his work is about maximizing umami with the shari as the vehicle. His work has taken him several steps outside the kitchen to produce his own rice in Shiga Prefecture’s Moriyama region. A Nihonbare cultivar called Sanshinmai, the rice is characterized by sturdy, plump grains with a delicious creamy texture. Chef Ishibuchi mixes Sanshinmai with another variety called Omimai before cooking in a traditional iron pot called hagama. Working in a sawara Japanese cypress tub, a blend of red and white vinegar is added while the cooked rice is still hot, and the chef uses a cutting action to mix the vinegar through. He then uses his hands to assess the rice temperature and selects the best topping for that time.


11:30AM and 2PM only
Sanshin Omakase course
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
Reservation Request


Sushi Sanshin

鮨 三心

& UP
Sushi, Osaka
1F, 2 Chome-7-14 Uchikyuhojimachi, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 540-0013
11:30AM/ 2PM only


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