The ultimate in gourmet entertainment, Yakatabune Takamistu is a pleasure boat for gourmands to soak up the sights of Tokyo from the water while dining on sublime sushi and sipping beverages from a mind-bogglingly diverse drinks collection. So if you have ever been curious about the pleasure boats – an enduring element of traditional Tokyo culture – now is your chance to experience it in luxury style with the best sushi, the most beautiful views, and incredible hospitality.
Yakatabune are roofed pleasure boats that have entertained guests with views and delicious food for centuries. Their origin can be traced back to the Heian period (794–1185) when nobles took to boats for fun, after which they evolved into a style enjoyed by the masses during the Edo period (1603–1868). In addition to offering an escape from every day as they glide along the water, yakatabune are a perfect way to appreciate the shifting of the seasons, with views of cherry blossoms in spring, fresh verdure followed by fireworks in summer, vibrant leaves and the beautiful harvest moon in autumn, and illuminated cityscapes in winter.
In contrast to traditional pleasure boats that serve a banquet to fifty to one-hundred guests seated on the floor, Yakatabune Takamitsu has just ten seats. And this is no everyday party food; it is a sushi feast incorporating some of the most exquisite seafood Japan has to offer. You see, this pleasure boat is owned by Takamitsu Yasuda, the chef of the renowned Sushi Takamitsu in Tokyo’s Nakameguro. His family has long operated the boats, but when the pandemic hit the industry hard, Yasuda seized the opportunity to reinvent one of the boats in this new exclusive dining style with all the playfulness and luxury touches of Sushi Takamitsu.
After boarding, you will be led to a space that effortlessly melds Japanese and Western styles with a wooden interior and a hinoki cypress counter complemented by comfortable chairs and carpet. It is a setting certain to make any guest feel at ease. From being seated until arriving back at the pier, the chef has it all covered to ensure you enjoy every moment.
Smiles on guests’ faces drive the pursuit of premium seafood
Beginning with traditional Edomae sushi leveraging the chef’s years of training before taking you on a playful ride through unique creations, the degustation course of at least twenty items is adjusted to suit each guest’s appetite. Each nigiri sushi morsel contains a smaller amount of rice than is typical, allowing diners to enjoy a wide array of sumptuous ingredients. And the high-quality ingredients ensure purer flavors that sit well in guests’ satiated tummies. He has cultivated relationships with Yamasawa, the leading maguro dealer in Toyosu, and joined forces with bidders to secure the best sea urchin from suppliers. Highlighting those pure flavors is why the chef does not age any of his seafood and proof, he says, of the premium nature of his ingredients.
Chef Yasuda also makes no compromises regarding seaweed and the rice ovals that carry it all. He adores the aroma, flavor, and melt-in-the-mouth goodness of first-harvest seaweed from Ariake Bay in Kyushu and uses a combination of red and white vinegar to season his rice. You will not find any sugar in his seasoning recipe, as he finds it makes the rice too rich. As for rice, precise details are a company secret, but what we do know is that it is a blend of rice varietals selected by a seasoned expert of Sushi Takamitsu to best suit its style. The goal is for the rice and toppings to become one in diners’ mouths and disappear, leaving them with a sense of incredible satisfaction but also lightness.
It is hard to pick a star among Takamitsu’s incredible sushi lineup, but the dishes you will not find anywhere else are especially memorable, like “torotaku caviar” and “sea urchin rice”. The former starts with sumptuous maguro paste combined with crunchy takuan – traditional Japanese daikon pickles – topped with a generous helping of large bead caviar. The latter is a blend of sea urchin and maguro neck meat through rice finished with shavings of white truffles from the premier producing region of Alba in Piedmont, Italy. INGREDIENTS
Yasuda has forged his own supply routes since going independent without relying on connections from his earlier training days. Joining forces with auction bidders and intermediaries, he spares no yen or effort in securing premium sushi toppings daily. A case in point is the sea urchin, on which he spends around 50 million yen yearly. It is a shocking figure but one that results from the search for the best of the best. This is true for all the seafood served at Takamitsu because Yasuda will not allow any variations in quality. All with a view to wowing guests. Staff from sea urchin suppliers visit the restaurant to exchange ideas with Yasuda and auction bidders, and it is this kind of close communication that ensures an ongoing supply of premium products.
Sushi Takamistu in Nakameguro is renowned for its splendid selection of champagne, wine, whisky, tequila, vodka, and many other alcoholic beverages, in a line-up that came to be based on customer requests and affinity for sushi. The drinks are equally exciting on the pleasure boat, including vintage champagnes, Burgundy wines, and Napa whites. And while the numbers are somewhat limited because of the boat’s capacity, Yasuda plans to continue to grow the collection of sake and liquor varieties, answering the desires of his many guests.
Yasuda’s particular obsession is with sea urchin, called uni in Japanese. The restaurant has no equal when it comes to the quality and substantial nature of the sea urchin served, all for guests’ delight. The chef saw how excited guests were when they devoured high-quality sea urchin, leading him to constantly search for better to answer their expectations, eventually arriving at the current style. Sea urchin is ranked daily at Toyosu Market, and Yasuda procures the best of those high-ranking items from each supplier. Summer is peak season, but irrespective of timing, Yasuda always has ten types of sea urchin on hand to create two nigiri pieces and an uni rice bowl for his guests every day. While many people have seen uni served gunkan submarine-style with seaweed wrapped around it, Takamitsu also has a nigiri version. You will immediately notice how tall the sea urchin stands atop the rice. This is proof of the freshness and high quality of the product, and something evident even when shaped into nigiri. Beautiful to espy, full of rich flavor, but with a surprisingly light aftertaste – that is the superior experience you can expect to enjoy when you dine at Yakatabune Takamitsu.
- The price includes our booking fee of ￥8,000
- The price includes our booking fee of ￥8,000