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Aoyama SushiSen

青山 すし泉

A devout student of traditional Edo culture, Keiichiro Koizumi offers a new sushi experience using forgotten techniques. Upturning the norm of modern sushi, the rice served at Aoyama Sushisen is cold and firm, following the authentic style from 300 years ago. Topped with melting otoro tuna and sweet sea urchin from Toyosu, the delicious surprise captivates all guests. Through conversations with the English-speaking chef, immerse yourself in the rich history of Edo-style sushi.

Aoyama Sushisen is a cultural experience. Here, not only do you savor the flavors of traditional Edo-style sushi, you will learn about the customs, arts and lifestyle of the vibrant historical period. Curated by master chef and craftsman, Keiichiro Koizumi, his authentic approach to sushi makes him stand out from the crowd.

The restaurant is located on a quiet corner off the main Gaien Nishi-dori in the chic Aoyama neighborhood. Inside, a smooth wooden counter hugs around the open kitchen where guests closely watch the chef and his skillful hands. As a sign of welcome, a colorful noren curtain hangs behind the counter with a print of a seasonal haiku. Flower and plant arrangements are put together by the chef himself.

At the heart of Aoyama Sushisen’s is the shari, or sushi rice, perfected by chef Keiichiro Koizumi’s craftsmanship. Using aged Akitakomachi grains, the vinegared rice is served cold and slightly hardened than what most modern sushi lovers are used to. This is the traditional way of preparing sushi rice during the Edo Period, and you will be surprised by its pleasantness.

Having worked abroad, Koizumi prepares a detailed English menu for his international guests. He is knowledgeable not only about sushi, but also about other Japanese traditions such as rakugo and kabuki. Enjoy an enchanting evening of learning the best of what Japanese culture has to offer.



Aoyama Sushisen is a cultural experience.

Shari is the essential element in the Aoyama Sushisen experience. While the popular way today is to use lukewarm sushi rice, Koizumi follows the traditional approach where the shari is purposely made cold and firm. The rice has great texture and flavor that linger longer in your mouth.

Using his 20-year old cast iron hagama pot, he starts cooking the rice about two hours before the guests are expected. After years of trial and error, he’s figured out the ideal combination of heat, water and cooking time. For those of us who are used to eating modern sushi, the old-fashioned taste will feel new.

The omakase course begins with a few delightful appetizers. First, kamatoro, the fattiest part of the jaw, is grilled over the flame. The smokiness brings out the potent flavor of the fish, which melts instantly in your mouth.

The otoro tuna, with its shiny marbled flesh, looks too precious to eat. Its glistening fat disappears in your mouth and unleashes sweetness and aroma. Carved out of a 170 kg catch off Oma in Aomori Prefecture, the fish is served in the best condition.

Spoonfuls of Bafun sea urchin are draped over the morself of cold rice. Buttery and creamy, the sweetness melts on your tongue. White shrimp is soft and moist, flavored with a tint of yuzu for a refreshing taste.The crisp seaweed is homemade by the chef himself.

Most of the fresh fish served at Aoyama Sushisen come from Tokyo’s Toyosu Market. The high-grade tuna is sourced from a top wholesaler, Ishiji. Koizumi's motto when purchasing tuna is that it’s the best cut for sushi. Salmon roe and other ingredients are purchased directly from Hokkaido. The rice used is aged Akitakomachi brand. The vinegar is red vinegar manufactured in Tokyo. Wasabi is grown in the fresh waters of Utogi.

Aoyama SushiSen cuisine #0
Aoyama SushiSen cuisine #1


Keiichiro Koizumi

Keiichiro Koizumi was born in Yamanashi Prefecture in 1970 in a family of sushi chefs. Growing up, he lived above his father’s sushi bar, where he was allowed to come and go freely. Sushi-making was second-nature to him and he knew that he too would become a chef one day.

After graduating from university, he began his apprenticeship under master chef Tsutomu Shimamiya of Sapporo's famous Sushizen. He later worked at a sushi restaurant in Tokyo before moving to the U.S. at the age of 29. He trained at restaurants in Seattle, Los Angeles, and other cities for about a year. Upon returning to Japan, he decided to branch out on his own and opened Aoyama Sushisen in 2000.

As he was building his business, he also became a devout student of Japanese culture. He created a sushi chronology and studied various aspects of its history. He became fascinated by traditional arts that flourished over the Edo Period like rakugo and kabuki. He’s been to over 800 rakugo performances. He also enjoys hiking on days off.

Currently 54 years old, Koizumi says he wants to continue making sushi until he's 70. If I can continue making sushi, I’ll do whatever it takes to stay healthy, he adds. He also hopes that many overseas guests will come and enjoy the culture of sushi at Aoyama Sushisen.


Koizumi treasures his iron cast hagama pot that he’s been using to cook rice for over 20 years. Through trial and error, he’s devised the right recipe for the ideal texture and flavor. Although the pot is very large, he says the key to making delicious rice is to make them in smaller batches. Preparing about 1 cup of rice per guest, he starts cooking the grains about 2 hours before the meal. Carefully monitoring the heat, water level and cooking time, it’s a true art of craftsmanship to cook the perfect shari.


Sushisen TABLEALL special course
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
Reservation Request


Aoyama SushiSen

青山 すし泉

& UP
Sushi, Aoyama
B1F, 〒107-0062 Tokyo, Minato City, Minamiaoyama, 3 Chome−2−4
6PM-7PM (Last entry)
Sunday and Holidays


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