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Sushi Keita

鮨 桂太

Located in the heart of Tsukiji, Sushi Keita is a perfect choice for those looking to savor high-quality Edomae sushi but without the formalities. With the desire to create a restaurant that guests can use regularly, owner-chef Keita Aoyama stages a lively evening with his warm hospitality and excellent cuisine that won him a Michelin star in 2019. Characterized by the well-flavored rice and fine craftsmanship, every bite fills your cheeks with joy.

The small restaurant sits behind Tsukiji Honganji Temple in a quieter neighborhood just a few blocks from the old Tsukiji fish market. The area holds a special meaning for Aoyama who used to pass through it daily during his apprenticeship at Sushi Taichi in Ginza. Before moving to Tokyo, the Hokkaido-born chef trained at the two-star restaurant Sushisai Wakichi in Sapporo. He opened Sushi Keita in 2017 when he was 30 years old.

Sushi Keita’s traditional exterior is simple but tasteful with a red noren curtain hanging next to the restaurant’s sign, handwritten by Aoyama’s older sister. The dining area is elegant and inviting, set with a beautiful wooden counter. The walls are fitted with straight-grained cedar panels and shoji screens. From every seat, you can engage in fun conversations with the chef and follow his skillful hands. “I want my sushi restaurant to be a place where the guests feel comfortable coming on a regular basis, and not just for special occasions,” he says.

He’s even particular about the design of the chairs to make sure guests are comfortable until the end of the long meal. The small details like the beautiful calligraphy and arrangement of seasonal flowers create a relaxing atmosphere.



High-quality Edomae sushi but without the formalities

Using traditional Edomae-style techniques, Aoyama’s sushi is best characterized by the strong flavor and bolder texture of the rice. The rice morsels are slightly bigger than what you may be used to, filling up your mouth for a satisfying bite. There is a moderate level of sourness that balances out well with the raw fish.

The omakase course first takes you through 5 or 6 appetizers that bring you the flavors of Japanese seasons. The sardine roll is a wrap of vinegared sardines, ginger and shiso leaves in seaweed. Steamed oysters are lightly flavored with oyster sauce and tossed with Japanese sansho pepper oil and seaweed. The dish pairs beautifully with sake.

The chef mixes a fresh batch of sushi rice the moment the guests walk through the door. To enjoy the strong acid in the rice, he chooses zuke, or marinated tuna, instead of a lighter white fish, as the first nigiri. The potent acidity of the rice is a style he inherited from Sushi Taichi.

A generous slice of fatty chutoro, draped over the tinted sushi rice, melts in your mouth with amazing sweetness. The day’s catch was caught off the coast of Chiba, sourced directly from Ishiji, a top tuna vendor from the Toyosu Market.

Gizzard shad is cured just the right amount to balance the strong-flavored rice. Crumbed oboro, or fish floss, is hidden between the fish and the rice, adding a layer of flavor.

Hamaguri clams are lightly marinated and boiled in dashi for a gentle taste. The finishing tsume sauce is flavorful and smooth. Shrimp is boiled right before it’s pressed together with the rice in the chef’s hand. The sweetness of the shrimp bursts as you pop the sushi in your mouth. You can appreciate the level of craftsmanship in every dish.

At the heart of Aoyama’s sushi is the sour rice. He uses old Koshihikari grains from Sado in Niigata Prefecture and flavors them with a blend of two vinegars made by Kisaichi Brewing in Chiba. The salt comes from Sasawagawa Nagare & Salt Factory in Niigata. The fresh wasabi comes from a farm in Gotemba.

The chef doesn’t miss a day of going to the Toyosu Market to get his hands on the best fish. He likes his tuna soft and uses Ishiji, a top Toyosu wholesaler, to find the best cuts. He also prefers farmed shrimp, which tends to be sweeter than wild ones.

Sushi Keita cuisine #0
Sushi Keita cuisine #1


Keita Aoyama

Keita Aoyama was born in Hokkaido in 1987. His grandfather was a shrimp fisherman so he grew up learning about fishing and eating a lot of seafood from a young age. “We used to eat ebi-fry with three sweet shrimps bundled together. I used to get so sick of it but now that I think about it, what a luxury!” he recalls with a laugh.

His father would also often make him sushi and take him to their local sushi bar. By high school, Aoyama knew that he wanted to pursue a career as a sushi chef.

After finishing culinary school in Sapporo, he started his apprenticeship at Michelin-starred Sushisai Wakichi in Sapporo. He later moved to Tokyo and learned from sushi masters at Sushi Mizutani and Sushi Taichi, both top restaurants in Ginza.

He opened Sushi Keita when he was 30 years old, two years earlier than the age he was hoping to be running his own restaurant. Recognized for his superb skills, the restaurant was awarded one Michelin star in 2019.

“I want to show our guests what true Japanese sushi is about,” Aoyama speaks passionately. “It’s not the most elaborate cuisine out there but it’s a craft that requires careful work.”


It’s hard to forget the distinctive flavor of Sushi Keita’s rice. The moderate sourness gives the sushi good sharpness and body. The aged Koshihikari rice comes from Sado in Niigata Prefecture. The grains are large and firm, which is exactly how Aoyama likes it. There is a rice store just two doors down from the restaurant, so he gets freshly-milled rice everyday.

The vinegar is a blend of two types of vinegars made by Kisaichi Brewing in Chiba Prefecture. The vinegar adds a good amount of sharpness to the rice. The salt comes from the Sasagawa Nagare Salt Factory in Niigata Prefecture. They are rich in minerals, helping bring out the umami of the ingredients.


Dinner (5:30PM- and 8:15PM-)
Sushi Keita omakase course
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
Reservation Request


Sushi Keita

鮨 桂太

& UP
Sushi, Tsukiji
1F, 6 Chome-6-4 Tsukiji, Chuo City, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan
LDinner: 5:30PM-and 8:15PM-
Sunday and Monday


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