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Sushi Shunji


A long-time protege of famed chef Takashi Saito, Shunji Hashiba curates his original Edomae-style sushi with his refined craftsmanship and creative artistry. Using seasonal catches from across Japan, the omakase at Sushi Shunji flows with a rhythm, alternating between light and rich flavors. The rice is flavored with red vinegar and molded lightly for the ideal texture. A fine sake pairing elevates the culinary experience.

Committed to preserving authentic techniques, Sushi Shunji’s cuisine is built on Hashiba’s learnings from Saito. With his mentor’s blessing, Hashiba opened his restaurant in 2020 as the first noren wake restaurant of award-winning Sushi Saito. Noren wake, which means to divide up the banner, is a traditional concept where a restaurant owner allows his trusted apprentice to open their own establishment using the main restaurant’s brand and recipes.

Tucked away on a quiet corner of Motoazabu, Sushi Shunji offers an exclusive and intimate experience. Every evening, just 10 guests get to take a seat around the beautiful wooden counter around the open kitchen. Designed by Toru Kijima, who worked on interiors of restaurants such as Matsukawa and Kaiseki Komuro, the dining room is tasteful and elegant, filled with details of craftsmanship.

The chef also has a deep appreciation for traditional woodwork. He points to his cutting board and explains that it’s made of 300-year-old Kiso cypress that was used to build the Honmaru Palace of Nagoya Castle. The serving trays, towel holders and even the chopsticks are made of different Japanese cedars.



Refined craftsmanship and creative artistry

While inheriting Saito’s teachings, Hashiba has continued to devise his own style of sushi. Through a series of nigiri and small dishes, the omakase menu brings together flavors of the season. He cares greatly about the rhythm of his meal and alternates between rich and light flavors. He keeps his seasonings light to bring out the natural flavors of the fish.

To warm your stomach before the nigiri courses, the chef serves a bowl of steamed sushi. Served in a beautiful Echizen lacquerware, white tilefish is draped in a thickened sauce and served over a mix of vinegared rice, asparagus and cubes of fresh ginger. The elegant flavors come together beautifully.

Hashiba’s sushi is made using Yumepirika rice grown in Hokkaido, which has a wonderful elasticity and absorbs the vinegar well. While it’s popular to use aged grains, he prefers new rice, which is more aromatic and sweet. Watching him carefully, you will notice he makes each sushi with as few movements as possible. He says he pays attention to how he uses his fingers to incorporate air into the rice. He places each sushi carefully on the serving trays made by artist Shiro Tsujimura.

The chef curates the order of the sushi courses, taking into account how quickly the flavor of the rice changes after it’s made. As the first course, he likes to choose a white fish or silver-skinned fish that falls apart easily with the rice. Gizzard shad is prepared using traditional Edo-style technique, marinated for about 15 minutes in salt and red vinegar. The pieces of glistening fatty tuna melt away in your mouth. The day’s serving of chutoro and otoro came from a 120-kg tuna caught off Funka Bay in Hokkaido.

Inspired by a shrimp dish he had at Txispa in Spain, he came up with his original recipe where he stir fries some Botan shrimp in dashi and sesame oil. Iwagaki oysters from Himi in Toyama Prefecture are served with a mix of mountain vegetables and pickled ume plums tossed with Tosa vinegar.

Hashiba treasures the relationships he’s nurtured with vendors during his days at Sushi Saito. The tuna comes from Yamayuki, a renowned wholesaler at Toyosu Market. He often calls up the fishermen in the middle of the night to check on the condition of the catches. His favorite kind of tuna is one that has a strong flavor. He doesn’t age the tuna meat so he likes it to be fresh and soft.

For the sushi rice, he uses a new Yumepirika crop that comes from a farm in Hokkaido. The vinegar is Kohaku, a type of red vinegar from Yokoi Brewery. The wasabi comes from Sugiyama Farm in Shizuoka Prefecture. Tatsumi Soy Sauce has a rich and deep flavor.

Sushi Shunji cuisine #0
Sushi Shunji cuisine #1


Shunji Hashiba

Shunji Hashiba was born in 1986 on Kozushima, a volcanic island about 4 hours away on a high-speed ferry from Tokyo. Growing up, fishing was his favorite pastime, learning how to filet the fish from his grandmother. He remembers how he would prepare the fish for his family using the Deba fileting knife he got as his birthday present when he was in 3rd grade. Once, he brought back too many fish and the family scolded him that he should catch only as much as they could eat. Since then, his motto has been to serve food without being wasteful.

After finishing high school, he left Kozushima to attend the Hattori Nutrition College, a culinary school in Tokyo. Through a friend, he landed a part-time job at Sushi Kanesaka where he met his mentor, Takashi Saito. Graduating from the culinary school at the top of his class, he continued to work closely with Saito, eventually becoming the second chef at his restaurant. In 2020, at the age of 34, he opened Sushi Shunji, next to his master’s restaurant. The signs for Sushi Saito and Sushi Shunji hung side by side.

In 2022, he married his wife, who worked as a sommelier at the time. At their wedding, the couple cut into a big piece of tuna from Yamayuki, instead of a cake, which made the president of the company laugh. On days off, he likes visiting vendors and fishermen. He also enjoys eating out to try new cuisines and flavors.

“I want to make sure that all the wonderful ingredients made by local producers are brought center stage,” Hashiba says. “I also want my cuisine to convey authentic flavors while also exploring new approaches.”


Guests are asked to pick their favorite piece from a tray filled with sake bowls of different colors and shapes. The piece will stay with you as your “companion” of the evening as you try various sake pairings, explains Ayako Hashiba, the chef’s wife and sommelier. Knowledgeable of both sake and wine, she will recommend the drinks that fit your liking.

The beautiful collection of sakeware is curated by Tenshudo, a gallery in Fukuoka Prefecture. Working with 40-50 artists including Kentaro Murayama and Makoto Yamaguchi, Tenshudo has created a new concept called Shuwan, which combines the characters for sake and bowl. Their selection for Sushi Shunji mainly includes tabichawan, or small matcha bowls instead of tiny sake cups. These bowls offer both the aesthetic qualities as well as functionality that works perfectly with the meal, Takeyasu Shojima, the gallery’s owner, says.


Sushi Shunji special omakase menu for TABLEALL members
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
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Sushi Shunji


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Sushi, Azabu Jyuban
1F Calm Motoazabu, u, 3-6-34 Motoazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Lunch:12PM, Dinner: 5PM and 8PM


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