The booking platform that can score you a coveted reservation at Sukiyabashi Jiro…
Jiro Ono’s “Sukiyabashi Jiro” restaurant is famous for his dedication to his craft. Recognized in Japan for some time, his tiny sushi restaurant achieved international fame thanks to the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.” Due to the restaurant’s incredible popularity and small size, reservations are notoriously difficult to come by. Think 6 months out, and even then it could be dicey.
Jiro has also recently stopped accepting reservations by phone, instead requesting that foreign visitors have their hotel concierge (read: fancy 5 star hotel) call to make a reservation for them at least a month in advance. This means that your credit card concierge also can’t help you out. It’s either your hotel, or a Japanese friend on the ground.
Or, as it turns out, Voyagin. The discounted ticket booker recently started offering reservations at Sukiyabashi Jiro, and the availability is frankly amazing.
How to Get Last Minute Reservations at Jiro Sushi
Voyagin does have a reputation for access to difficult to find and deeply discounted tickets (we’ve previously covered their Ghibli ticket availability and discounted Robot Restaurant tickets). But we’re still impressed by how their Jiro Sushi reservation booking has such wide–and last minute availability!
There’s actually two options available: a fairly reasonably priced reservation at the 2 Michelin starred Roppongi location headed by Jiro’s son Takashi. And at a significantly higher price point, there’s a reservation at the original, 3 Michelin star Ginza location, where you’ll be served by Jiro himself. (UPDATE: the Michelin guide has excluded the Ginza location from their most recent edition, ironically, because of the lack of a formal reservations system).
The Roppongi package does not include the actual cost of the food, only the reservation. However, the package for the Jiro Ginza Honten location includes your meal, along with transportation from your hotel, an English speaking Japanese food critic tagging along to help, and a photo-op with Jiro.
If you’re got the cash, it just might be worth it to grab this elusive reservation. There’s last minute availability you won’t find anywhere else, and beyond the reservation itself, the extra bit of structure Voyagin provides for the experience makes it much more accessible to those who don’t speak Japanese.
FAQs about Sukiyabashi Jiro
While we can’t personally attest to the life-changing qualities of Jiro’s sushi, the reviews are overwhelmingly positive. Everyone from Anthony Bourdain to the Voyagin reviewers rave about the meal.
At the Roppongi location, the lunch menu costs 22,000 yen per person for sushi only and about 27,000 yen per person for sushi and sashimi (excluding the service charge and tax). The dinner menu costs 30,000 yen per person for sushi only and about 35,000 yen for sushi and sashimi (also excluding the service charge and tax).
At the original Ginza location, the cost for the omakase sushi meal is 40,000 yen plus tax for either lunch or dinner.
The dress code is business casual. They say that they may refuse service to customers wearing collarless shirts or shorts, or sandals. Jiro Sushi also requests that customers avoid wearing strong perfume.
The original Jiro Sushi location in Ginza is still run by Jiro himself, while the new Roppongi location is run by his son, Takashi. If you can afford it, and you want the most bragging rights, go to the original location to be served by Jiro himself.
However, we hear that his son Takashi (who worked by his side for decades before setting up shop by himself) is also crafting incredibly high quality sushi. A reservation at the Roppongi location is a little more budget friendly, and likely to be just as delicious.
The Michelin Guide originally awarded Jiro’s original Ginza location 3 stars, while Jiro’s son’s restaurant in Roppongi was given 2 stars.
Unfortunately, the Ginza location was recently excluded from the Michelin guide due to their limiting of reservations by traditional means. Basically, because Jiro Ginza doesn’t have a formal reservations system in place– instead relying increasingly on the booking method we talk about here– the Michelin guide decided that it was too exclusive, and thus not eligible for inclusion.
The sushi is of course exactly the same, but if you’re determined to have those Michelin-star bragging rights, know that Jiro Ginza no longer has any stars. However, the Roppongi location run by Jiro’s son has retained its two Michelin stars.