Introduction of Japan


Sushi - Japanese Traditional Food

Sushi has become the most recognized Japanese food.

Sushi consists of a handful of Sumeshi rice (rice with vinegar added) formed into a lump, with a dab of wasabi (Japanese horseradish) paste added for flavoring, and topped with a slice of very fresh raw fish.

It is eaten with a dash of soy sauce.

Sushi is typically made in front of customers, so that the sushi chef can show off his style, and this has helped to popularize it internationally.

Other types of Sushi (as distinct from Nigiri-zushi) include Maki-zushi (Rolled Sushi), Oshi-zushi (Lightly-pressed Sushi), and Chirashi-zushi (vinegared rice with thin strips of egg, pieces of raw fish, vegetables and crab meat arranged on top).

Recently, the popularity of Kaiten-zushi, low-priced Sushi that is presented to customers on a circulating conveyor belt, has exploded not only in Japan, but throughout the world.

Popular Sushi Items



Toro is the name for fatty fish meat of tuna.
The Toro is usually picked out from belly part of bluefin tuna fish.
Especially, fattest pink one is called “Oh-Toro”.
Medium fatty one is called “Chu-Toro”.

Maguro (Akami)

Akami (lean meat)

Maguro just means tuna fish itself in Japanese.
Though, when you say the word in Sushi restaurant, it indicates non-fatty meat of tuna fish.
The same meaning of Maguro is “Akami” (lean meat).
A tuna fish yields Maguro (Akami), Chu-Toro (medium fatty meat) and Oh-Toro (fattest meat).

Hamachi (Buri)

Hamachi Fish (Buri)

Buri is the name for Japanese amberjack or yellowtail.
Hamachi means “young amberjack”.
Its meat is white.


Sake (Shake, Salmon)

Salmon (Sake or Shake) has recently become popular as one of Sushi toppings not just in Japan but worldwide.
However, because salmon has never been considered as one of toppings for successive Sushi chefs in Japan since Sushi came to existence.
So, many of proper Sushi restaurants in Japan do not serve salmon.
Instead, you can eat salmon in Kaiten-zushi restaurants or other low-priced Sushi restaurants.


Ika (Squid)

Squid (inkfish) is called “Ika” in Japanese.
Ika is one of very popular Sushi toppings.


Tako (Octopus, Devil fish)

Octopus (devil fish) is called “Tako” in Japanese.
A boiled or sometimes raw octopus arm fillet is used as a Sushi topping.


Awabi (Japanese Abalone)

Japanese abalone is called “Awabi”.
Awabi is considered to be a luxury food item in Japan.
A Sushi with Awabi is so delicious with muscular and exquisite consistency.


Ebi (Shrimp)

Ebi means shrimp in Japanese.
It is integral ingredient for Sushi.


Hirame (Left-eyed flounder, bastard halibut, flatfish)

Left-eyed flounder (bastard halibut, flatfish) is called “Hirame” in Japanese.
Hirame is extremely popular ingredient among white fishes because its taste is delicious but mild.


Karei (Righteye flounder)

Righteye flounder is called “Karei” in Japanese.
Karei is considered to be inferior to Hirame, though, actually the taste of Karei is no less than that of Hirame.


Iwashi (Sardine, Japanese pilchard)

Sardine (Japanese pilchard) is called “Iwashi”.
Fresh Iwashi fish with a lot of fat is so delicious, but, not all Sushi restaurants can serve fresh Iwashi fish.
Iwashi goes rotten fast, so that restaurants need to have suppliers who can supply Iwashi fish at a word.


Kohada (Japanese gizzard shad)

Gizzard shad is called “Konoshiro” in Japanese.
Young Konoshiro around 10cm long is especially called “Kohada”.
Konoshiro fish in the Kohada size is most delicious and appropriate for the ingredient of Sushi.


Katsuo (Oceanic bonito)

Oceanic bonito is called “Katsuo”.
Dried bonito (Katsuobushi) is mundanely used to make broth with in Japanese foods.
So, meat of Katsuo fish contains a lot of Umami flavor.
A Sushi with Katsuo topping is also delicious.


Tai Fish (Sea bream, Japanese porgy)

Sea bream (Japanese porgy) is called “Tai”.
Tai is the king of all fishes, and, the fish is dished up when an auspicious occasion happens.
Its meat is white and dainty.


Aji (Japanese horse mackerel)

Japanese horse mackerel is called “Aji”.
Aji fish inhabit evenly over the seas around Japan.
The taste of fresh Aji fish is unforgettable.


Saba (Japanese Mackerel)

Mackerel is called “Saba”.
Saba goes rotten fast as same as Iwashi.
Though, a Sushi with fresh Saba topping is so delicious.


Kanpachi (Japanese Greater amberjack)

Greater amberjack is called “Kanpachi”.
Kanpachi belongs to the same family as Hamachi.
But, Kanpachi’s taste is more delicious than that of Hamachi.(The price is also much expensive.)


Suzuki (Japanese Sea Bass)

Sea bass is called “Suzuki” in Japanese.
Its meat is white and tasty.


Uni (Japanese Sea urchin)

Sea urchin is called “Uni”.
Uni is likened to undersea jewel.
When served as Sushi, Uni and Sumeshi rice are rolled up together with Nori (dried laver seaweed) in the Gunkanmaki style (warship style).


Anago (Japanese conger eel)

Japanese conger eel (congridae) is called “Anago”.
Anago is considered one of the popular toppings of the Edomae-zushi for sure.
Because Anago is full of small bones, it is a little laborious to slice the meat into pieces.
Anago’s figure is similar to Unagi (Japanese eel), however, its taste is not so fatty like Unagi.
Usually, a Sushi with Anago topping is eaten with soy-sauce based sweet sauce.


Kani (Crab)

Crab is called “Kani” in Japanese.
Several kinds of crabs are eaten as ingredients of Sushi.
The most delicious crab is “Zuwai-Gani” (snow crab).
“Taraba-Gani” (king crab) and “Ke-Gani” (hairy crab) are also tasty ones.


Shako (Japanese Mantis shrimp)

Mantis shrimp is called “Shako” in Japanese.
Shako is boiled and processed to split tail, then, served as a Sushi topping.


Akagai (Ark shell)

Ark shell is called “Akagai” (means red clam in the direct translation).
Akagai is counted as one of Sushi toppings of the traditional Edomae-zushi.
Its meat is muscular and tasty.


Hotate (Japanese scallop)

Japanese scallop is called “Hotate”.
The meat of Hotate is sweet so that it is appropriate for an ingredient of Sushi.
We can eat delicious Hotate at reasonable prices because the aquaculture system for Hotate has recently much developed.


Nigiri-zushihand-shaped Sushi
Maki-zushiSushi roll
Futo-makilarge roll
Inari-zushisushi rice stuffed in a fried bean curd
Chirashi-zushiassorted raw fish fillets over a bowl of Sumeshi vinegared rice
Tamagoegg (usually indicates chicken egg)
Garipickled ginger
Sharivinegared rice
WasabiJapanese horseradish
NetaSushi item
Shoyusoy sauce
Katsuo-bushidried bonito
SawaraSpanish mackerel
Ankoufishing frog, angler, blackmouth goosefish
Ankimoangler liver
Kazunokoherring roe
Ikurasalmon roe
Ama-ebisweet shrimp
Hamoconger, pike eel
Shirakomilt, soft roe
Namakosea cucumber
Noridried seaweed
IwanaJapanese char
FunaJapanese crucian carp
Agarifreshly poured cup of Japanese tea