Sushi Zanmai claim to fame was the owner Kiyoshi Kimura’s crazy acts of bidding the most expensive bluefin tuna at the annual Tsukiji New Year Auctions. He last won the 2017 bid at a cool ¥74.2MN, yes that close to ¥5000 per slice of sushi which he sold at ¥428 a piece at Zanmai.
The reason for this was actually quite noble – for a period of several years, a HK sushi chain claimed the auction. Sushi Itamae won for a consecutive 4 years between 2008 – 2011 (joint-winner in 2009-2011 with Kyubey). Kimura thought enough’s enough, time to regain national pride and won the 2012 bid at ¥155.4MN.
The Kaminarimon (雷门) is the outer gate of Sensoji in Asakusa. Everyone would stop here to take a photo under the giant lantern called Chochin that has been there (and sponsored by Panasonic Japan) for a very long time. The current one was in place in 2003. Many would go under the gate into Nakamisedori, to a street lined with souvenir shops and street snacks. Resist and walk along the outer ring, there are many restaurants surrounding Sensoji that are worth trying.
Sushi Zanmai, although is a chain restaurant with many branches around Japan, was a consistent performer in terms of cheap yet quality sushi and sashimi.
And the daily special soup was a whole crab cooked in miso.
Such was the generosity of the shop, and yet not sacrificing quality and taste. I guess you really get economy of scale when you buy in bulk.
Recommended when you want good and cheap sushi.
Sushi Zanmai Asakusa Kaminarimon (すしざんまい 浅草雷門店)
1 Chome-3-6 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo 111-0032, Japan
Open 24 hours
Phone: +81 3-5826-1375