In an area lined with renowned sushi restaurants, the district of Ginza 7-chome remains one of the most competitive. Here, in the first basement floor of a building, Chef Hidenori Nishimura crafts sushi with a cheerful expression at his eponymous establishment, Ginza Rin Nishimura, where the bustle of the street melts away.
"I enjoy eating", Chef Nishimura says, his friendly exchanges with diners dispelling the image of the inaccessible sushi restaurant. At the age of 18, he started his career as a sushi chef in Kojimachi, before working at sushi restaurants in Omotesando and Akasaka. In 2015, he became the manager of sushi restaurant Rin Ginza, eventually becoming independent. In November 2017, Ginza Rin Nishimura was opened at its current location: The restaurant became a popular one-star restaurant for its outstanding cuisine and keen interaction with guests.
As with any Tokyo eatery of this calibre, carefully selected ingredients are procured from a trusted source in Toyosu market; for example, the ever-important rice is "To-ono No. 4" from Iwate Prefecture, which farmers send in small amounts to ensure it’s served fresh. Meanwhile, vinegar is a blend of two kinds of red vinegar and one kind of rice vinegar. For the nori, good quality "Shodai Hikobei Saga no Hashiri" is purchased from Maruyama Nori from Tsukiji market. Nikiri shoyu (boiled soy sauce) is a blend of several kinds of soy sauce, with sake, mirin, and shavings of dried bonito, aged for a week. The restaurant’s homemade ginger is pickled in sweet vinegar, with a flavour that is light with carefully balanced sweetness.
Characteristically, Nishimura’s sushi is cut into larger pieces. Above all, the restaurant is confident in its conger eel, sourced from Tsushima, Nagasaski Prefecture, and purchased from the region’s no.1 broker, known as the “Conger Eel King”, at Toyosu Market. Good quality sushi ingredients need little adornment, aside from salt, to enhance their natural flavour — something that Nishimura duly obliges.
The restaurant offers around 8 varieties of Japanese sake; typically 3 standard kinds of fresh and dry styles, seasonal and rare bottles. Additionally, a selection of shochu, wine, and soft drinks are available to match guests’ personal preferences. The restaurant uses blended matcha for sushi restaurants, which is sold by Maruyama Nori.
The interior was designed by chef Nishimura with the image of 静 — denoting stillness and peacefulness — along with a designer. A gleaming cypress counter gives a sense of luxury and cleanliness, while dinnerware is made by Yukiko Saito, a female novelist active in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Italy, and potter Ryusuke Asai, the son of photographer Shinpei Asai, adding color to dishes.
There are six counter seats and a private room for up to four people. "I want people to enjoy fish, so for example, there may be a day when you can enjoy fish only with side dishes. We always serve dishes and drinks according to customers' requests. That's why I stand at the counter," says Nishimura, who advocates a customer-first approach.
Ginza Rin Nishimura is a cozy restaurant where guests who visit for business on weekdays can bring their families on weekends — a sushi restaurant for many occasions.
* The availability of this webpage does not guarantee that the restaurant presented provides services in English, unless otherwise stated. Please be aware that English services may also depend on staff availability at the restaurant.
A 5-minute walk from Ginza Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line,Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line)