It is no secret that Japan is home to lip-smackingly delicious traditional sushi. Japan is not only rich in culture and tradition, but sushi bars and restaurants are all over the country too!
There are various sushi spots where you can satisfy your sushi cravings. But to start, how much is sushi in Japan?
Is sushi in Japan expensive or cheap?
The price of sushi in Japan varies. It can be cheap or expensive, depending on the shop or restaurant. There are affordably priced variations of sushi, mid-grade options, and high-end, expensive sushi.
Supermarkets and convenience stores tend to have cheaper sushi in Japan, while restaurants, bars, and conveyor belt sushi places have higher prices.
But generally speaking, sushi in Japan is cheap. While it is one of the staples and traditional meals in the country, its price remains on the affordable side.
If you’re visiting Japan and looking for a place to eat good and delicious sushi that fits your budget, you have many options.
You can keep your budget low when traveling in this beautiful country rich in culture, cuisine, heritage, and tradition.
How much is sushi in Japan?
Because Japan is home to delicious sushi, there are many options where you can get the snack that fits your budget. From supermarkets, and casual restaurants, to high-end restaurants, you can find the best sushi that will cost you just enough.
So, how much is sushi in Japan? The average sushi cost in Japan ranges from ¥1,000 to over ¥20,000. The approximate price per sushi meal is around $8 to $160.
There are cheap sushi meals that can go as low as ¥10, but surprisingly, there are sushi meals at ¥100,000 – a thousand times more than cheap sushi!
In supermarkets and convenience stores, the average cost of sushi in Japan is ¥600 to ¥1,000. This price is around $5 to $10.
For sushi delivery chains, you can get sushi in Japan for ¥1,500 to ¥5,000, or $10 to $40.
If you’re planning to have sushi for lunch, local and casual Japanese restaurants have sushi for a cost of between ¥1,000 to ¥3,000. This price converts from around $8 to $25.
For those who want to have a sushi dinner, restaurants usually offer ¥5,000 to 10,000 worth of sushi. This price is equal to approximately $40 to $80.
Conveyor-belt restaurants, also known as Kaitenzushi, are also popular, where you can have sushi for around ¥1,000 to ¥4,000. This price is equal to approximately $8 to $30.
High-end restaurants, on the other hand, have sushi for ¥30,000 to ¥100,000, or around $230 to $780.
What is the cheapest sushi in Japan?
Some people say that if you pay less for food, the more delicious the food will be. Is this the same case for cheap sushi?
The 10 Yen Sushi
The cheapest sushi in Japan is ¥10! That’s about $0.08. The store can be found along the street in Tokyo, where diners call it the “Sushi Bar With No Name,” famous for its 10 Yen Sushi.
The 10 Yen Sushi ingredients can change on a daily basis, determined by whatever is cheapest on the market that same day.
One of the most common types of meat used for the cheapest sushi is Japanese yellowtail. The store also offers refreshing drinks, Inari sushi, omelets, and squid, which you can get for less than ¥2,000.
As guests say, the sushi place does not need any advertising. Word of mouth is enough to make the sushi spot a name for itself!
Other affordable sushi meals are available in markets like the Toyosu Market. Some sushi conveyor belt restaurants also have affordable options.
Why is sushi cheaper in Japan?
One of the reasons why sushi is cheaper in Japan than in other countries worldwide is that the ingredients are abundant in the country.
The various ingredients are available at a low price. Hence, sushi meals can be really cheap in the country.
And because Japan is famous for sushi, you’ll likely find a place, restaurant, or convenience store offering sushi, which can be a factor why price competition is also tough.
Still, the price of sushi in Japan depends on where you eat. Sushi can be affordable, or it can also break the bank too!
The following section tackles the most expensive sushi in Japan.
Where can you get average-priced sushi in Japan?
Many restaurants in Japan serve mid-grade sushi—not too expensive to not fit your budget, nor too cheap. If you want to try average-priced sushi between high-priced and affordable, you can go to mid-grade sushi restaurants like Sushi M, Rozan Ginza, and Sushi Tokyo Yoshida.
What is the most expensive sushi in Japan?
For less than a dollar, you can already buy sushi in Japan. Interestingly, there is a type of sushi that costs a thousand times more than the 10 Yen Sushi available in the country!
Japan’s “Omakase” sushi is the most expensive sushi. Omakase is when the chef serves you a type of sushi based on his decision—the chef decides what they will offer!
You’re probably thinking Omasake has been present since hundreds of years ago. But in fact, it was not until the 1990s that the culinary style was popularized.
Omakase is a culinary style famous in Japanese dining where meals are served in a seasonal, artistic, and elegant way.
Omakase is expensive not only because the chef is the master of decision-making but also because the quality of the dishes and ingredients is unmatched. It is not your ordinary sushi.
If you want to try Omakase sushi, you should head out to high-end sushi bars. The price range for this type of expensive sushi can go anywhere from ¥5,000 to ¥100,000. That’s about $45 to $900!
Prepare your pockets to splurge if you’re thinking of dining in high-end sushi places and trying the expensive Omakase sushi.
Is expensive sushi worth it?
Why do people try expensive sushi when you can get sushi meals for about a dollar? Why do sushi fans rave about the most expensive sushi globally, even though it costs $1,978? (Yes, that’s true – it’s Angelito Araneta Jr.’s famous golden nigiri roll!)
But is expensive sushi worth it? If you are a sushi fan and have extra money to spend on sushi that is one of a kind, then yes, expensive sushi can be worth it.
Trying different kinds of sushi as a sushi lover can satisfy your craving and interest in the cuisine. You’ll be able to compare the difference between affordable sushi vs. high-end sushi even once in your life!
By ordering expensive sushi, you’re not only paying for the food itself. Consider the chef’s skills and experience, the renowned restaurant’s repute, and the quality of ingredients you are indulging yourself in.
Price Comparison of Sushi Prices in Japan
So, how much is sushi in Japan? Here’s a breakdown of the cost of eating sushi from different sushi places and restaurants in the country:
|Restaurant or Sushi Place||Estimated Price in Dollars|
|Supermarkets and Convenience Stores||$5 to $10|
|Sushi Lunch at a Casual Japanese Restaurant||$8 to $25|
|Sushi Dinner at the same restaurant||$40 to $80|
|Conveyor-belt Restaurants or Kaitenzushi||$8 to $10|
|High-end Restaurants and Sushi Bars||$230 to $900|
Sushi in Japan vs. Sushi in the US
What is extraordinary about sushi in Japan? In this section, we’ll list the differences between sushi in Japan and sushi in the US.
- Price: The price of sushi in Japan is said to be more reasonable than the cost of a sushi meal in the US. It is cheaper in Japan because it is a staple food in the country, where you’ll find many sushi varieties on every corner. High-end sushi in Japan can cost less than high-end sushi restaurants in New York and California.
- Types: Japan may have many variations of sushi, but you’ll not find any Dynamite Roll, Dragon Roll, or Philadelphia Roll in the country. These are mainly made by Western countries to twist the classic Japanese sushi recipe.
- Master chefs: Sushi in the US and Japan are both of high quality. But some say that sushi master chefs in Japan have different preparation techniques than chefs in the US. As a matter of fact, sushi chefs in Japan are appraised as masters of their job, and most consider it their lifelong profession.
- Side dishes: Sushi bars in Japan usually offer miso soup along with your sushi. In the US, you can choose from sushi restaurants’ extensive menu of tempura, rice bowls, and other side dishes.
So, how much is sushi in Japan? The price of sushi in Japan depends on where you’ll buy and eat sushi. If you’re ordering from an affordable sushi place, you can get sushi for as low as $5. On the other hand, high-end sushi meals can go as high as $900.
Whether you’re looking for sushi that fits your budget or are willing to splurge on expensive sushi meals, you’ll definitely enjoy dining at one of Japan’s sushi places.
Hiroshi Nakamura, a Tokyo-born sushi chef turned US-based writer and critic, is the voice behind ichisushi.com, blending traditional sushi wisdom with modern insights.