my friend living in Kyoto didn’t even know about the existence of this fabulous small scaled restaurant. but once he had it, he said it’s amongst the top 10 sushi he had ever eaten. and guess what? he’s from Hokkaido; where all the amazing sushi are.

there’s also another place called Hanaore which is said to serve the best Sabazushi (came here for this!) in Kyoto but I placed my bet on Izuju as it has a longgg history plus it’s more affordable (main point!!!!)

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opposite the shop is Yasaka Jinja  Shrine. a relatively famous shrine at the Gion area. we went near new years day so there were LOADDSSS of people.

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had to take a picture with it!

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and because the place was too small, you have to write your name and the number of people and wait for your turn to be called. the best thing is that you write it with a brush. the traditional way!

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love how the place is more to of a cozy setting rather than a posh setting. makes me comfortable. I really hate it when I dine at super expensive places because I get very shy and stiff. =S.

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the take away menu! I’ll read it for you. with the price! from left to right.

Mushi Sushi 1,500yen, Sabazushi 2,000yen, Hako sushi 1,600yen, LONGER ROLL of Sabazushi 4,000yen, [dunno how to read, but its something CHI sushi] 4,000yen, Inari Sushi 750yen, [dunno how to read] 1,100yen.

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the humble entrance!

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and the crowd in front of the entrance X_X.

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I guess this picture doesn’t need captions. when it survived for a 100 years, you know it’s good.

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the english menu! click for a larger version ^^. since 2,000yen for only 6 pieces of sabazushi is pretty darn expensive, I recommend you to go for these sets. much more affordable especially for the variety. =D.

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super huge pottery-cup! they have nice Ocha too!

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the interior of the place. there are more seats behind of course but about like 3 more tables and 2(I think) more rooms. so basically the place have like only 7 tables. it’ll be worth the wait. trust me. but the first time when we got there we barely waited. we went at some odd hour so..

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we ordered the Inari sushi, Deluxe Hako sushi and SABAZUZHI set. oh my sweet heavens. D=. just look at it. wonderful plate of gorgeous art. my stomach is growling as I type U_U.

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okay, firstly, let me describe about the Inari sushi here. this place is really famous for the Inari sushi and I just had to try it. but.. I’ll never order this the next time I go there. that little small chunks of herbs are.. like.. the skin of oranges? it has sort of like a minty, bitter taste to it. and it reminds me of some applicable Chinese cream. =S.

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I hate stuff with leafs inside. but this is absolutely delicious. I never liked small leafy stuff so much. I just kept wanting more. every piece of box-looking sushi is heavenly. I like the one with anago the best. anago’s some sort of eel. and the egg one was very fluffy and sweet. loved it so very much U_U. if only I can have it right nowwwwwwww. =S.

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and the main dish I came here for…. THE SABAZUSHI!!! (Mackerel Sushi) I’ve never had anything like this. it looks different, tastes phenomenal, and looks absolutely cute. this is to die for. although, apparently the taste of this sushi is quite acquired, I am pretty sure everyone who loves sashimi would love this too! but bare in mind. 3 pieces of this costs 1000yen. that’s like over RM10 for one piece. NOT cheap. and Izuju is already the more affordable shop for good sabazushi.

how it really tasted like? I’d say it’s not fishy. but very fresh fish (although pickled) and well, tastes like mackerel haha. as for the rice, it’s seasoned with the right amount of vinegar and since it’s wrapped with seaweed, the outside of it is very gooey.

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stunning, no? Deluxe Hako Sushi

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well, if you are not one who can wait for a seat, there’s always the take out!

the owner of the shop’s very nice as well. recognizes customers and relatively shy. I could take as much pictures as I want at his shop but not of him hahahaha.


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and it was so good, we came here again on the day I left.

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this time we didn’t order the set because we wanted  MORE Sabazushi and didn’t want that Inari sushi as well. so we replaced it with this multi-seaweed seaweed roll. lol. which was pretty good as well!

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also ordered a clear and fragrant soup to warm my tummy ^^.

I’d give this place 10/10stars. so if you’re at Kyoto, MAKE SURE TO DROP BY! ^_^!

directions: get off at Gion Shijo Station and walk towards Yasaka Shrine for Exit 7. really easy to find! and my favourite spots are just nearby! like.. Hanamikoji where you can spot a real Geisha if you’re lucky. I’ve been there 5 times  but never seen any T_T. my friend went there once and saw a GROUP pfft. but I went either in the day or very late at night so.. =S. but the entire area gives a nice traditional vibe since you’ll be seeing many people strooling around in Kimonos ^^

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10 years ago

… ahyyyy, would have been nice if you have spotted at least one GEisha.., 🙂

9 years ago

I ate at this restaurant a few months ago and loved it! I actually loved the little herb or seed or whatever it was in the inari that tasted kind of like orange skins… I thought it tasted a bit like pine too. Do you know what it was in there?

9 years ago

Wow wonderful review !!! I will definitely head there now !! Is there anything else you would recommend in Kyoto 🙂 , if possible could you message me on Facebook ? Thanks !!!

9 years ago

Hi Jamie!

I would like to ask if you went to Izuju on new year’s holiday? I’m really interested in this restaurant after reading your blog, but i’m not too sure if it is opened during the holidays. :/

Thank you very much!