Next stop: Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten

It’s a well-known fact that the Japanese feel great passion for Mediterranean culture, art nouveau, Gaudí and Barcelona.

I often see Japanese guests entering and leaving my apartments and suites in Barcelona and whenever I can I chat with them to hear their opinion about their privileged vacations, more than 10,000 km away from home.

They almost always ask for recommendations, a traditional restaurant, a great museum to visit, the essential highlights of the city, etc. But just a few weeks ago, I found myself on the receiving end. A couple from Tokyo told me about a unique restaurant in their city called Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten. It is one of the most renowned and famous sushi establishments in the Japanese capital.


ERIC-VOKEL-JIRO-HONTEN-BARRAfoto credit: Chapter 00

I was told that the extraordinary restaurant is located inside the Ghinza subway station (a curious location) and is run by the octogenarian sushi master Jiro Ono, a real artist and probably the world’s best chef in his specialty.

His tiny restaurant, with a seating capacity for only ten, boasts three Michelin stars.


Jiro Ono is nothing short of a legend. Born in 1925, and about to turn 90, he has been making sushi from the age of eight. There is no one in the world who can rival Jiro’s culinary perfection. Surprisingly, the master still works behind his restaurant counter next to one of his sons, to the delight of the 10 lucky people who can afford the €300-400 price tag on the menu.

ERIC-VOKEL-Sukiyabashi-Jiro-Honten-shushi-sepia ERIC-VOKEL-Sukiyabashi-Jiro-Honten-shushi-tune ERIC-VOKEL-Sukiyabashi-Jiro-Honten-shushi

Jiro Ono transforms this kind of work into art. His skills with rice and fish cuts go far beyond what we are used to seeing and tasting. The sushi chef adds exactly the right amount of wasabi to each piece of nigiri — the perfect balance — a fascinating ceremony for sushi lovers.


The Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten restaurant will now, very definitely, be one of my “must sees” on my next trip to Japan.


Sukiyabashi Jiro Honten restaurant

Photo by:Hiroshi Suga

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