Sushi | Detailed Explanation of Sushi's History, Overview, and Experienceable Places

🕓 2023/12/28

Detailed Explanation of the History and Experience of Sushi

DALL·E 2024-01-06 15.15.10 - A highly realistic and detailed depiction of luxurious sushi, focusing on faithfully replicating the textures and appearance of the sushi toppings (ne


 Table of Contents

  • 1. What is Sushi?
  • 2. The History of Sushi
  • 3. Types of Sushi
  • 4. Sushi Tools
  • 5. Places to Experience Sushi



Sushi is more than just a dish; it's a unique food culture that has become a symbol of Japanese culture and is loved all over the world. This traditional cuisine is internationally acclaimed for its delicate taste and artistic presentation. Sushi is not just a meal; it's a combination of each sushi's story, the craftsmanship of the sushi chef, and the freshness of the ingredients, all contributing to its unique food culture.

DALL·E 2024-01-06 15.15.01 - A minimalist and elegant display of luxurious sushi, with just a few pieces carefully arranged on a large polished wooden board. The sushi includes hi

In this article, we will delve deeply into the world of sushi, from its basics to its history, the variety of types available, the essential tools for its creation, and even places where you can directly experience this culture. We will explore what sushi is, its origins, how this unique dish spread worldwide, and the information you should know to deepen your enjoyment of sushi. Enhancing your knowledge about sushi will make your next sushi experience even more enriching.



1. What is Sushi?

Sushi is a traditional Japanese dish originating from Japan, combining rice seasoned with vinegar (sushi rice) and fresh raw fish or seafood. The basic structure of sushi is simple, yet it offers an immeasurable range of expressions, varying by region and the individuality of sushi chefs.

DALL·E 2024-01-06 15.14.52 - Image 1_ A traditional Japanese sushi arrangement showcasing the basic structure of sushi. The image includes sushi rice (vinegared rice) topped with

One of the charms of sushi is the diversity of ingredients used. The main ingredient, raw fish, includes a wide variety such as tuna, salmon, shrimp, squid, each with its unique texture and flavor. Seaweed, eggs, vegetables, and other non-fish ingredients are also widely used in sushi. Sushi chefs skillfully combine these ingredients to pursue a trinity of taste, aroma, and appearance.

DALL·E 2024-01-06 15.14.40 - An image showcasing the diversity of ingredients used in sushi, highlighting the unique textures and flavors. The image features a variety of sushi ty

Sushi also varies by region. For example, Tokyo's Edomae sushi is characterized by its simple taste that highlights fresh seafood, while Osaka's pressed sushi is known for its visually appealing and rich flavors.

DALL·E 2024-01-06 15.14.35 - An image showcasing the contrast between Tokyos Edo-mae sushi and Osakas pressed sushi. The Tokyo side features Edo-mae sushi, characterized by its


Furthermore, sushi has continued to evolve over time, with traditional styles coexisting with innovative approaches. Thus, sushi, with its rich history and culture, continues to fascinate gourmets worldwide.




2. The History of Sushi

The history of sushi is ancient within Japanese food culture, with its origins traceable back to the Nara period (710-794). At that time, 'narezushi', a form of sushi, existed. It involved fermenting fish with salt and rice for long-term preservation, different from modern sushi. Typically, the fish was eaten, and the rice was discarded during this fermentation process.

DALL·E 2024-01-06 15.14.02 - An image depicting narezushi, the early form of sushi from the Nara period (710-794). The image should illustrate the ancient sushi-making process,

During the Heian period, a form of 'namanarezushi' emerged, where both fish and rice were eaten together, shortening the fermentation time and allowing the simultaneous enjoyment of both flavors.

DALL·E 2024-01-06 15.13.56 - An image depicting narezushi in the style of modern mackerel sushi (saba sushi) from the Nara period, focusing on the traditional preparation method

In the Edo period (1603-1868), sushi underwent significant evolution, leading to the birth of 'nigiri sushi', the style most commonly known today. Developed in Edo (now Tokyo),this style involved placing fresh seafood on top of vinegar-seasoned rice, allowing for quicker and tastier consumption. This form of sushi was very appealing to the busy citizens of Edo, who needed to eat quickly.

DALL·E 2024-01-06 15.13.47 - An image depicting sushi from the Edo period, showcasing the evolution towards modern sushi styles. The image should feature Edo-mae sushi, characteri

Entering the 20th century, sushi became even more diversified and spread internationally. Especially during Japan's rapid economic growth after World War II, sushi restaurants proliferated, and sushi spread not only throughout Japan but also around the world. Today, sushi incorporates a variety of cultures and ingredients, giving birth to new styles of sushi.

DALL·E 2024-01-06 17.54.35 - An image depicting contemporary sushi in Japan, showcasing a blend of traditional techniques and modern innovation. The image should feature a variety (1)

Thus, sushi has undergone continuous innovative evolution over more than a thousand years, establishing itself as a traditional Japanese culinary culture while always embracing innovation. Tracing the history of sushi is synonymous with understanding the history of Japanese food culture, and its depth and allure are immeasurable.




3. Types of Sushi

There are various types of sushi, each with its unique characteristics, offering different flavors and experiences based on the ingredients and methods used. The following is a detailed explanation of the representative types of sushi and their characteristics.

◆Nigiri Sushi (Hand-pressed Sushi):

DALL·E 2024-01-06 15.18.19 - An artistic interpretation of a sushi feast, featuring an array of nigiri sushi with a touch of abstract art. The sushi is creatively arranged in a ci

Nigiri sushi is the most popular style of sushi. In this type, various kinds of seafood, such as tuna, salmon, shrimp, squid, and sea urchin, are placed on top of hand-pressed vinegar rice. These are typically served with soy sauce and wasabi.

◆Maki Sushi (Rolled Sushi):

DALL·E 2024-01-06 15.18.11 - A close-up, high-quality photo of a single maki sushi roll, focusing on the intricate details and freshness of the ingredients. The roll is a classic

Maki sushi is sushi rolled in seaweed with vinegar rice and various fillings, including fish, vegetables, and eggs, forming a long, cylindrical shape. Famous varieties include 'Futomaki' (thick rolls) and 'Hosomaki' (thin rolls).

◆Chirashi Sushi (Scattered Sushi):

DALL·E 2024-01-06 15.18.05 - A high-quality, realistic photo of traditional chirashi sushi, featuring a bed of sushi rice in a bowl, topped with an assortment of sashimi, vegetabl

Chirashi sushi consists of a bowl of vinegar rice topped with a variety of ingredients, known for its colorful presentation. It uses a mix of seafood and vegetables, allowing for a diverse taste experience in one dish. It is commonly used in home meals and celebrations.

◆Oshi Sushi (Pressed Sushi):
DALL·E 2024-01-06 15.17.58 - A photo-realistic image of traditional oshizushi, highlighting its unique characteristics. The oshizushi is meticulously crafted with layers of vinega

Oshi sushi is a style where ingredients and vinegar rice are layered in a mold and pressed. Originating in Osaka, it is known for its beautiful appearance and longer shelf life. Famous examples include 'Hako Sushi' and 'Battera'.

Apart from these types, various adaptations have emerged worldwide. For example, Western-style sushi like California rolls and new styles like Sushi Burritos are popular. Regional sushi varieties also exist, reflecting local food cultures and ingredients.




4. Sushi Tools

Specialized tools are used in making sushi, each playing an important role in enhancing the quality of the sushi. Sushi making is a blend of tradition and technique, requiring a variety of specialized tools. The following explains the main tools used in sushi making and their functions.

◆ Sushi Oke (Sushi Tub):

DALL·E 2024-01-06 15.17.26 - A high-quality, realistic image of a sushi oke (sushi rice tub), traditionally used in sushi preparation. The oke is made of wooden material, showcasi

The sushi tub is an essential tool for making sushi rice. It is primarily made of wood and is used to cool the rice. The sushi tub helps maintain the appropriate temperature and humidity for the rice, crucial for enhancing its quality.

◆Oshizushi Ki (Sushi Press):

DALL·E 2024-01-06 15.17.23 - A high-quality image of a traditional wooden sushi mold used for making oshizushi (pressed sushi). The mold is crafted from fine-grained wood, showing

Used especially for making pressed sushi, this tool helps create uniformly shaped sushi. Available in wood or plastic, it's essential for achieving an aesthetically pleasing appearance.

◆Sashimi Knife:

DALL·E 2024-01-06 15.17.20 - A high-quality, realistic image of a sashimi knife (sashimi bōchō), known for its precision and craftsmanship. The knife features a long, narrow, and

A specialized knife for cutting fish, it's sharp and suitable for cleanly slicing fish. This knife is vital for sushi chefs, allowing for delicate cuts without damaging the fish.

◆ Makisu (Sushi Rolling Mat):

DALL·E 2024-01-06 17.43.39 - An image of a sushi rolling mat, also known as a makisu, commonly used in the preparation of rolled sushi. The image should show a traditional bamboo  (1)

A bamboo mat used for making rolled sushi. The rolling mat helps roll the sushi into a uniform shape, playing a crucial role in the consistency and appearance of rolled sushi.

◆Other Tools for Handling Fish:

DALL·E 2024-01-06 17.51.06 - An image depicting various specialized tools used for handling fish in sushi preparation. The image should include a special brush for cleaning fish,  (1)

Other specialized tools are used for handling fish, including brushes for cleaning fish and tweezers for removing bones.

These tools are essential for sushi chefs to exhibit their delicate skills. Each tool plays a significant role in influencing the taste and quality of sushi, and mastering these tools is part of a sushi chef's expertise. The selection and handling of sushi tools significantly impact the final presentation and are crucial for enhancing the quality of sushi.




5. Places to Experience Sushi

◆Tokyo, Ginza:

AdobeStock_262022506 (1)

The Ginza district in Tokyo is home to high-quality sushi restaurants. Michelin-starred restaurants offer exceptional quality, albeit at corresponding prices. For more affordable sushi, conveyor belt sushi restaurants are recommended.​​

◆Tokyo, Tsukiji Market:

AdobeStock_426848748 (1)

Tsukiji Market has been known for decades as Japan's premier sushi destination. Restaurants and food stalls within the market operate from early morning, offering sushi as a breakfast option.

◆Kyoto, Nishiki Market:


Known as 'Kyoto's Kitchen', Nishiki Market has a history of over 400 years. Numerous restaurants and shops offer delicious sushi at reasonable prices.

◆Hokkaido, Hakodate Morning Market:


Hakodate Morning Market, with over 250 shops, offers fresh sushi. Sushi with tuna and squid are must-tries. Michelin-starred restaurants in Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, are also recommended.

◆ Ishikawa Prefecture, Kanazawa City:


Kanazawa City, known for its high consumption of fresh fish, offers quality sushi at affordable prices at Nonoichi Market. The historic district of Kanazawa also has many traditional sushi restaurants.​​

◆Toyama Prefecture, Shinminato Kittokito Market:


Here, you can enjoy sushi made with freshly caught fish from Toyama Bay. The shrimp sushi, known for its special sweetness and juiciness, is particularly famous.​​