When it’s time to say goodbye to Japan at the end of your trip, don’t forget to say goodbye to the sushi too.

Regardless of how long you spend on your trip to Japan, when you’re on the way to the airport for your flight home you’re probably going to find yourself wishing you could stay longer. It really is hard to say goodbye to a country with such a rich culture, beautiful scenery, and delicious food.

So if you’re looking to get one final dose of fine Japanese cuisine before you get on the plane, you’ll want to stop by Sushi Kyotatsu, a sushi restaurant that’s located in the departure boarding area of Narita Airport’s Terminal 1. In other words, you’ll need to have an outbound ticket and pass through the airport’s security check in order to eat there, and after you’re done with your meal you’ll be just steps away from your gate.

Kyotatsu just opened this branch last year, and right from the start we should make it clear that this is no cut-rate food court eatery. This is a legitimate branch of the chain whose first location is located in Tokyo’s swanky Ebisu neighborhood, and its top-of-the-line omakase (chef’s recommendation) sushi set will set you back 8,500 yen (US$79).

Luckily, there are also less expensive sets for travelers who don’t have fistfuls of cash left over at the end of their Japan trip, with the lowest-priced being the Hama set for 1,800 yen (US$17), an affordable luxury for your last culinary hurrah in Japan.

The Hama set is also omakase-style, and so the specific types of fish change daily according to the chef’s recommendations. After passing through Kyotatsu’s noren entry curtain and taking a place at the counter, we put in our order and the chef began pressing fish to rice, placing the morsels on a plate in front of us as they were completed.

On our visit, the set consisted of nine pieces, with such eternally popular elements as maguro (tuna), buri (yellowtail), ebi (shrimp), ikura (salmon roe), katsuo (bonito), and ika (squid).

While the Hama is primarily a nigiri (pressed sushi) set, there were also a few pieces of refreshing kappamaki (cucumber roll).

While connoisseurs might argue that sushi is meant to be leisurely savored, Kyotatsu’s Narita branch realizes that every customer it serves needs to be somewhere soon, and so the service is speedy. When we stopped by, we mentioned to the staff that we had about 20 minutes before our flight started boarding, and they said they’d be able to accommodate us, swiftly preparing our meal in about five minutes. Another example of Kyotatsu Narita’s appreciation of its unique location is that one of the chefs was able to speak English, skillfully taking orders from foreign diners.

▼ The restaurant also has an impressive lineup of sashimi, appetizers, and even sake, if you need a stiff drink to settle your nerves before air travel.

So how does Kyotatsu’s sushi taste? Fantastic. As a matter of fact, it was so good it almost seemed cruel, since being located in the international flight boarding area means that shortly after you’ve eaten, you’ll be hundrds of miles away from Japanese sushi, but at least you’ll have the lingering flavor keeping your taste buds company for the first part of your flight.

Restaurant information
Sushi Kyotatsu (Narita Airport Terminal 1 Boarding Area branch) / すし京辰(成田空港第1ターミナル制限区域内店)
Address: Chiba-ken, Narita-shi, Sanrizuka 1-1, Terminal 1 Satellite 3
千葉県成田市三里塚1−1 第1ターミナル 第3サテライト
Open 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.

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