Our always-early reporter finds a great meal almost without even trying in the downtown Kanda neighborhood.

Japan is, obviously, the best country in the world for those looking for top-end, world-famous, destination-class sushi restaurants. But something that makes Japan just as great for sushi-loving foodies is how easy it is to stumble upon delicious, reasonably priced sushi at places where there’s no need for a personal introduction or even an reservation.

Case in point: our Japanese-language reporter Masanuki Sunakoma recently had a meeting to go to at 1 o’clock near Kanda Station in downtown Tokyo. Masanuki is the kind of guy who likes to arrive early for appointments, but this time he overdid it and wound up getting to Kanda a full hour ahead of time.

Not that he really minded, though. With an hour to kill, he decided to go look for lunch, and he didn’t have to look very far at all. Right across the street from the North Exit of Kanda Station is a sushi restaurant called Edokko.

Edokko is a kaitenzushi/kaiten sushi restaurant, where you can grab plates of sushi off a conveyor belt as they go by. At lunchtime, though, they also offer made-to-order sushi sets, and the one that caught Masanuki’s eye on the restaurant’s sign was the ittengoninmae, or “1.5 person-serving” lunch, for 1,240 yen (US$8.15)

▼ 1.5人前ランチ = 1.5 person-serving lunch

There are a lot of offices in this part of Tokyo, and with it being the lunch hour the restaurant had a pretty big crowd of customers inside. But there was an empty seat as Masanuki walked in, so he sat down and ordered the 1.5 person-serving lunch right away via his seat’s touchscreen.

He figured it’d probably take a while for the staff to prepare it, but these sushi pros work fast, and in less than three minutes he had this gorgeous spread before him.

Most standard-size sushi restaurant sets give you eight pieces, and true to Edokko’s word their 1.5 person-serving lunch gives you 12 nigiri sushi pieces. The set also includes a sliced negitoro (fatty tuna and green onion) roll, and even a bowl of miso soup in the aosa style, thick with sea greens.

Of course, as sushi veterans are well aware, the number of pieces alone isn’t enough to tell you whether or not you’re getting good value, quantity-wise, from a set meal, since some places might use very thin cuts of fish. Thankfully, Edokko uses nice thick cuts.

And not only were they thick, they were delicious! One after another, they rewarded Masanuki’s taste buds with their flavorful freshness, which the restaurant says is the result of getting their ingredients shipped directly from Tokyo’s Toyosu fish market.

Other highlights of the meal were the inari sushi (vinegared sushi rice wrapped in a layer of fried tofu)…

…and the mekabu (a part of the wakame seaweed plant, found just above its root).

Thanks to the speedy service, and the sushi being so delicious that he couldn’t stop eating it, Masanuki was finished with his lunch with time to spare before his appointment time. Oh, and if you’re not as consistent about getting to places early as he is, don’t worry, since Edokko’s 1.5 person-serving lunch is available until 3 p.m.

Restaurant information
Edokko / 江戸ッ子
Address: Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, Uchi Kanda 3-19-8

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