If you’re a sushi lover heading to Tokyo, then you’ve probably heard of Tsukiji Sushi Dai and Sushi Daiwa.
I remember planning my itinerary meticulously to ensure a visit to Sushi Dai back when it was still at Tsukiji Market, but I sadly wasn’t able to get there early enough on account of food poisoning (a story for another day). While I was able to get my sushi fix at Daiwa, I knew I’d have to come back and try Sushi Dai at Toyosu. Now that I’ve finally been to both sushi restaurants, I can tell you that the hype for Sushi Dai is well-deserved.
In this post, I’ll share my experiences at both Sushi Dai and Daiwa Sushi, why I think it’s worth braving the queues at Sushi Dai, and tips for visiting Toyosu Market now that both restaurants have relocated.
- Why are Sushi Dai and Sushi Daiwa so famous?
- Sushi Dai vs. Daiwa
- Cost of Sushi Dai vs. Daiwa
- Sushi Quality at Sushi Dai vs. Daiwa
- Omakase Experience at Sushi Dai vs. Daiwa
- My Sushi Dai Review at Toyosu Fish Market 
- Are Sushi Dai and Sushi Daiwa still at Tsukiji Fish Market?
- How to Get to Toyosu Fish Market
- Sushi Dai and Daiwa Opening Hours
- Sushi Dai and Sushi Daiwa Wait Times
- Tips for Visiting Sushi Dai or Sushi Daiwa
- What to Do if You Can’t Get Seated at Sushi Dai or Sushi Daiwa
Why are Sushi Dai and Sushi Daiwa so famous?
Sushi Dai and Sushi Daiwa are renowned because they offer top-notch sushi at unbeatable prices. At under $40, you’ll be treated to a delightful omakase experience featuring a set menu of 10 sushi pieces. This is an incredible steal when considering that comparable meals in the Bay Area can easily cost over $100 per person.
And, while Toyosu Market is noticeably less atmospheric compared to Tsukiji, dining at the fish market remains an uniquely intimate experience. With chefs loudly calling out greetings and customers engaged in lively chatter, you get a small taste of Tokyo’s local life and the hustle of market vendors first hand.
Sushi Dai vs. Daiwa
Cost of Sushi Dai vs. Daiwa
Both restaurants are incredibly affordable omakase options but Sushi Dai is now the cheaper of the two. It used to be that Sushi Dai was more expensive but Sushi Daiwa increased their prices after relocating to Toyosu Market.
At Sushi Dai, you can expect to spend around ¥5,000 ($40) for the set menu, while at Daiwa, it’s around ¥5,500 for the same. Prices are reflected on the menus, which are in Japanese only. However, some of the chefs do speak a little bit of English to help patrons with basic questions about pricing and food allergens.
Sushi Quality at Sushi Dai vs. Daiwa
Both restaurants use top-quality ingredients and have excellent sushi chefs preparing your meal.
Personally, I found the sushi quality to be comparable between the two places but there are those who argue that the food at Sushi Dai is fresher and consistently of high quality. Most of the negative reviews for Sushi Dai are about the queueing process, while Sushi Daiwa has negative reviews specifically about their sushi.
Omakase Experience at Sushi Dai vs. Daiwa
When it comes to dining at Sushi Dai and Sushi Daiwa, both restaurants offer a similar atmosphere.
At both Sushi Dai and Daiwa, I was lucky enough to be seated at the counter where I got to watch the sushi chefs meticulously shape each piece of sushi up close. I also found the waitstaff and chefs at both establishments to be super friendly and warm, even though we didn’t speak the same language.
The key difference came down to pacing. I felt ever so slightly more rushed at Sushi Daiwa, where my next sushi piece was ready before I had cleared off my plate. At Sushi Dai, I felt like I was allowed to go at a more leisurely pace, allowing me to truly savor each and every bite.
I’ll also note that, at the time, only Sushi Dai allowed you to order additional sushi pieces a la carte. Based on recent reviews, it appears that Sushi Daiwa now offers this service as well, although some have complained that the prices for those extra pieces can be quite steep.
My Sushi Dai Review at Toyosu Fish Market 
We arrived at Sushi Dai at Toyosu Fish Market just before noon at around 11:30 AM on a Thursday. By the time we got there, the line was packed and it was clear that most of the people had either put their names down early in the morning or were somehow able to get reservations. To be clear, the internet says there is no reservation process but the chef kept asking if we had one so I think it might be possible to do it over phone via your hotel concierge or a Japanese-speaking person.
Anyways, I approached the host and asked what the likelihood was for us getting seated and he made it very clear that it was only possible if there was a no-show. We ended up playing the waiting game behind a couple who looked like they had been in line for several hours, also hoping for a no-show. At around 12:30, we debated our options: should we continue to wait or be like the couple ahead of us and find food elsewhere. We might have left if Sushi Daiwa was an option but they closed their queues by the time we first arrived at Toyosu.
We decided to wait it out after seeing a solo traveler get seated immediately without a reservation. Fortunately, luck was on our side and we ended up getting in a little before 1:00 PM. Our wait time ended up being a grand total of 1 hour.
Despite it being just an hour before closing, we never felt rushed. The staff was incredibly warm and inviting, creating a friendly atmosphere that made our dining experience more enjoyable. I also appreciated that they asked if I had any allergies or food preferences. For example, knowing that I didn’t enjoy uni, the chefs were accommodating and replaced it with another sushi piece.
The omakase at Sushi Dai was, without a doubt, the best I’ve ever had. Every piece of sushi was mouthwateringly good. My favorites were the Spanish mackerel and the fatty toro, both of which I ended up ordering again as a la carte items.
This meal is forever ingrained into my memory and I cry inside every time I remember that I won’t be able to get a similar experience anywhere in the United States for the same price.
💰 Sushi Dai Meal Cost: We ended up spending a little over ¥6,000 per person, which includes the cost of our omakase set (¥5,000) and a little over a thousand for the additional sushi pieces.
Are Sushi Dai and Sushi Daiwa still at Tsukiji Fish Market?
No, Sushi Dai is no longer at Tsukiji Fish Market.
Most of the establishments that used to be Tsukiji have since moved to Toyosu, including the tuna auction, Sushi Dai, and Sushi Daiwa. Sushi Dai is currently located inside the Block 6 building of Toyosu Market, while Sushi Daiwa is located outside.
📍Address: Sushi Dai & Daiwa Sushi l 6 Chome-5-1 Toyosu, Koto City, Tokyo 135-0061, Japan
💡Note: Toyosu Fish Market is massive. I saw a lot of references that Sushi Dai was located on the 3rd floor of Block 6 but these instructions don’t really make sense, especially because Sushi Dai is on the ground floor. I’d recommend navigating to the Block 6 building and then asking one of the attendants to help guide you.
How to Get to Toyosu Fish Market
If you’re considering getting to Toyosu Fish Market before it opens (which I’d highly recommend), be prepared to take a taxi or walk as the trains don’t start running until 4:30 AM.
If you are visiting later in the day, the easiest way to get to Toyosu Fish Market is by train to the Shin-Toyosu Station.
Note, there is no JR line that will take you to Toyosu Fish Market. If you have JR pass:
- Take a JR line (such as the Yamanote Line) to Shimbashi Station.
- From there, transfer to the Yurikamome Line and ride to Shin-Toyosu Station.
While the Yurikamome line is not included in your JR pass, it only costs a few dollars to get to see breathtaking views of Tokyo Bay.
💰 Cost: ¥390 (Shimbashi → Shin-Toyosu)
Sushi Dai and Daiwa Opening Hours
ToyosuFish Market is open from 5:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m on most days of the week except for Sundays and national holidays. Restaurants inside the market – including Sushi Dai and Daiwa – have varying hours with doors opening around 5:30 or 6:00 a.m but hours are generally as follows:
Sushi Dai Hours
- Monday: 6:00 AM – 2:00 PM
- Tuesday: 6:00 AM – 2:00 PM
- Wednesday: Closed
- Thursday: 6:00 AM – 2:00 PM
- Friday: 6:00 AM – 2:00 PM
- Saturday: 6:00 AM – 2:00 PM
- Sunday: Closed
Sushi Daiwa Hours
- Monday: 6:00 AM – 1:00 PM
- Tuesday: 6:00 AM – 1:00 PM
- Wednesday: Closed
- Thursday: 6:00 AM – 1:00 PM
- Friday: 6:00 AM – 1:00 PM
- Saturday: 6:00 AM – 1:00 PM
- Sunday: Closed
Note, despite the stated hours, restaurants will close as soon as they run out of fish which is why it’s best to get there early.
Sushi Dai and Sushi Daiwa Wait Times
Typically, you can expect to wait anywhere from 2-4 hours for Sushi Dai and 1-2 hours for Sushi Daiwa. Daiwa usually has a shorter wait time because there’s more seating inside, resulting in a faster-moving queue.
There’s no doubt about the fact that this is a lot of time to spend waiting – and believe me, it is – but anyone who’s been will tell you the wait is worth it.
Tips for Visiting Sushi Dai or Sushi Daiwa
- 🌅 Arrive Early: The Toyosu Fish Market opens at 5:00 AM. Heading there at or before opening increases your chances of securing a seat at either Sushi Dai or Daiwa ahead of the crowds.
- 🛬 Take Advantage of Jet Lag: If Tokyo is your first stop in Japan and you’re battling jet lag, use it to your advantage. Wake up early from jet lag and head straight to Toyosu Fish Market on Day 1 of your trip.
- 🤔 Choose Wisely: Sushi Dai and Daiwa aren’t located near each other. Given the long wait times, I’d suggest knowing ahead of time whether you want to dine at Sushi Dai or Daiwa. I would recommend Sushi Dai if the wait times are similar but Daiwa is a great option if the line is significantly shorter.
- 🕛 Late Afternoon Strategy: If you arrive 2 hours before closing, you might have a shorter wait time than in the morning. However, remember that both places have a waitlist and close once they run out of fish, so there’s a risk you might not get seated at all.
- 💴 Cash is King: These restaurants are cash only so be sure you have enough yen on hand before you arrive.
- 🐟 Save the Tuna Auction for Another Day: Both Sushi Dai and Daiwa are located in the outer market of Toyosu Fish Market, which is separate from the tuna auction area. Since the auction takes place during the early hours of 5:30-6:30 AM, it’s not worth sacrificing a prime spot in line to watch the auction if eating is your main goal.
What to Do if You Can’t Get Seated at Sushi Dai or Sushi Daiwa
If you’re unable to secure a spot at Sushi Dai or Daiwa, I’d recommend heading to Tsukiji Outer Market.
While Toyosu houses these two sushi giants, it lacks the vibrancy and charm of the old market. Tsukiji, on the other hand, retains a lively ambiance, local energy, and rich history that made this market such a popular attraction in the first place. As you explore the outer market, you’ll still encounter lots of stalls selling fresh seafood and sushi that is of similar quality to Sushi Dai or Daiwa.
Final Thoughts: Sushi Dai vs. Daiwa
While a sushi breakfast normally sounds appetizing, an early morning visit to Sushi Dai or Daiwa Sushi is a must for sushi lovers planning a trip to Tokyo. Although the wait time can be long, it’s worth it for the fantastic sushi experience.
Despite its move to Toyosu Fish Market, Sushi Dai continues to outshine Sushi Daiwa. With every piece, you’ll appreciate the quality of the fish, the chef’s expert touch, and the delightful flavors of Tokyo’s best sushi. The fluffy tamago, salty horse mackerel, and the fatty tuna are just some of the highlights of your omakase course. If it’s your first time, don’t be intimidated – the friendly sushi chefs will help guide you through the omakase menu with professionalism and warmth.
Whether you end up at Sushi Dai or Daiwa, both are famous for the reasonable pricing, the freshness of the seafood, and the intimate experience of watching the sushi chefs prepare your meal from the sushi counter. No matter where you end up, you’ll see why both rank among Tokyo’s best sushi restaurants.