Continuing Pre-Edo Traditions, A 2-Starred Michelin Sushi Restaurant of Real Merit Blossoms in Kitakyushu
Located a 15-minute taxi ride away from Kokura Station in Fukuoka, the long-standing sushi restaurant “Edo-Mae Sushi Nikaku” occupies a corner in a residential district at the foot of Mt. Adachi. It was established in 1965, and at present, the third-generation master, Mr. Setsuo Funahashi, continues to run it, pursuing the refined pre-Edo sushi that can only exist in this area. The restaurant has a stellar reputation, having earned Michelin 2-star.
The chef Mr. Funahashi went to Tokyo at the age of 20 and learned his trade for twelve years at a well-established restaurant before returning home in 2002. He continues the authentic pre-Edo traditions and techniques which had been devised in the olden days to keep food in a proper state of preservation—marinating in salt and vinegar, steaming, boiling and pickling in liquid— to create original sushi using fresh seafood collected in Kitakyushu.
“I want customers to feel the four seasons through the sushi. There’s a lot of things that can only be savored here,” said Mr. Funahashi. For example, in the spring, “Edo-Mae Sushi Nikaku” serves horsehead tilefish, said to be the fish of illusions, and the egg cockles which can be caught in the Buzen Sea. In the summer, it serves local sea urchin and Ariake young fish. “Edo-Mae Sushi Nikaku” expresses the change of the seasons through its style of sushi. The sushi vinegar is made using only original red vinegar and San-in (region of western Honshu) salt with a good balance of minerals.
“Edo-Mae Sushi Nikaku” also puts an emphasis on its sake being local, with 12 specially selected varieties of sake available, all made using water and rice from within Fukuoka Prefecture. The restaurant also has an array of drinks like unfiltered Mojiko local beer, which is not heat-treated.
The counter inside, made using planks from a 300 year-old gingko tree, only seats eight. Natural light comes into the room through the shoji screen, showing different faces of the restaurant in the day and at night. Nikaku has a private feel, and is perfect for spending valuable time with your loved ones. You’ll want to come to this famous restaurant every season to savor its sushi, made using in-season Kitakyushu seafood, and experience the refinement of the times before Edo.
* The availability of an English version of this page does not guarantee that the restaurant can provide services in English unless otherwise stated. Please be aware that, even if stated, there may still be days when English speaking staff are unavailable.
A 15-minute taxi from Kokura Station, JR-Kyushu Kagoshima Line