Sushi Wakon

Sushi Wakon

Peninsula Hotel location offers dining experience that is elegant and open to all.

Sushi is Japan’s most popular and treasured cuisine and there are a plethora of restaurants where you can enjoy the delicacy.

But some prestigious sushi restaurants can be intimidating to visit, particularly for the uninitiated or those who might not be comfortable with eating certain types of seafood.

Since some sushi chefs are seen as artists, diners can feel pressured to consume everything presented to them. And given the traditional counter design of sushi restaurants, many have restrictions when it comes to dining with younger children. But Sushi Wakon breaks the mold. It melds an elevated dining experience with a stunning interior design and welcoming atmosphere.

Located in the Tokyo Peninsula Hotel in Yurakucho, Sushi Wakon is one of a number of high-end Japanese restaurants run by Luke Clayton. After a long career in finance, the former Tokyo American Club member decided to become a restaurateur. At all of his restaurants, Clayton creates an ambience where all customers, whatever their background and nationality, can feel at ease.

Sushi Wakon’s team of highly experienced sushi chefs goes to great lengths to explain each dish being served and look for appropriate substitutions if requested by diners. The restaurant is a place where families can feel comfortable, thanks to a layout that includes not just a main counter for eight but also a private room and private sushi counter. This allows Sushi Wakon to accommodate younger guests and those looking for the utmost privacy.

But the restaurant’s inviting nature and luxurious interior don’t mean that it places any less emphasis on the quality of its sushi. Sushi Wakon serves traditional Edomae sushi, which dates back to the 1820s when stalls in Edo, as Tokyo was known then, would sell sushi as street snacks. Over many decades, this style has evolved to become known as the quintessential sushi dining experience. Sushi Wakon chefs are dedicated to their craft and ensure they bring this tradition to life in every piece they serve.

The restaurant also stands out for its commitment to sustainability, as Clayton explains. “We are working closely with the World Wildlife Fund and the Marine Stewardship Council with the goal of removing endangered species from all menus. This includes Michelin three-starred locations and covers our existing footprint of not only Japan, but also Hong Kong, Macau and Australia. We are focused on approved sourcing and hope to become the first sushi restaurant to achieve a Michelin Green Star, which recognizes businesses that unite culinary excellence and a commitment to the environment.”

Sushi Wakon’s diverse range of sake to pair with sushi also sets its apart, according to Clayton. It stores its sake in custom-made refrigerators that maintain an ideal temperature of –5°C. Sushi Wakon’s sake specialist can suggest perfect pairings, and for customers who prefer wine, the restaurant staffs a sommelier who can recommend ideal vintages to accompany the Edomae sushi. Tokyo American Club members are welcome to bring wine from their own collection to enjoy with their meal.

Diners at Sushi Wakon Tokyo are also treated to a feast of the senses, thanks to the inspired décor. Conceived by Tokyo-based interior design firm Strickland, the restaurant features a captivating, hand-crafted copper wall and pottery from Kyoto’s sixth-generation Miyagawa family. The luxe space offers a contemporary look and feel while incorporating traditional elements, such as hand-crafted hinoki (Japanese cypress) counters and Kumiko (geometrically patterned) wooden panels.

Club members planning a spring visit to a less-touristed Kyoto for the cherry blossoms should consider a stop at Sushi Wakon’s home in the Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, where they can enjoy the same benefits and exceptional dining experience.