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Goin’ Japanesque!

Sushi Art: Koi Fish Sushi That Look As If They’ll Start Swimming

Japanese sushi is spreading around the globe. We simply call it sushi, but the variations in the qualities of sushi can be different as night and day. Of course, the freshness of the ingredients is of most importance, but the techniques of the sushi chef are also a critical element. Today, we introduce the sushi chef’s “skills that appeal to the sight”.


Decorative Sushi/ Workmanship Sushi



First of all, as a basic fact, sushi is not a food to be enjoyed only for its flavors. This is true for all washoku, or Japanese cuisine, but traditional Japanese foods place emphasis on appearance as well. The level of attention that is devoted to this aspect is characteristic of Japanese.

The picture above is called Kazari Zushi (Decorative sushi)/Saiku Zushi (Workmanship sushi). It is crafted so beautifully that we find it hard to eat. Traditionally, preparing fresh ingredients has been the most fundamental requirement to making sushi; also the most obvious. However, it is said that the true beauty of sushi is brought out with more care to detail. This is the reason for using seasonal ingredients or seasonal flowers in decoration.

The concept of decorating sushi is also seen in Sasa-zaiku. Sasa-zaiku is the skill of carefully crafting a bamboo leaf, which is not even for eating, into a work of art with the use of only a single knife. A similar tendency is also seen in wagashi (Japanese confectionary). It is a very Japanese characteristic for craftsmen to spend many hours on a single wagashi that will usually be eaten in a single bite.


Sushi Shaped Like Koi Fish: Where You Can Eat Them

Saiki of Oita Prefecture is a small town, but it is one of the major fishing areas in Japan. Most sushi ingredients can be sourced locally, so the size of the sushi topping as well as its freshness is guaranteed. There are many sushi restaurants that offer the freshest catch just caught locally, so it is also a famous area for sushi. Their sushi is called Saiki Sushi and is comparable to Otaru of Hokkaido. The variety of catch is abundant so you may also be able to eat sushi with fish that you may never have eaten before.

Koi fish shaped sushi that appear as if they’ll move

There was a moment when Saiki Sushi got a lot of buzz from internet users all over Japan. Indeed, it was for the artistic kazari zushi that showed skills of the craftsmen; nishiki goi (koi fish) sushi. It is beautifully translucent like glasswork and so realistic that they appear as if they’ll start swimming. Many expressed their words of astonishment saying that it was too beautiful to eat.

The fish that lies on the top layer is squid; in between the rice and squid is uni (sea urchin), egg yolk, salmon and seaweed. It’s nice that you can eat the standard sushi toppings all at once. There’s no doubt that a lot of work was put into these.


Nishiki goi or koi fish often appear as a representative element of Japan. You see them swimming in Japanese gardens or as the auspicious koi-nobori (koi fish shaped banners) in special events. So you see this koi sushi is perfect for memorable days such as celebrations or anniversaries. It will turn your table into a Japanese atmosphere, and you can bet that there will be lots of excitement when the dish appears at your table.

Where To Eat Them: Nishiki Zushi, Map
*If you are residing in Japan the following restaurant will deliver to most areas within Japan: Tansho, Website

Related: Temari Sushi: Sushi Made for Geiko and Maiko of Kyoto

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