5 things you need to know before eating sushi in Tokyo

1) Edo-mae style

There are several styles of sushi. The Edo-mae style (Tokyo-style) – with raw fish scattered on top of rice – is probably the style that is most widely known as sushi outside of Japan. Edokko (a Japanese term referring to people born and raised in Edo, or Tokyo) tend to be impatient. So, this style suits them to a tee as the rice and fish can be eaten at the same time.

2) Gari

Gari is thinly-sliced pickled ginger. It has an antimicrobial effect, so it may prevent us from having food poisoning. It is used to cleanse the palate between eating different pieces of sushi. The word gari is only used for sushi ginger. The proper Japanese word for ginger is shoga.

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3) Use your fingers

Eating Edo-mae style sushi the proper way means you should use your fingers, not chopsticks. Grab your sushi with your thumb, index and middle fingers, turn it upside down, dip the fish into the soy sauce and eat it in one go.

4) How to order

You should start by ordering something light, like plaice or another white fish or squid, and then oily fish, like tuna or conger eel. Ultimately, you can order whatever you feel like. If you start with oily fish, you can cleanse your palate with some gari and green tea.

5) Don't wear perfume

If you decide to go to a proper sushi restaurant – not the conveyer belt type – then don’t wear perfume or only dab on the tiniest amount. The scent of perfume can easily spoil sushi. This rule also applies to other places, like sake bars for example.

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