(Bloomberg) -- When Michelin published its 2023 guide for Tokyo in November, the city got good news: Despite Japan’s strict Covid measures, it held on to its title as dining capital of the world. Tokyo has 200 Michelin-starred restaurants, the most of any city, including a dozen with three stars.

The latest Michelin list contains several high-end sushi restaurants where meals can easily cost up to 50,000 yen, or about $384 per person, and chefs train for years before becoming masters. That’s not unusual.

What’s notable is the inclusion of places that offer sushi in unconventional ways. 

One way they’re doing that is by opening reasonably priced offshoots of high-end counters. It’s a model that’s well established in the US—the wildly popular Sugarfish in New York and Los Angeles was founded by famed sushi chef Kazunori Nozawa back in 2008—but relatively new to sushi restaurants in Japan. The trend started partly because of pandemic-related restrictions, which hit business travel and expense account dining. Operators began opening less expensive places that younger local diners could frequent. 

Another new trend in Tokyo: the standing sushi restaurant. While common at soba restaurants near stations where workers can slurp down noodles before catching the train, the eating-while-standing style has also been embraced by ramen spots and steakhouses looking for high customer turnover. It’s also something of a throwback to sushi’s early days during the Edo period, when it was primarily a fast-food snack served from street stalls on Tokyo’s waterfront. The latest versions are slightly more extravagant.

Below are six compelling new sushi experiences around Tokyo. 

Sushi Yuu Tsubasa

The restaurant, which opened in Ebisu in July 2021, is the brainchild of chefs who trained at Roppongi’s Sushi Yuu. It serves a so-called omakase, a multi-course menu decided by the chef, that includes around 10 pieces of sushi such as silky purinmaki, or monkfish liver, plus small dishes, for only 13,200 yen. What makes Sushi Yuu Tsubasa stand out: an all-you-can-drink menu that includes Champagne and Japanese sake.

Sushi Umiji 

This is an outpost of the traditional multi-course kaiseki restaurant Ginza Yamaji, where the omakase menu is 27,000 yen. At Umiji, the omakase starts at 5,800 yen, which includes eight pieces of such sushi as kue (longtooth grouper), hokkigai (surf clam) and tai (sea bream), and customers have the option of ordering individual pieces. The 10-seat spot is a three-minute walk from Azabu-juban Station.

Touryumon Sushi Ginza OnoderaKaitensushi Ginza Onodera

Ginza Onodera is known for its high-end eponymous restaurants from New York to Honolulu to London. Now the group has opened a couple of affordable places in Tokyo. 

Touryumon in Ginza is a standing sushi spot that features some of the same fish served at the Michelin-starred Sushi Ginza Onodera on the same street; omakase dinner starts at 25,000 yen. At Touryumon, customers order sushi by the piece and an average meal costs 6,000 to 8,000 yen. Its name translates loosely as “gateway to success,” and the restaurant is a training ground for the company’s younger chefs who’ve worked for at least three years. The norm in Japan’s traditional world of sushi is for a chef to train for a minimum of 10 years before being allowed to make it, something viewers of Jiro Dreams of Sushi will know. Among the selections are chu-toro, o-toro and uni as well as options like kohada, or gizzard shad.

While kaitenzushi, or conveyor belt sushi, is more common among cheaper sushi restaurants, Ginza Onodera’s version in Omotesando is more upscale and boasts high-quality tuna. The menu is also stocked with popular pieces: chu-toro, maguro, salmon and anago, or braised sea eel. 

Tachigui Sushi Tonari

Listed on Michelin’s Bib Gourmand section for moderately priced restaurants, this standing restaurant opened last year in Azabu-juban, near Roppongi, and is an offshoot of the big-budget Azabujuban Hatano Yoshiki where the omakase lunch costs 18,700 yen. Customers can order an omakase for 6,600 yen or ask for individual pieces via a digital screen with pictures and explanations. Customers, who are allotted one hour, can book places through a Line account, Japan’s equivalent of WhatsApp.

Tachiguizushi Akira

This is another standing-style sushi restaurant with a Bib Gourmand, and comes from the owner of the referral-only Sushi Shoryu. While an introduction is needed for a seat at Shoryu’s nine-seat counter, anyone can eat at Tachiguizushi Akira—as long as they’re willing to wait. Akira doesn’t take reservations, and there’s often a line. While waiting their turn, customers can fill out order sheets from a menu that includes iwashi (sardines) and hirame (Japanese flounder), for 440 and 490 yen, respectively. 

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