Photo from AFP
Obama, the current president of the United States of America, was said to have gone to a casual dinner meeting together with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on April 23, 2014.
"It's the best sushi I've ever had." said President Obama, as quoted by Japan Prime Minister Abe.
Prime Minister Abe accompanied U.S. President Obama to "Sukiyabashi Jiro," a 3-star sushi restaurant situated in the flashy district of Ginza in Tokyo Japan, shortly after Obama's check-in at Hotel Okura near the U.S. Embassy. Despite its reputation having the best sushi served in Japan, Sukiyabashi Jiro is a 10-seat restaurant confined in the busy basements of a Tokyo subway station. The two national leaders were also accompanied by U.S. ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy and National Security Adviser Susan Rice.
People who heard the news say that the sushi dinner held was indeed a good opportunity for both the country leaders to develop mutual trust and deepen the diplomatic relation of the two countries. Obama also mentioned to deepen personal ties as one of his main objectives in his third visit to Japan.
Despite President Obama being a state visitor of Japan, he chose to have his stay not in the usual state visitors' palace, but in a hotel of his convenience. This has raised the brows of some netizens due to it being "out-of-the-ordinary". Obama came to Japan for a state visit on the 23rd, and will stay until the 25th of April for a total of 3 days and 2 nights.
The dinner lasted for about an hour and a half, which is considered the normal dining period for a formal meal. Curious passers-by and a limited number of media men stood outside the doors and windows of the sushi restaurant.
Sukiyabashi Jiro is an acclaimed sushi restaurant owned and managed by Jiro Ono, an 88-year old revered sushi master who is a recipient of three-Michelin stars which is a rarity of its own.
“The cool and refreshing quality of the restaurant as a whole, the concern for the customer, the perfectionism in selecting the furnishings – the spirit shown here has much in common with the world of the tea ceremony,” as stated in the Michelin guide's launch edition.
Apparently, sushi master Ono does not take orders from customers, but chooses for them personally instead. Sukiyabashi Jiro offers a 20-piece sushi set personally made and chosen by the sushi master Ono himself for $300, as written on the restaurant's official website.
The owner Jiro Ono was also featured in a 2011 documentary film by David Gelb entitled, "Jiro Dreams of Sushi". "If you come to Japan, you must definitely eat sushi." as what it is famous for.
+ Address: Tsukamoto Sogyo Building, Basement 1st Floor, 2-15, Ginza 4-chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan
+ Operation hours: 11:30 am - 2:00 pm, 5:30 - 8:30 pm
+ Closed every: Sundays, public holidays, Saturday evenings, mid-August, and Year-end holidays
For reservations: 03-3535-3600 (+81-3-3535-3600 from abroad)
Reservation hours: 9:00am to 8:00pm (only on days when the restaurant is open)
Calls may go unanswered during peak hours and due to a large number of calls for reservation.