BlogsRSS FeedLike us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter

It’s International Sushi Day — are you ready?

Who’s open, who’s closed, plus facts we really think you should know

Posted June 18, 2012 by Mari Taketa

Yes, people, there is an International Sushi Day, because after all, how could there not be? If Peking duck (Jan. 18), coq au vin (March 22) and pizza with everything except anchovies (Nov. 12) have their days — and none of these have Facebook pages with 2.1 million likes — clearly sushi deserves its own day.

This is so even if International Sushi Day this year falls on a Monday, the one day many small Japanese restaurants and sushi bars are closed. And travesty upon travesty, in other parts of the country, it’s also the day the fish auction is closed (Honolulu’s fish auction closes on Sundays).

So in the spirit of overcoming minor adversity and celebrating the epicurean pleasures of raw fish on rice, I’ve put together quick lists of who’s closed and who’s open today, along with some sushi trivia you really ought to know.

Closed on Monday: Ideta, Kona Kai, Maguro-ya, Michinoku, Natsunoya, Sushi Ii, Tairyo

Open: Akasaka, Aki no No, Chiba-Ken, Doraku, Gaku (closed every second Monday, open tonight), Genki, Imanas Tei, Kaiwa, Kats, Kozo, Kuru Kuru, Maguro Zanmai, Mitch’s, Miyabi, Morimoto, Morio, Mr. Ojisan, Nobu, Nonbei, Sansei, Sasabune, Shinn, Sunrise, Sushi King, SushiSan, Tadashi, Tokkuri-Tei, Yanagi, Yohei, YuZu, Zippy’s Kahala and Pearl City

Traditional sushi chefs train 10 years. One I interviewed, the master at the Mitsukoshi sushi bar in Manhattan, spent his fifth year, all year, cooking eggs. In his tenth year he was allowed to touch fish. And Mitsukoshi swapped out its New York sushi chefs every two years with fresh ones from Japan, to ensure fresh, uncorrupted palates.

A California roll has only 145 calories, according to One piece of nigiri sushi (doesn’t say what kind) has 27 calories.

A 444-lb bluefin tuna sold for $173,600 at Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market in 2001. That’s $391 a pound, wholesale.

That’s not unrelated to why, in 2010, salmon replaced maguro as the No. 1 sushi choice in Japan.

But that tuna was cheap compared to the Guinness Book of World Records’ most expensive sushi ever: $1,978 for five pieces garnished with diamonds and wrapped in 24-karat gold leaf in the Philippines.

Sushi is finger food — it’s traditional to eat it with your hands. The same goes for sushi rolls. Sashimi, you always eat with chopsticks.

How many sushi types can you name? Not toppings, types. If you know nigiri (bite-size fish on rice), maki (generic for rolls), futomaki (fat rolls, like the kind at church bazaars with canned tuna and egg inside), hosomaki (skinny rolls with one ingredient inside), temaki (hand rolls), uramaki (inside-out, like California rolls), chirashizushi (a.k.a. barazushi, toppings scattered on top a bowl of sushi rice), oshizushi (fish pressed between layers of rice), you are ichiban!

The only requirement for participating in International Sushi Day? Eat sushi, of course. If you like, you can confirm your participation on the Sushi Facebook page, as 21,000 did on the first International Sushi Day in 2009.

But then again, the motto of the page starts out, “Every day should be Sushi Day.” Go crazy.


  1. Posted June 18, 2012 at 7:58 am

    In one word…YES. Enjoy, everyone! I know I will! 

  2. Annoddah_Dave
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 8:14 am

    EO:  Am celebrating it tonight!

  3. nonstopmari
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 10:08 am

     @annedreshfield woohoo, lactose-free! enjoy ur sushi :)

  4. nonstopmari
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 10:08 am

     @Annoddah_Dave aurite! don’t forget, tmrw nite mangiamo!

  5. Posted June 18, 2012 at 10:21 am

     @nonstopmari Thanks Mari, you too! 

  6. sakeshop
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Yay, for International Sushi Day! I know what goes well with sushi. Do you?
    Hint: It’s usually available in liquid form ;)

  7. nonstopmari
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 12:50 pm

     hmmm, i wonder what drink @sakeshop is talking abt?

  8. Melissa808
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm

     @sakeshop thank you for the selection!!

  9. mjc808
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Actually Mari, Gaku is closed on the “2nd Monday of the month” they are open tonite and I’m headed there now for a quick bite (gotta be done by 7p!) also Sasabune is open and has res available per opentable! Thx for the posting/info otherwise!

  10. nonstopmari
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 5:04 pm

     @mjc808 thnx! i was relying on past experience and websites. will correct stat!

  11. konaish
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 8:39 am

     @sakeshop @nonstopmari @Melissa808 I think I know what Sake Shop is talking about :) Thanks for a most delicious International Sake Day celebration!

  12. Melissa808
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 8:41 am

     @konaish  @sakeshop  @nonstopmari thank you!! That was so yummy. 

About Mari Taketa

Mari Taketa is a dedicated eater who's as opinionated as she is hungry. She covered everything from neighborhood mom-and-pop places to ethnic eateries to fine dining restaurants on Honolulu's dining scene for Metromix Honolulu and The Honolulu Advertiser's TGIF. Before that, she ate her way through Vietnam, Scotland and Japan, where she lived, traveled or worked, after recovering from a journalism career that included stints as editor-in-chief of Hawaii Business magazine and reporter and editor at The Associated Press. Her goals are to always be hungry for more, and to always want to know what's around the next corner.

Copyright © 2014 Nonstop Online, LLC. All Rights Reserved.