Let’s eat Saba(mackerel) Sushi, the specialty of Kyoto!!

Kyoto city is in abundant in nature like mountains and the river but is far from the sea. However, you can eat delicious seafood in there.

When Japan’s emperor was in Kyoto, neighboring area delivered own special products like tax to that city. There were many ways to Kyoto from neighboring area. The ways which are Wakasa city in Fuki Prefecture to Kyoto were about five. Wakasa was called ‘Miketsukuni‘ (a region that produces food for the emperor) because that area delivered salt and salted fish to Kyoto and also fulfilled its function of the entrance for the sea which means that the area accept continental culture. Especially the one way was the most frequency used by delivering Wakasa’s salt mackerel to Kyoto. This way was called Wakasa Kaidou. That way’s route is from Obama via Kumakawajyuku and Kutsuki village in Shiga Prefecture and Oohara to Demachiyanagi. That way which is like ancient route is called ‘Sabakaidou’ now. (Sabakaidou’s last stop is Demachiyanagi)

The salted mackerel is very popular food in Kyoto now. They eat the salted mackerel as ‘Saba Sushi(Zushi)’. I’ll introduce the Saba Sushi restaurant in Demachiyanagi which is Sabakaidou’s last stop.

△When you walk from Demachiyanagi station to the river and cross two bridges, you can see Masugata shopping arcade which has been loved by local people since 1977. There are two Saba Sushi restaurants in this shopping arcade.

△This is the shopping arcade. There are a lot of shops like vegetable stores, fish shops and fruit stores. The shopping arcade bustles with local people and university students.

△I found Saba Sushi restaurant which locates at entrance of the shopping arcade. You can eat Saba Sushi with udon noodles or soba noodles. Many local people come to eat lunch so at lunch time you should wait about 15 minutes. These days, many foreign tourists come here. This restaurant was established 100 years ago, so this restaurant is older than the shopping arcade.

△This is most popular set menu ‘Saba Sushi set’, the price is 1000yen.
You can choose Kitsune udon or Kake udon. The picture is Kake udon.

△This Saba Sushi is very thick. This is filling and taste is different from normal Sushi. They say that Sab’s salt is just right when Saba arrive at Demachiyanagi from Wakasa. You may be able to eat the most delicious Saba Sushi in the world at Demachiyanagi.

△You can take out Saba sushi at Hachise ooiwa. This shop’s lunch box is about 600 yen to 1000yen. I recommend that you should eat this lunch box at Kamo river which locate near there. (Attention: When you eat lunch at Kamo river, sometimes kites may come and eat your lunch. Please bring litter back to keep protecting the abundant nature.)



There are many interesting Saba restaurants in Kyoto, for example SABAR is specializing in Toro Saba dish. You can eat original world dishes which are used Saba like Saba’s fish and chips, tandoori Saba and… Saba’s cheese cake!?

Let’s try to look for your country dishes!!

△I sometimes use for my friend’s birth day party. You should try combination of various Sake and Saba dishes.

The restaurant is flood with Saba, so you can enjoy Saba not only dishes but also like interior decoration.



  • Sushi and Noodles Masugataya
    179, Nishincho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto
    Shop hours:12:00-18:00
    Closing day:Wednesday
    Access:5minutes from Keihan railway station ‘Demachiyanagi station’,3minutes from Kyoto city bus stop‘Kawaramachi-Imadegawa’


  • Meibutsu Sabazushi Yase Ooiwa
    Kawaramachi-Imadegawa, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto
    Shop hours:10:00-18:00
    Closing day:Wednesday
    Price:from 1000yen
    Access:5minutes from Keihan railway station ‘Demachiyanagi station’,2minutes from Kyoto city bus stop‘Kawaramachi-Imadegawa’


  • Specializing in Toro Saba dish SABAR Kyoto Karasuma
    287, Horinouchi chou, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto city
    Nearest station and access:5minutes from Subway station ‘Sijyo staion’                       5minutes from Kyoto city bus stop ‘Sijyo Karasuma’
    Shop hours:Lunch time 11:38-14:00(LO13:30)
    Dinner time 17:00-23:38(LO22:38)
    Closing day:Monday
    ※Above information is correct as of January, 2017.
江上花帆/Kaho Egami
江上花帆/Kaho Egami

日本/京都大学 文学部/時間があったら京都をお散歩。趣味は料理とガーデニング。週末は時々、農業。ーーーJapan / Faculty of Letters , Kyoto University. / I always take a walk in Kyoto once I am free. I like cooking, gardening and usually go farming at weekends.