Otaru (小樽) is a popular tourist site in Hokkaido, where we can enjoy eating sushi and variety of sweets and buying delicate glass products. Otaru has been developed as a harbor city since early times and we can taste fresh seafood. Otaru was also flourished in finance sector in the 19th century (at that time, called as "north wall street") and there are many historical buildings, which give chic atmosphere in the city.
Thanks to easy access to seafood, there is a "sushi street" comprising a lot of sushi restaurants. It is very difficult for us to choose the best one or favorite one among those, but I tried two sushi restaurants. The first one is "Ise sushi (伊勢鮨)", which is a bit away from the sushi street. Ise sushi has recently won one Michelin star (ミシュラン一つ星). The restaurant is not so large, but new, clean and simple with wooden architecture. The atmosphere is not modern but very chic. Sushi was also very sophisticated. Price is not so inexpensive in the Otaru average rate, but reasonable comparing to Tokyo famous restaurants. Service is friendly and we can be relaxed even in this kind of good sushi restaurant.
In another opportunity, I visited "Asahi sushi (旭寿司) in the sushi street. Asahi sushi is famous as only sushi restaurant in Otaru that can directly buy seafood from the fish market, thanks to their license. Accordingly, the quality of their fishes is very high. The atmosphere is more casual than Ise sushi and the way of sushi cooking seems more simple. But thanks to the high quality fishes, the taste of Asahi sushi is super...!! That was the best one among the sushi I have recently eaten. Though we can eat good sushi all over Japan, such high quality sushi is very precious.
My rating for Ise sushi is 4 out of 5 and the one for Asahi sushi is 5 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!
Ise sushi (伊勢鮨) http://www.isezushi.jp/
Asahi sushi (旭寿司) http://www.asahizushi.co.jp/news.htm