“Izuu” was established in 1781 by Izumiya Uhe, the first. Izuu has been operating as a shop specializing in Kyo-sushi (Kyoto-style sushi) with the specialty, Saba Sugata-sushi (whole mackerel sushi), and has been enjoying the patronage of Kyoto’s hanamachi (geisha districts) and machishu (townspeople).
One of the teachings that have been passed down the generations is “Business should be a size that fits inside both hands.” The whole family has been devoting itself to making sushi while keeping in mind this family motto which preaches the importance of maintaining business at a manageable scale and not letting the reputation of our products take over the substance.
In our minds, we always picture a family getting together and sitting down to dinner. Animated conversations will arise, as the family slices and shares a stick of Saba-sushi, which, in turn, will become the family’s memory to live on to posterity. We hope to make sushi that brings back memories as well as delivering energy for the future with every bite.
To continue being Izuu and enjoying the unchanging patronage of our customers, we will continue to go forward while cherishing the wisdom of our forefathers but at the same time meeting the demands of the times.
(Whole mackerel sushi)
A treat for “special occasions” that continues to be loved by Kyoto’s machishu (townspeople)
In the old days, fresh fish was a precious food for the machishu of Kyoto, a city far from the sea. Chub mackerel, which was caught in Wakasa Bay, lightly salted, and transported on foot on the Saba Kaido (Chub Mackerel Highway), was a special treat, which is also why Saba-sushi (mackerel sushi) was loved by the machishu of Kyoto as a dish to celebrate “special occasions.”
Izuu’s Saba Sugata-sushi (whole mackerel sushi), which began as a rustic feast, has been refined by skilled chefs and delivered to the world. It is also well-loved in Kyoto’s hanamachi (geisha districts) as a colorful addition to the ozashiki (banquets entertained by geisha). The Saba Sugata-sushi is made from the fatty flesh of quality chub mackerel from the seas around Japan, specially selected rice, and kelp from Hokkaido to wrap around the whole sushi. The sushi prepared as gifts is also wrapped in bamboo sheaths to preserve its taste.
Please enjoy tradition and refinement through the Saba Sugata-sushi embellished with Kyoto’s food culture and the aesthetics of the hanamachi.
The quality of the ingredients determines the essence of a dish and even the most skilled chef cannot create a first-class dish out of poor ingredients. In the belief that “better ingredients make for a skilled chef,” we purchase our ingredients that have been selected with a discerning eye before they are put on the market from long-standing suppliers.
A manual touch is indispensable to the quick and ready type of food preparation to handle ingredients that change on a daily basis, and accordingly, the warmth of human hands is also indispensable to the sushi of Izuu. We further refine the taste of our sushi by having culinary masters take charge of each process of “cooking rice,” “preparing the fish,” and “shaping the sushi.”
The hanamachi style is epitomized by arranging the sushi in attractive bowls as a colorful addition to the banquets at the ozashiki and arranging the sushi in such a way that the inside design of the bowl would maintain its beauty even after one or two morsels of the sushi are picked up and consumed. The Saba Sugata-sushi is ingrained with an overflowing playful spirit and refined aesthetics that are illustrated, for example, in the cross-section of the sliced sushi which has been made to look like a hare and the wrapping paper representing the changing seasons.
We prepare our sushi gifts on the assumption that they will be given away as presents. The various elements including the presentation of the sushi and the wrapping paper which has been printed with the scenery of the four seasons have been imagined so that they evoke a feeling of Kyoto in our customers. We make every effort so that our sushi will give joy to both the giver and the receiver.
(Place to enjoy Izuu products)
The sixth family head came up with the store-front waiting areas with benches so that “customers can casually enjoy a few pieces of sushi while waiting for their sushi gifts to be prepared.” Our customers can enjoy the vibrant taste of freshly prepared sushi, which can usually only be enjoyed at teahouses.
Izuu wrapping paper
The wrapping paper of our sushi expresses our commitment which has not changed since our founding. The kakegami (a strip of paper placed on the center of the gift) evokes the changing seasons which the people of Kyoto hold dear.
Please take the paper in your hand and experience the origins of “Izuu” and our aesthetics depicted in the seasons that have been passed down through the generations.
Find a store:Izuu
367 Yasaka Shinchi Kiyomoto-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 605-0084
［ Phone ］ 075-561-0751 ［ FAX ］ 075-561-0750
［ Business hours ］ 11:00 to 22:00, 11:00 to 21:00 on Sundays and holidays
［ Omeshiagari-dokoro (Place to enjoy Izuu products) ］ 11:00 to 22:00 (Sushi provided until 21:30), 11:00 to 21:00 on Sundays and holidays (Sushi provided until 20:30)
［ Sushi gifts ］ Available for pick-up, upon reservation, from 8:00 at the wooden-door entrance
［ Closed ］ Tuesdays [Will be open on holidays and celebrations]
Izuu Kyoto Daimaru Department Store
B1 Kyoto Daimaru Department Store, 79 Shijo Street Takakura Nishiiru Tachiurinishimachi, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, 600-8511
［ Phone ］ 075-211-8111
［ Business hours ］ 10:00 to 20:00
［ Omeshiagari-dokoro (Place to enjoy Izuu products) ］ 10:00 to 14:00 15:00 to 19:30（Sushi provided until 19:00）
［ Closed ］No fixed closing dates (The store is open on the business days of Kyoto Daimaru Department Store)
Stores selling Izuu products
|JR Kyoto Isetan
|Kyoto Station (Shinkansen Entrance)
|JR Nagoya Takashimaya
|Hankyu Department Store Umeda Main Store
A guide to when to enjoy the sushi
The flavor of Sugata-sushi (whole-fish sushi) nurtured by time
The Sugata-sushi of “Izuu” changes flavor over time, as the umami of the kelp is transferred to the sushi, and the flavors of the kelp, fish, and rice are blended. Unlike Edomae-sushi (Tokyo-style sushi), where freshness is everything, the appeal of Kyoto Sugata-sushi lies in containing and dressing the freshness so that the trinity of flavors, helped by time, becomes concentrated. By enjoying the sushi on several occasions, you will be able to find your preferred level of curing. If you plan to travel distances with the sushi, please let us know, we will prepare the sushi according to when you plan to eat it.
The fish and rice will both still be tender, and you will be able to enjoy the distinct characteristics of the ingredients and a light aftertaste. Please enjoy the natural umami of the fish and the light fragrance of the kelp.
(Available at the Main Store and at demonstration sale sites)
after 5 to 8 hours
The umami of the kelp has transferred to the sushi and all the flavors have blended, and the sushi is beginning to take on the flavors of “early-ripened sushi (in the early stage of fermentation).” At this stage, the flesh of the fish has firmed due to the effects of the vinegar, and you will be able to enjoy some bite in the texture.
Sushi after 12 hours
to the following day
Both the fish and rice have taken on a pleasing texture. Fat filled with the umami of the fish will have risen to the surface and you will be able to enjoy the unique flavors of “early-ripened sushi.”
(Available in this condition, when our sushi is purchased outside of Kyoto, other than at demonstration sale sites, and when purchased from our online shop)