The Best Places for Persimmon Leaf Sushi in Nara

Nara Persimmon Leaf Sushi
Nara Persimmon Leaf Sushi | © Jun OHWADA/Flickr
Judith LaFaver

One of the most charming points of Japan is that every prefecture has its own local specialty cuisine, like beef in Kobe and takoyaki in Osaka. Nara prefecture is no exception with their famous pressed sushi wrapped in persimmon leaves called kakinoha sushi. Customarily made with mackerel, today a variety of fish are used. When in Nara, make sure to stop by one of these stores to try the best persimmon leaf sushi in Japan.

1. Tanaka

Restaurant, Japanese, Sushi

Tanaka is one of the most famous restaurants to get kakinoha sushi in all of Japan. With a shop right next to Kintetsu-Nara station, it’s also one of the easiest to grab a package of sushi to go or to have lunch before a day of sightseeing. They offer limited lunch sets every day that serve a beautiful assortment of sushi along with persimmon leaf sushi and a bowl of soup for only 1,080 yen (US $9.70).

2. Yamato

Cafe, Japanese, Sushi

© Kuruman/flickr

The Nara city branch of Yamato is the perfect place to pick up persimmon leaf sushi for a snack or as a souvenir. While they have the regular mackerel, salmon, and red snapper, they also make a seven color flavor, or ajinanairo, version. This is their best selling persimmon leaf sushi with the standard three flavors, plus small dried shrimp, sea bream, seabass, and ground meat. This variation is meant to be a fun way to “taste the seven colors”. Yamato also sells beautifully packaged rice bowls and sushi sets that are popular in Nara as bentos.

3. Hirasou

Restaurant, Japanese, Sushi

Hirasou is one of the oldest persimmon leaf sushi companies in Nara. Founded near the Yoshino area 150 years ago, its sushi has been delighting locals and travelers alike ever since. There are four branches in Nara that sell sushi, but the only restaurant is at the Imamikadocho location. While the sushi is the most well known, they also serve other regional Nara specialties. Cha-gayu is a rice porridge made with green tea that is said to improve ones health. They also make ayu sushi, an extremely popular Japanese river fish served whole on top of sushi rice and then pressed flat.

5. Umemori

Restaurant, Japanese, Sushi

Umemori is another popular place in Nara to get the persimmon leaf sushi, but they offer their own variation as well. Instead of a persimmon leaf, they wrap rice balls in wasabi leaves and then top them with fish. Unlike the persimmon leaves, wasabi leaves are edible and add a nice spicy bite to the sushi. One of the coolest things about this sushi restaurant is that it is halal-certified. This is an extremely rare thing to see in Japan and it’s great that Umemori has gone out of its way to provide Muslims a great place to try Nara’s regional cuisine.

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article