One of the great joys of importing barware from Japan is that we not only make annual visits to the factories in Niigata but we also get to stop into Ginpachi, a local sushi-ya in Sanjo City. Yoko and I now know that Ginpachi is closed on Mondays – one year we visited Niigata on a Monday night and were horrified to learn that Ginpachi was not open. So this last time, we made sure to visit on another day.
Ginpachi has been open since 1961, and the master is a kind, jolly man who works behind the bar with his son. We love Ginpachi for the sushi, excellent service, and for the lively atmosphere. It seems that each time we go to Ginpachi, the customers at the bar have been going for years. It is definitely where the locals stop in after work, have a drink, chat with the master, and eat a few bites before going home to their families.
Since we usually visit Niigata in the wintertime, the fish selection is always exquisite. Ginpachi is generous with their portions and they always encourage you to eat more, drink more, and chat with the stranger sitting next to you. It is a place to relax and truly enjoy yourself.
Thick cuts of buri (Japanese amberjack)
Den-en shochu all day. Of course, bottle keep available
Ginpachi's famous wasabi maki and negi-toro maki
Clams steamed on the grill
Fresh shishamo (smelt)
Freshly grated wasabi
... anago after
I asked for "some" akagai (ark shell). So fresh and crunchy. What a treat!
Shirauo (Japanese anchovy)
Kohada (gizzard shad)
Kazunoko (salted herring roe)
A clam, I forget what this was exactly!
Also a clam with a sweet tare (sauce)
We'll see you again next year, Ginpachi! Just not on a Monday.
Sanjo Higashisanjo 1-17-15
*Photos by Yoko Kumano