Great sushi restaurant in Tokyo, offering high-quality food in a reassuring environment “Sushi to Sakana Kobayashi” has implemented global standard preventive measures against infection
Sushi is without doubt one of Japan’s most famous food. The best part of an authentic sushi restaurant is to watch the sushi chef making your sushi in front of you. In order to allow customers to enjoy quality time in a safer environment, “Sushi to Sakana Kobayashi,” a sushi restaurant in Kichijoji, Tokyo, set out to gain “GBAC STARTM” accreditation, the worldwide standard of cleanliness and preventive measures against infection. The restaurant has been drawing much attention as the first sushi restaurant in Japan* to obtain this accreditation. We visited the restaurant to check it out.
“Sushi to Sakana Kobayashi” opened in March 2020, near Kichijoji Station (JR, Keio). The simple and authentic sushi created by the owner, Mr. Kobayashi, has been gaining in popularity among locals.
Sushi and à la carte dishes are all made with fresh seasonal ingredients. The eight-item course, including nigiri-sushi, simmered dishes, and fried dishes, starts at 7,000 yen. Each ingredient has been carefully selected by Mr. Kobayashi at Toyosu Market.
Mr. Kobayashi said he really appreciates his customers’ support during the COVID-19 pandemic and in gratitude he wants to ensure that they enjoy sushi in a safe environment, so he attempted to obtain “GBAC STARTM” accreditation.
Right after Mr. Kobayashi took over the restaurant, where he did his apprenticeship training for 12 years, and opened his own establishment, the COVID-19 pandemic occurred. For Japanese people, sushi is considered a treat to be eaten on special occasions with friends or family members. So, even during the pandemic, many regular customers continued to visit Mr. Kobayashi’s restaurant to enjoy his food. He also started a special lunch service, which resulted in a wider range of fans, including local housewives and parents with young children.
Mr. Kobayashi began to wonder if he could offer a greater sense of security to those customers supporting him during the pandemic. With his intrinsic willingness to take on new challenges and his “can do” attitude, he started researching and discovered the “GBAC STARTM” accreditation program, the worldwide standard of cleanliness and preventive measures against infection.
“GBAC STARTM” is an international certification system for infection control that was developed by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council of ISSA (International Sanitary Supply Association) during the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020. Many of the luxury hotels in North America and elsewhere have adopted the system. In Japan, more and more facilities, mainly in the hotel industry, are being accredited.
“GBAC STARTM” has set the standards to prove a high level of safety, and those in the sushi industry already have a very high level of awareness about hygiene, indicated by the saying, “if you are not a good cleaner you cannot be a great chef.” Indeed, Mr. Kobayashi’s restaurant is completely spotless in every nook and cranny. According to him, he could meet the standard with almost the same level of cleaning and infection control as before.
Once you obtain the “GBAC STARTM” accreditation, you can get a flow of expert industry-specific information about how to deal with infection outbreaks. With the accreditation, a restaurant and its customers can feel safe and secure.
Mr. Kobayashi said that he had some disagreements with other staff members in the process of implementing the infection control, but they were able to overcome them while giving “the safety of the customers” top priority.
Mr. Kobayashi continues to take on new challenges for his regular customers and to get more people to try his food, as well as to spread the sushi culture to the world. He believes that the utmost joy of being a chef is to be able to make people from all over the world smile through food even without verbal communication. If you are planning to visit Tokyo, we recommend a visit to “Sushi to Sakana Kobayashi” to enjoy exquisite sushi prepared by Mr. Kobayashi in a very reassuring environment.
The number of hotels, restaurants, and other facilities obtaining “GBAC STARTM” accreditation has been increasing in Japan. If you are looking for a hotel or restaurant, you may want to choose those featuring this mark below.
Official website of “Sushi to Sakana Kobayashi”
For more information about “GBAC STARTM” accreditation, please visit:
* “Japan’s first” sushi restaurant to obtain the accreditation was confirmed on the GBAC official website as of July 2022.