Restaurants & Cafés


Tokyo takes fresh seafood to the next level at Zauo, the restaurant chain where you can catch your own dinner. At the Shinjuku branch you're greeted by a giant, boat-shaped seating area, and surrounding that is a moat teeming with all kinds of fish (and one mean-looking shark – mind your fingers!). Once you're seated, you'll be handed a fishing rod and some bait, after which you're free to go fish. Bear in mind: there's no such thing as 'catch and release' here. If you caught it, you bought it. Expect to spend ¥4,000 to ¥5,000 on dinner, though the price varies according to catch. Zauo does fish well, and even grilled it’s moist and light. The only seasonings are salt and lemon, to ensure that the fish’s natural flavour is most prominent. Steer clear of the lobster – it's a bit tough, somewhat bland and doesn’t live up to the ¥7,500 price tag. If you plan to fish, don’t arrive hungry. When we visited it took half an hour before even a small kasago (scorpion fish) showed any interest in our bait. If you do manage to snag something, you'll be lauded in front of the whole restaurant with a special chant. Failing that, you can always order directly from the menu.

Review and photo by Amanda Taylor


Shinjuku Washington Hotel 1F, 3-2-9 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku

Transport Tochomae Station (Oedo line), exit E1

Telephone 03 3343 6622

Open 11.30am-2.30pm lunch, 5-11pm dinner Mon-Fri; 11.30am-11pm Sat, Sun & hol


Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.

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