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Yoshihachi still going strong at 18

Date Posted: 2010-11-26

Yoshi Maekawa knows his sushi; he’s been plying his culinary sushi magic at Yoshihachi for 18 years now, and says “I’m still young” as he prepares for anniversary celebrations.

Known as much for the dignitaries and celebrities who visit to indulge—earlier this month it was professional magician Matt the Knife, who entertained with 20 different tricks while enjoying his meal—themselves as for the food itself, Yoshihachi is a drawing card. Maekawa, who turns 60 next year, is recommending pumpkin rolls, sweet potato rolls and rainbow sushi rolls, all for ¥900 each.

For those accustomed to ‘traditional sushi’ –rice topped with maghuro, octopus, ikura and egg, Yoshihachi’s 200+ selection menu is more than a treat. Maekawa keys on quality and freshness in everything. His ability to blend traditional Japanese flavors with the more diverse tastes of Americans makes Yoshihachi a ‘must stop’ restaurant for visitors. Maekawa blends traditional Okinawan styles with those catering to foreigners, including special wells for feet under low tables, allowing a customer to stretch his or her feet while still enjoying the traditional tatami mats.

The popular chef, who’s had his globefish cooking license for 35 years now, tantalizes guests with globefish dishes, but also has tempura, beef, chicken, noodles and fried rice to appeal to every appetite. The Yoshihachi owner says anyone reading this article who tells his staff about it will receive a free ice cream or soft drink.

Reservations are recommended, particularly after 7 p.m., when Yoshihachi’s begins to get crowded, 098-936-2359. Yoshihachi’s, which has plenty of free parking, is open 4:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. The restaurant, which is open daily except Tuesdays, accepts yen and U.S. dollars.

Getting to Yoshihachi sushi restaurant is easy. From Kadena Gate 1, turn left onto Highway 58, then turn onto Highway 23 at the second traffic light. After passing under the blue overpass, turn right, and look for the restaurant about 300 meters from the intersection. Then park in the large parking lot. Coming from Kadena Gate 2, turn right towards Highway 58. After passing a convenience store, look for the blue pedestrian overpass, and turn left.

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