満寿形屋 (ますがたや)
Area North
Category Donburi / Sushi / Udon : Soba


Masugataya is a restaurant in Masugata shopping street near Keihan Demachiyanagi station. It mainly serves Udon, Soba and rice bowls, but the most popular item is in fact their Saba-zushi(mackerel sushi). Unlike the sushi that is formed by hand piece by piece, the sushi chef prepares Saba-zushi by placing an entire fillet of mackerel on top of some rice, shaping it and slicing the sushi into pieces. The restaurant was founded around one hundred years ago. They have been making Saba-zushi for around ninety years. It’s bustling with local fans of Masugataya's Saba-zushi and visitors from further afield who have heard stories about this place. Today, I came to try the Saba-zushi.


On this day, I ordered Kitsune-udon, in a set menu item with two pieces of Saba-zushi, 1200yen. Kitsune-udon is 500yen on its own. One whole stick of Saba-zushi is either 3500 yen or 4500yen depending on the type.


The Kitsune-udon is made from relatively fine noodles, topped with a large fried tofu and chopped leeks. The soup, full of the flavour of the dashi stock, is delicious. And look at the thickness of the mackerel fillet in the famous Saba-zushi. The rich, thick mackerel fillet goes really well with the sushi rice seasoned with vinegar, making an exquisite combination. The mackerel fillet is adorned with Japanese pepper plant buds wrapped in thin seaweed, so the you can see the buds through the layer of seaweed. It’s a carefully crafted dish that’s also beautiful to look at.


I visited immediately after the restaurant opened. It filled up straight away, with a queue forming outside. The restaurant closes as soon as they sell out, so I recommend you get there early.


Address 179 Nishincho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto city, Kyoto, Japan
Tel 075-231-4209
Open 12:00p.m. - 6:00p.m.
closed - Wednesday
Access 2 minute walk from City Bus Stop Kawaramachi Imadegawa
10 minute walk from Keihan Demachiyanagi Station

View Larger Map