Trigger warning: This article mentions "live sashimi," which involves cutting and serving sea creatures that are still alive, so it may be upsetting for some.

As can be expected for an island nation, Japan has a rich culinary culture nourished by the bounty of the ocean. Visitors who enjoy fresh seafood are rarely disappointed when it comes to the range of possibilities available.

One of the freshest ways of enjoying seafood is sashimi, and within the realm of sashimi, the pinnacle of freshness is known as ikizukuri 活き造り, or "live sashimi."

Torahachi Shoten is one place where you can enjoy this type of sashimi. In addition to their tataki たたき (quick-seared) of katsuo (bonito), they are famous for their live sashimi of oyogi ika 泳ぎイカ or "swimming squid."

They explain what they mean by this in their press release: "We transport the squid (in a way) that does not stress the squid, and keep them in a tank within the store. In addition, we only prepare squids that are swimming after receiving the order, so there is nothing better than that."

Moreover, in their words: "You'll have the surprise of seeing the squid legs dance when you drop soy sauce on them. It's so fresh that the suckers will stick to your mouth." Fresh indeed.

Here's a video a customer took at the Torahachi Shoten store in Shinsaibashi, Osaka:

Torahachi Shoten Umeda Store opening

When you're visiting Osaka next time, why not stop by Torahachi Shoten's new Umeda store opening up this month.

Oyogi Ika

Since the flavor and the prized "sweetness" of squid can vary depending on how it is cut, Torahachi Shoten also allows customers who are knowledgeable in such matters to choose their favorite cutting style.

Katsuo Tataki

Torahachi Shoten prepares their katsuo tataki in a style developed in Kochi Prefecture. To sear the outside, the fish is covered in straw and fire-grilled at close to 1000 degrees Celsius. This cooks the outside, leaves it raw on the inside, while imparting a smoky flavor to the fish. It's served still warm and you can enjoy it with your choice of homemade yuzu ponzu, salted yuzu ponzu, or simply salt or wasabi.

Store Information

  • Name (JP): 寅八商店梅田店
  • Name (EN): Torahachi Shoten Umeda
  • Address (JP): 大阪市北区曽根崎2-8-5お初天神EASTビル1F・B1F
  • Address (EN): 1F/ B1F Ohatsu Tenjin EAST Bldg., 2-8-5 Sonezaki, Kita-ku, Osaka
  • Hours: 17:00 to 24:00 (L.O. 23;00)
  • Seating: 100 (14 booths)
  • Website

By - Ben K.