Guide will not rate Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo as it is no longer open to the public
The worlds best sushi restaurant has been stripped of its three Michelin stars.
But the decision, which was announced in Tokyo on Tuesday, has nothing to do with the quality of the restaurants tuna belly or the consistency of its vinegared rice. It is because it is no longer open to the public.
We recognise Sukiyabashi Jiro does not accept reservations from the general public, which makes it out of our scope, a spokeswoman for the Michelin Guide, said as it unveiled its latest Tokyo edition.
She added: It was not true to say the restaurant lost stars but it is not subject to coverage in our guide. Michelins policy is to introduce restaurants where everybody can go to eat.
Sushi Saito in Tokyo, which was awarded three stars in the 2019 guide, was removed from the latest edition for the same reason.
Jiro, a famously exclusive restaurant where Barack Obama dined with the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, in 2014, had received three Michelin stars every year since the culinary guides first Tokyo edition in 2007, and was the subject of the 2011 documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi.
Its owner, Jiro Ono, is still serving sushi into his 90s with the help of his eldest son, Yoshikazu. His younger son runs a branch of the restaurant that is open to the public and has retained its two stars.
The fabled main restaurant, which is often known simply as Sushi Jiro, opened in the upmarket Ginza district in 1965 and has a guest list that includes the French chef Jol Robuchon, the actor Hugh Jackman and the singer Katy Perry.
Demand means it has never been easy to make a reservation, but now diners willing to part with at least 40,000 yen (285) for the chefs selection must be regulars, have special connections or book through the concierge of a luxury hotel.
Jiros website said it was currently experiencing difficulties in accepting reservations and apologised for any inconvenience to our valued customers.
It added: Unfortunately, as our restaurant can only seat up to 10 guests at a time, this situation is likely to continue.