Why Did Sukiyabashi Jiro Lose Three Michelin Stars?

Why Did Sukiyabashi Jiro Lose Three Michelin Stars?
Barack Obama had dined at Sukiyabashi Jiro in 2014, Photo Credit: The White House/Wikimedia Commons

Exclusivity is the answer!

Sharmistha Chaudhuri
November 28 , 2019
04 Min Read

A Michelin Star is a big deal and if you’ve got it, you try very hard to keep it. Restaurants aim to be better, be more innovative and give customers an unforgettable dining experience every single time. However, if you tend to get complacent and slip, the following year’s Michelin guide may simply demote you or strip you off the star altogether. However, Tokyo-based sushi restaurant Sukiyabashi Jiro has developed a unique problem. In the latest Michelin guide that rolled out for the year 2020, Jiro, the world’s first three Michelin Star sushi restaurant, was left out of its pages because it is too exclusive!

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A post shared by gastronogram 🍴 (@gastronogram) on May 23, 2019 at 5:10am PDT

Located in the Ginza neighbourhood of Tokyo, Jiro can only seat 10 people and it is pretty much impossible for an average food lover to get a reservation as they are backed up for years. According to rumours, one would need to wait for two years to eat there. Travel guides often recommend going through a fancy hotel concierge or getting someone to do the reservation via phone in Japanese. But recently, even that seems not possible as the restaurant isn’t accepting phone reservations. “We are currently experiencing difficulties in accepting reservations and apologize for any inconvenience to our valued customers. Unfortunately, as our restaurant can only seat up to 10 guests at a time, this situation is likely continued. Please note that we will not be able to accept telephone reservations until further notice,” their website states.


Read | What exactly is a Michelin Star?

According to Michelin, its ‘policy is to introduce restaurants where everybody can go to eat’. Thus, with Jiro becoming too exclusive and impossible for anyone to go eat there, unless one is friends with Barack Obama or David Beckham that is, the sushi restaurant hasn’t been included in the 2020 list.

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I'm very lucky to eat in many great places around the world but what I have just experienced is true greatness... It was an honor and pleasure to spend 1 hour with Jiro - San and see a true master at work... Thank you for the most amazing hour ... #sukiyabashijiro

A post shared by David Beckham (@davidbeckham) on Sep 29, 2016 at 10:06pm PDT

Jiro Ono, the 94-year-old star of the acclaimed 2011 Netlflix documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi, may have won the world over with his techniques and style, but good luck getting a reservation to eat at his famed restaurant. We aren’t losing hope yet!

Read | Head to these streetfood stalls which also have Michelin Stars

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