Otsukuri and Sashimi are the same things or different things?

Sliced fresh raw fish “Sashimi (刺身)” is one of the essential dishes in Japanese cuisine. In fact, when you have the traditional Japanese course dinner called “Kaiseki Ryori (会席料理)” at a traditional Japanese restaurant, the course dinner usually includes a plate of Sashimi raw fish slices in the menu.

This is because the Sashimi plate is one of the basic menus of Kaiseki Ryori that are called “Ichiju-Sansai (一汁三菜: literally one soup and three side dishes)”, and the raw fish slice plate served in Kaiseki Ryori is also called “Otsukuri (お造り)”. But Otsukuri and Sashimi are the same things?

The Difference: Otsukuri vs Sashimi

Sashimi Slices

To get to the point, basically, Otsukuri and Sashimi refer to the same thing: edible fresh raw fish slices. Whether we Japanese use the word “Otsukuri (お造り)” or “Sashimi (刺身)” varies depending on the place, the region, and each person.

Actually, the term “Otsukuri (お造り)” has its roots in the Kansai area around Osaka where fresh slices of raw fish tend to be called Otsukuri, while the word “Sashimi (刺身)” is said to have originated in the Kanto region around Tokyo.

Thus, in a word, Otsukuri and Sashimi are essentially the same things, but according to Gurunavi, in modern times, they have specific meanings and tendencies as follows.

Sashimi (刺身)


In addition to meaning sliced raw fish, the word “Sashimi (刺身)” can also refer to fresh slices of raw meat other than fish, including beef and horse meat, as well as fresh slices of processed food like Konnyaku. As for the decoration, in general, the Sashimi plate isn’t showy.

Otsukuri (お造り)


In contrast, the “Otsukuri (お造り)” plate tends to be decorated with various things in a fancy colorful manner, and typical decorations include a fish’s head and tail, a garnish of daikon radish, flowers, and edible leaves. What is more, a touch of ingenuity is sometimes added to the raw fish slices.


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: