Yoshino Sushi has been making sushi in Osaka for more than 170 years, and has become well known for its hako (boxed) sushi, where the rice and seafood are pressed together in a rectangular wooden mold. Made from cypress wood, the mold creates sushi so pretty it could be mistaken for confectionery. A version of the mold is also used as Yoshino Sushi's logo, and can be seen outside the restaurant's three locations scattered around central Osaka.

The flagship store, a 25-minute walk from Osaka Station, was remodeled a few years ago. Out went the zashiki (floor seating) in favor of a more modern, austere setting with tables and chairs. A place at the beautiful Japanese cypress wood counter is the best seat in the house.

Hako sushi features prominently on the menu, but there are alternatives. No bite-size sushi came with my Mushizushisen set lunch (¥3,000), a seasonal option that is only offered in winter. Instead, the meal's centerpiece — the mushizushi — was a bowl of steamed rice topped with bright yellow threads of sweetened omelet.