Our group of 4 is travelling to Japan in October and we've already put together our money for one high end sushi dinner in Tokyo. We have a budget of about 200 USD a person (give or take). We've already got our yen, so we don't need to worry about the exchange rate fluctuations. I've been doing a fair amount of research and have read up on the popular places like Sawada, Saito, Yoshitake, etc.
I'd love to go to Sawada but it's just too pricey for us.
A few other preferences:
We'd like a place that offers a pleasant experience as well as good food. We don't want a place that is rushed or overly stern or somber. I have a loose grasp of the language so would be able to communicate in a basic way with a non-english speaking chef but somewhere that is foreigner friendly or english speaking would be a bonus, but certainly not a necessity.
We'd prefer a small, intimate experience where we are seated with the chef. Kyubey is a place that comes up a lot, positively and negatively, but that's not really what we're looking for. We haven't ruled it out completely and would go if it seems like the best fit.
We don't want to worry about travel too much so someplace centrally located in Ginza, Roppongi, Shinjuku, etc would be much preferred.
I'm also curious what some of the more experienced high end sushi eaters here feel about a first-timers ability to tell the difference in quality between some of the top tier locations. We love sushi and have eaten at some high end sushi places in the states but I wonder if we'd really appreciate the 300 dollar a head place more than we would the 150 dollar a head place. Thoughts?
Thank you so much.