Restaurant Japon will soon close in Wash Park - and relocate to a new location next year

Japon Restaurant Facebook page.

South Gaylord Street has seen a lot of restaurants come and go, but Restaurant Japon is a stalwart, not just on South Gaylord, but in the Denver dining scene, standing court in the middle of Washington Park's most bustling block for eighteen years, a feat for any restaurant. But on Halloween, Restaurant Japon will go dark.

See also: Japon rolls up veggie sushi -- and salad, soup and more

"We've had eighteen great years serving our loyal customers, many of whom have become close friends," says owner Miki Hashimoto, stressing that while Japon may be closing, he's not finished with the restaurant business. "I have some great new ideas and concepts that I'm exploring that Denver hasn't seen," he reveals, adding that his next concept, which he'll unveil in a new location, will open in early summer of next year.

Prior to opening Japon, Hashimoto was notorious for "disappearing" to work with master chefs in restaurants in Denver, Aspen and Breckenridge, notes Tom Polich, a longtime friend and business adviser to Hashimoto. "I'd have to ask around for signs of his appearance at a new location and then chide him for leaving without notice. I love his personality and his food. It's the best sushi I've ever had, and I've lived in a dozen states," declares Polich.

"I'll stay in touch, and I encourage everyone to go to Japon's website for updates, or send me a note," says Hashimoto, adding that the new owners of the South Gaylord space will "likely reopen as an Asian concept in the spring of 2014."

In the meantime, Japon is featuring specials during the rest of the month, including a deep-fried Korean oyster starter for $5, as well as an albacore tuna special with a trio of dipping sauces. Get them now, while they last.

Location Info

Japon - CLOSED

1028 S. Gaylord St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

How DARE they leave a shell of a restaurant behind! Some "journalist" at Westword should complain about it!


Sushi was decent but service was NOT....we could walk here from our house but choose Osaka over Japon in most situations.


Been going to Japon for a long time, their Sushi is on par with the Den without the "scene" and the service is excellent providing a local's feel.  Kenji-San and Miki-San always made us feel at home.

Hey here's an idea, let's put another freakin' taco joint in

Denver Dave
Denver Dave topcommenter

We used to go to Japon when they first opened in their first location across the street and we were always disappointed in the freshness of the fish even when Hashimoto was there all the time.  It was cute, the people were nice, but I was never convinced that their sushi held a candle to Sushi Den.  Still it is sad that a place with this much history is closing - obviously a lot of people loved it or they wouldn't still be around.


Can't wait to see what opens here. The Tavern Wash Park South? Sushi Den East? No doubt whatever it is the flock of pretentious Californian ass suckers that have taken up residence in the area will love it.


@Denver Dave So funny people fall for the silly hype of Sushi Den , Sushi  Den's fish comes from the same distributer as many other sushi restaurants in Denver but people fall for seen and be seen crowd of Sushi Den. Once you have sushi in California you won't think Sushi Den is so great! 

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