One of Vancouver’s Oldest Japanese Restaurants ‘Koko’ To Close After 42 Years

Photo credits: phancouver
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Sad news as another longtime family-run Vancouver restaurant is closing soon.

Two community members (Mikahomecook and Morokokoko) recently shared on Instagram that Koko Japanese Restaurant is shutting down on June 14th after more than four decades of operation.

According to writer Brian Fawcett, Koko is the last restaurant Vancouver’s first sushi master, Koji, who began serving sushi in the mid-1960s.

Opened in 1982, Koko was eventually taken over and run by Koji’s son, Kuni, maintaining the tradition and skill of its founder.

Some locals might not have experienced Koko or even heard of it due to its unassuming exterior, bright yellow signage, and less centralized location.

Its outward appearance led people to mistake it for a car repair shop or studio.

It was also mainly left out of the social media limelight.

Inside you’ll find a setup reminiscent of old sushi restaurants—a long open sushi bar and a row of private tatami rooms for dining. Yes – that meant shoes off in those rooms!

Koko served a variety of sushi rolls, sashimi, and other Japanese dishes like Soba, Chirashi Dons and Gyoza.

As Mika shared in her post, “Koko provided a place where immigrant Japanese families could dine on authentic Japanese meals (besides their home cooking) and try more innovative rolls at that time such as the California roll. Perhaps it’s the restaurant where many Vancouverites had their first taste of sushi.”

Various online comments and blogs echo this sentiment, highlighting Koko’s role in introducing sushi to locals in the 80s and 90s.

If you want to experience Koko Japanese Restaurant before they shutdown, their last day of service is June 14th.

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Address: 2053 East Hastings, Vancouver, BC