Legendary sushi chef Shiro Kashiba, owner of Sushi Kashiba near Pike Place Market, is a late addition to a who’s who list of local food icons expanding to a mini-Seattle section of Chubu Centrair Airport in Nagoya, Japan. His new sushi restaurant joins Fran’s Chocolates, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, Ethan Stowell Restaurants, Pike Brewing, Eltana, and Starbucks as part of a commercial complex called Flight of Dreams, centered around the display of Boeing’s first 787 Dreamliner prototype.
Kashiba, a Japanese native, announced his inclusion in the international expansion at a recent mixer showing off Flight of Dreams’s progress, including an update that the project’s opening has been pushed back from September to October. Kashiba said he’s excited to be involved, though it’s a challenge finding the right person to lead his Japanese restaurant, which didn’t appear to have a name yet.
The mini-Seattle occupies multiple levels of Chubu Centrair Airport, and is fleshed out by several attractions for visitors, like a paper plane challenge and flight simulation, and more than a dozen shops and restaurants total. Beyond the recognizable Seattle folks involved, other businesses are inspired by the Pacific Northwest but not from here, like a soup shop called Chowder’s and a wood-fired steak restaurant called Tahomafuji (the name early Japanese immigrants gave to Mt. Rainier, according to local sake brewery Tahoma Fuji Sake).
Currently, there’s no direct flight from Seattle to Nagoya, but perhaps that will change as the connection between the two cities grows and Nagoya’s airport, built on an artificial island, continues to expand.