On April 2, 1984, a chef who had owned a German restaurant and test-driven Honda cars in Tokyo open a small Japanese restaurant in downtown Tacoma.
Business was tough, but Fujiya owner Masahiro Endo persevered. After years of record setting sales, Fujiya is now recognized as not only the best Japanese restaurant in the South Sound, but a culinary leader in the Pacific Northwest. Fujiya regulars drive from as far as Mount Vernon and Chehalis for a versatile Japanese menu specializing in sushi.
Endo settled for testing Honda S-800s, one of the first sports cars in Japan. After five years of driving for Honda at Japanese test tracks, Endo opened a German-style restaurant called Rhine in Tokyo. In 1979, Endo moved to Seattle and cooked at Japanese restaurants in Seattle. When Endo heard of a business opportunity in downtown Tacoma, he opened Fujiya. Endo's great food and charming demeanor earned Fujiya the Tacoma News Tribune's Golden Fork for dining excellence in 1991.
Much of Fujiya remains the same. The crisp white chef's duds with the blue Fujiya logo of Mount Fuji. The gorgeous stained-glass art, depicting a plum tree swaying beside Mount Fuji, by Randy Hester and Joe Hester. The best part of this excellent restaurant, beyond the adventuresome specials and the edible art of sushi, is seeing the expectant looks who people who have traversed the stairs to this Tacoma gem.