First of all – do you know what Nyotaimori is? It is the practice of eating sashimi or sushi from the body of a woman, typically nude. As a result of being served on a human body, the temperature of the sushi or sashimi comes closer to body temperature, which some may see as a downside or a benefit.

Is it something that inspires you? Nyotaimori could surely be an experience to try in one of the many dedicated restaurants existing in all the major towns all over the world or – why not – at home with your special someone! Recreating the tradition of nyotaimori at home could be the ultimate food-based, role-playing sexual fantasy.

Nyotaimori – everything you need to know


Where does nyotaimori comes from?

The nyotaimori tradition dates back to Geisha houses, specifically of Japan’s Ishikawa prefecture, as a “treat” for Samurai soldiers returning from battle. Nowadays, however, the practice is, in fact, not in any way common in Japan and generally associated with prostitution and the yakuza.

Western media reporting of the phenomenon severely misrepresents this to the point that it is perceived in Japan as a European fad. Other sources claim that Nyotaimori is in fact not a Japanese tradition, but a cultural myth that has been bastardized by Western countries, such as America and Germany.

China deemed the practice unhygienic, and consequently illegalized it. Hollywood portrayed it in the first Sex and the City movie, when Samantha covers herself in sushi as an act of sexual fetishism.

Why does nyotaimori exist?

In both past and present times, its visual appeal is considered an art form. Proponents appreciate the marriage of food and sensuality, claiming that it heightens the overall culinary experience to feast from a living, breathing, beautiful thing.

How does nyotaimori work?

On the surface, it’s exactly what it looks like—a nude person covered in sashimi, even if there’s actually a “half thong” down there (which is covered by a leaf); nipple coverage is provided only by flowers or orange slices. Some providers also use Saran wrap, but that’s not the purist approach. In a chef’s perspective it’s mainly about the sushi. Sushi is his passion and nyotaimori is one of the ways he creates art with his sushi and sets himself apart. For the guests, it’s more about the naked body.

Before becoming a living sushi plate, the woman is trained to lie down for hours without moving. She must also be able to withstand the prolonged exposure to the cold food. Her body hair, including pubic hair, would also be shaved.

Traditionally, these women are toned (muscles keep the sushi in place) and skilled at remaining perfectly still for up to three or four hours. Aside from not being able to engage with customers during the service, the model must also be mindful of her breathing habits and the way she’s holding her face.

Before service, the woman would take a bath using a special fragrance-free soap and then finish off with a splash of cold water to cool the body down somewhat for the sushi, usually rinsing with ice-cold water.

Health and hygiene concerns

There are obvious health concerns, but most nyotaimori happenings adhere to strict guidelines that ensure the sushi never makes contact with the body (There are exceptions where sushi is placed directly on models. The nipples are one of the most common spots, because, you know, men). Women are typically covered with bamboo leaves, flowers and even plastic wrap to serve as a barrier between skin and salmon skin roll. Of course, just like any restaurant, places that practice nyotaimori can vary from strict health codes to something that might give you a trip to the toilet.

Nyotaimori: a controversial practice

Like most things, there are thoughts on both sides of the spectrum. Some people believe it to be a gorgeous historical art like looking at a beautiful painting while sipping wine (or in this case, sake). Others believe it demeaning towards women. The sexual objectification of women is obvious in the nyotaimori practice. For what it’s worth, men also pose nude (it’s called nantamoiri), but the practice is certainly not as widespread.

Some tips to try nyotaimori at home

To try nyotaimori at home to spice things up with your partner, you must remember to remove any body hair, clean your body accurately and rinse the body with cool water immediately before arranging the sushi. The cold water will lower the body temperature to help maintain the sushi’s freshness longer. Make your sushi ahead of time. Select your recipes based on the taste, and most importantly, the presentation. For a more natural, beautiful approach, ditch the plastic wrap between the sushi and your body, and use tea leaves or banana leaves instead. This adds to the design, and provides a hygienic buffer between you and the food.