TOKYO - President Obama stepped off Air Force One in Japan apparently with an appetite for sushi.
After a quick refresh at the Hotel Okura near the U.S. Embassy, Obama joined Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for dinner at a tiny sushi shop in the city's Ginza neighborhood. They were joined by U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy and National Security Adviser Susan Rice, the White House said.
The restaurant - Sukiyabashi Jiro - has earned a rare three-star Michelin rating. Its owner and master chef, 89-year-old Jiro Ono, was featured in the 2011 documentary "Jiro Dreams of Sushi." Many regard him as the world's best sushi chef.
Details of the president's dinner were scarce, as it was closed to the press. A special meal of selections by the chef costs close to $300 per person, according to the restaurant's website. Reservations are booked through June at its main location.
White House officials say building personal ties between Obama and Abe is a priority on his third trip to Japan as president.
They "have good discussions all the time, whenever they see each other," a senior Japanese government official said. "But the more frequently they see each other, the better."