Conveyor belt sushi (回転寿司), romanized as “kaiten-zushi” is what it sounds like. After being seated at a table next to a conveyor belt, you simply pick the plates you want off the moving conveyor as it goes around. Depending on the establishment, plates are either the same price (as low as 100 yen – 85 cents) or different prices depending on plate color or size. Most plates have two pieces of nigiri (perfect for two people eating out) or some will have one piece with a more expensive type of fish or seafood.

    If after watching the full conveyor belt lineup you don’t see what you want, you can use the digitial screen next to you (or talk to the waiter if no screen is present) to order whichever plates you want off the menu. This does not cost more than taking plates from the conveyor. After several minutes, your order will arrive on the conveyor belt with special plate holders indicating it is a special order for your table. It’s great!

    The price is also very good compared to sushi in the Midwest. All of our conveyor belt sushi meals have left us satiated, and they all have cost right about 20 bucks. You’ll never feed two people a nigiri dinner for that much in Wisconsin!

    Finally, the variety of fish available for such a good price is quite remarkable. Here is an abriged list of plates we’ve had – click on an item to view its picture.

    Another interesting aspect of these establishments is that self-serve tea is always included. There are cups on the shelf next to the table, and a hot water spigot at every table!

    Finally, what do you get after 20+ plates of sushi? This:



    1. I remember eating corn pizza in Tokyo. After I got past the looks of the pizza, the sweet/salty was actually pretty good.

    2. whoa! I learned what Natto was this past Thanksgiving when Benj and I stayed with my cousins in DC for a few days. Naoru, my cousin’s wife, is Japanese and their son Nikko’s favorite food is Natto! He’s 2 and “natto” was one of his few vocab words. I thought it looked gross but that kid loves it! I look forward to trying it sometime.

      1. Yeah, now that I’ve tried it a second time it is actually growing on me a little. Definitely a unique taste!

        Nikko is a pretty cool city in Japan. Do you know if he is named after the place?

    3. Reminds me a little of tapas in Spain. Some places had different toothpicks for differently-priced tapas. Some just trusted you to tell them how many you had. One place even trusted you to tell them how many glasses of wine you had! Pretty cool…

    4. Crazy! Definitely something I’d love to experience, though you were brave to try some of those dishes you took photos of.

      1. Thanks. It took more bravery to try some of the other things we’ve eaten… I’ll post about those eventually!

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