Delicious, fun, and futuristic! Enjoy Japan’s conveyor belt sushi.

How to enjoy conveyor belt sushi

Developed in Japan, conveyor belt sushi is an innovative way of serving sushi. First, see how conveyor belt sushi is generally eaten while also learning etiquette – from the time you step into the shop to the time you pay the bill.

Entering the shop and sitting down

Counters

Conveyor belt sushi is generally eaten at counter seats, but some shops have booth seats as well. If available, a counter seat is recommended, as it lets you see the sushi being prepared and makes ordering dishes easier.

Preparing to eat.

Soy sauce and pickled ginger
Tea

All the things necessary for your meal are prepared on the table ahead of time. First, pour some soy sauce onto the small plate and take some pickled ginger. The ginger has been marinated in sugar and vinegar, so it refreshes your mouth. After eating one piece of sushi, you can cleanse your palate before going on to the next piece. Next, take a spoonful of powdered tea from the container, drop it into your teacup, and fill it with hot water from the dispenser. The hot water can usually be dispensed by pressing a button with your teacup. Sometimes people mistake powdered tea for wasabi. Please ask the staff for wasabi if you do not see any.

Eating and ordering

Eating

Choose from among the pieces of sushi on the conveyor belt, and take the whole plate once you have decided. Do not put sushi back on the belt even if you have not touched it. Be sure to check the menu as the prices of sushi can be distinguished by the designs or colors of the plates.

Conveyor belt sushi video
Foreign language menu
Ordering

If you see something you like on the menu but cannot see on the belt, you can order it directly from the chef behind the counter. Nowadays, there are shops that have menus in foreign languages, so you may want to check with the staff to see if they have one.

Sushi generally contains spicy wasabi, but customers who dislike it can request “sabinuki” and have their sushi prepared without wasabi. Most shops also have other dishes, such as miso soup and recommended dishes of the day. Be sure to check the signs and posters on the walls inside the shop.

Paying

The bill

Stack the plates on the side of the table and call the staff after you have finished eating. They will confirm your bill by counting the number of plates and bowls. There are also shops with systems that automatically calculate your bill when you place your plates in a machine. All meals are paid for at the cash register. There are shops that accept credit cards as well.

An ever-evolving conveyor belt sushi shop that is unique and high-tech

Touch panels
The touch panels at Kappa-Sushi

Conveyor belt sushi shops are evolving in numerous ways so that visitors to Japan can also enjoy them. One of these changes is in how the dishes are ordered. There has recently been an increase in shops where customers who do not understand Japanese can order sushi by using touch-panel menus in foreign languages.

The majority of shops take various measures to ensure the sushi served is both appetizing and delicious. These measures include having the sushi automatically removed from the conveyor belt after a certain amount of time has passed, or by covering the plates of sushi with dome-shaped lids to keep them from getting dry.

Meat sushi
Some of the meat sushi at Hamazushi
Hand-rolled tempura sushi
Some of the hand-rolled tempura sushi at Kappa-Sushi

Sushi made with seafood is not the only kind of sushi that can be enjoyed at conveyor belt sushi shops. There are shops that serve sushi topped with meat such as roast beef, hamburger meat, duck and short ribs, in addition to sushi topped with tempura, a traditional Japanese dish.

Desserts
Some of the desserts at Sushiro

Many conveyor belt sushi shops serve desserts that correspond to the season or the tastes of their customers, such as cake, ice cream, “warabimochi” (bracken starch dumplings), and “annindofu” (almond jelly), and annindofu (almond jelly). There are also a growing number of shops that serve snacks such as French fries, fried chicken, and even kids’ meals.

Games
A game at Kurazushi

There is even a shop with a game that uses empty plates and is popular with children. The plates are placed in a machine on the table and are then counted. When the number of plates reaches five, a game using the LCD screen can be played. The player has a chance to win prizes, such as anime or character goods.

Go to Kanazawa! It is full of conveyer belt sushi shops!

It is said that the food at conveyor belt sushi shops in the city of Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture is some of the best in Japan due to the fact that a wide variety of fish can be caught there. The shops all compete with one another using their own unique services. The following are some of the most popular shops. Be sure to try the many tastes of conveyor belt sushi in Kanazawa, which has become easily accessible from Tokyo with the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen.

Kanazawa Maimonzushi

First is Kanazawa Maimonzushi, which has two shops in Kanazawa City. They purchase fresh fish twice a day. You can enjoy sushi made with the fresh fish both day and night. The Japanese-style interior of the shops is also wonderful.

Next is Morimorizushi, which is popular for its reasonable prices. “Morimori” means that the toppings are plentiful, and as their name suggests, they are generous with their servings. One dish that is highly recommended is the assortment of five different local fish. Morimorizushi also has a shop at the Ohmicho Fish Market, a popular tourist destination.

Finally, there is Sushikuine, which is popular for its fresh fish brought in from both Himi Port in Toyama Prefecture and Kanazawa Port in Ishikawa Prefecture. Their emphasis on freshness can be seen in their efforts to immediately use the fish caught in the morning, which are then placed along the conveyor belts by the time they open their doors that day. They also have a fast lane, which allows sushi to be delivered more swiftly after it is ordered.

Conveyor belt sushi still continues to bring smiles to the faces of many people after sixty years. Be sure to give it a try in its home country of Japan.