If you've ever visited a new sushi restaurant and noticed little platters of sushi rolls drifting around on a revolving sushi bar, then you're already familiar with conveyor belt sushi. For those that aren't familiar, these conveyor belt sushi restaurant options typically offer all-you-can-eat sushi in a relaxed environment. It's not technically a sushi buffet since you pay per plate, but it's certainly an experience and you don't want to miss the sushi train.
At the end of the meal, your waiter or waitress counts the sushi plates and hands you a check. It's a fun way to eat sushi, plus it encourages you to try new items that you might not usually have!
What Is Conveyor Belt Sushi?
If you’re still not sure what conveyor belt sushi is, we’ve got you covered! This type of sushi is considered "fast food sushi." Don't let that sway you into thinking the rolls are not good quality! Salmon, tuna, yellowtail, and other types of fresh fish are available to eat/ You'll have the option to choose between revolving sushi, which generally includes an array of rolls, or ordering from the menu. Other items you might find on the sushi train could be a bowl of edamame, miso soup, seaweed salad, or desserts with red bean paste or matcha flavoring.
The available plates generally include small dishes of sushi. You may find some plates have one or two pieces of nigiri, rice with a slice of raw fish. Or, perhaps 3-4 slices of a roll. The small portions are excellent for those who like a little bit of everything or want to add more sushi options to their lives.
The check-out process is different for sushi conveyor belt restaurants than traditional sushi restaurants. Typically, the plates are color-coded, with each color having a different cost. For example, blue plate dishes may have a $5 price, while yellow dishes may only be $3. Don't worry; there's usually a color guide on the walls detailing the pricing!
Save room for the tasty desserts that float around between the sushi rolls. They're super tasty and not overly sweet.
Where Did Conveyor Belt Sushi Originate?
So, where did this unique way of serving and ordering sushi begin? Conveyor sushi, also known as kaiten-sushi, was created by a restaurant owner named Yoshiaki Shiraishi. He was inspired by an Asahi factory where he noticed beer bottles were rotating down a conveyor belt effortlessly. It took him five years to perfect the method of conveyor belt sushi, with the first restaurant launching in 1958. The restaurant was met with immediate success.
After launching another rotating sushi restaurant at the Osaka World Expo, conveyor belt sushi restaurants increased rapidly in popularity. Eventually, this type of restaurant shifted to worldwide locations. Now, you can find conveyor belt sushi in most towns. Some brands that are popular in the U.S. are Kura Revolving Sushi Bar and Kappa Sushi.
Enjoying Sushi Items at Home
While you likely won't be able to recreate the whole conveyor belt at home, you can still enjoy fun sushi-themed games and items to embody the feeling of a restaurant experience. Try these products below!
Drinking hot water or tea with a meal can help digestion. While you're enjoying fresh sushi, you'll definitely need something light and floral to wash down the delicious umami. Discover delicious Japanese tea that goes well with any meal.
These porcelain plates are in the shape of onigiri rice balls. If you decide to make homemade sushi, these are the perfect serving plates. Plus, they have a little spot to add soy sauce.
Hungry from all this sushi talk? Us too! You can grab delicious Japanese snacks and Japanese candy from Bokksu Boutique. There are multiple Japanese snack box and Japanese candy box options if you’d like to stock up on tasty treats. Or, try a Japanese snack subscription box filled with savory snacks and Japanese sweets. Bokksu Boutique has it all!
Let's see what a conveyor belt sushi restaurant looks like in Japan!