Delicious and cheap sushi? Yes, it is possible in a kaiten sushi restaurant! For the ones who don’t know it, but I guess everybody does, kaiten sushi means sushi on a conveyor belt. The sushi is prepared in the kitchens and put on the conveyor belt that goes all around the restaurant among the tables, the customers take the sushi they like directly from the belt.
Somebody dislikes kaiten sushi because they say that the sushi is not fresh since it has been going around on the conveyor belt for long. I don’t agree, kaiten sushi in Japan is so popular and always packed with people that the sushi is never left on the belt for long before somebody takes it and fresh dishes keep on coming out from the kitchens. The main difference I notice is that standard sushi restaurants have a greater variety of cuts of fish. For example in a kaiten sushi you would find one or two cuts of tuna while in a restaurant you would probably find more. So, from my experience at least, it is not about the freshness rather about the variety.
Basically all the major kaiten sushi chains work in the same way. There are places along counters or tables, there is obviously the conveyor belt with the sushi ready to be taken off but also every table and every place along the counters is equipped with a touch screen to be used to order what is not on the conveyor belt in that moment. Many customers, and I really suggest it, always order from the touch screen because most of the times the sushi is made on the spot, this is an important tip especially if you order warm sushi like the one with melted cheese on the top, it will come to you nice and warm. When you order from the electronic menu (it comes also in English) using the touch screen the sushi comes to you on the conveyor belt with a special plate with the color or the number of your table. Try not to steal somebody else’s dishes by mistake as sometimes happens to me. (⌒▽⌒)ゞ
My favorite among all the kaiten sushi chains is Kurasushi. The price is 100 yen (plus 5 yen taxes) per dish for the standard nigiri sushi in the menu. The slices of fish are big and delicious. They also have some season specials with different prices and they offer extras like french fries, tempura, udon soup and desserts for 100 – 300 yen. The quality and the variety of the sushi is very good and they have also strange varieties to try like fried chicken nigiri sushi or meat balls sushi rolls. My favorite of all times is shrimp with mayonnaise, avocado and onions, every time I take at least 3 plates. Check the menu if you are curious.
The quality, the prices and the variety of sushi offered by Kurasushi is similar to what is offered also by the other kaiten sushi chains I mentioned above but what makes it special is the game you can play with the empty dishes.
Usually the empty dishes are left on the table to create high columns and trigger the competition among the friends around the table but not at Kurasushi. At the bottom of the counter, below the conveyor belt there is a slot where you can insert your dishes, every 5 dishes a slot machine activates on the touch screen and you have the chance to win a gatchapon from the box placed above the counter. Last time we went I won a mandarin juice key chain. It is a bit childish, I know, but I was so happy to bring home a souvenir from a nice dinner with my Sweetheart. (♥ω♥ ) ~♪
Kurasushi Website (in Japanese)