By Noemi Gamel
One of our favorite dining experiences in Japan has been kaiten sushi. You may have seen it before in movies or your hometown, where the sushi is placed on a conveyor belt that travels around the counter, and you pick whatever looks tasty. In Japan, this is considered a form of “fast food”, and it certainly can be speedy dining experience, but that is about where the similarities to fast food end.
We went to a kaiten sushi spot located in the Tokyo Skytree that we loved so much we went back for more! The line to get in can be long but it is worth the wait. The sushi chefs at the center greet you with a hearty welcome in Japanese. The first time, we were lucky to get a four-person booth that abutted the conveyor belt. Kara and Tristan had a blast grabbing plates of sushi as they passed by.
If there was a particular dish you liked, you could ask the chef, or in our case, point to the picture menu, and he would custom make a few plates for you. Kara did that with the sweet omelet sushi.
Judging by how packed the place was, it was clearly popular with the locals. We were the only Westerners in the restaurant. I got the feeling that the kids’ excited squeals were a bit of a source of entertainment for our fellow diners! Our inability to speak Japanese was not a problem with the conveyor-belt set up. We just picked what looked good! There were several families with small kids there. Apparently some traditional sushi restaurants in Japan do not allow children, which is one of the perks of kaiten sushi. They are kid friendly.
When you are done eating, you just stack your plates on the table and the server counts them with a scanner and hands you your bill. Kaiten sushi tends to be a little cheaper than traditional sushi restaurants.
Have you ever tried kaiten sushi? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.