Kaitenzushi restaurant chains 回転寿司チェーン
A conveyor belt sushi (kaitenzushi) restaurant
Credit: Oraz Studio
Rotating sushi plates up close
There's no sushi master meticulously preparing fish in front of you, nor eye-watering bill when you're done. Simply order on a touchpad and receive your plates of sushi by mini train, or grab one of the tempting plates rotating on the conveyor belt in front of you! Here's a selection of 5 large kaitenzushi chains that you will find throughout Japan.
One of the more recent kaitenzushi (conveyor belt sushi) chains, as it was created in 2002, Hamazushi has managed to succeed in the market and there are already more than 400 restaurants in Japan. The principle is simple: a plate of two pieces of sushi comes to 108 yen (100 yen + tax). Some establishments even offer a reduced rate of 97 yen per day on weekdays!
See also: Eating cheaply in Japan
Hamazushi has kindly thought of its international customers, and the restaurant's YouTube channel has released a video, entirely in English, which explains how the restaurant works. It's therefore the ideal place for a first visit to a kaitenzushi restaurant if the idea is a little intimidating to you.
The menu also has many side dishes such as soups, udon and fries, as well as various desserts. All at low prices! You will also find six different sauces at your table, so you can season your sushi however you like.
Also offering plates of two pieces of sushi for 108 yen, Kura Sushi has been around for more than 40 years in Japan. It focuses on food safety and health issues, making it an international reference with many patents and trademarks outside the country. All dishes have no artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners or preservatives, and you can even ask for low-carb sushi! This is the place to go to be sure of what's on your plate - without breaking the bank.
For your information, you will find a Kura Sushi restaurant right in front of the famous Golden Pavilion, also known as Kinkakuji, in Kyoto. Perfect if you're hungry after a morning of temple-visiting!
Kappa Sushi doesn't market itself to international customers, since their website is not available in English. However, they have recently revamped their brand and refurbished their restaurants to appeal to new customers. This popular chain, with its two adorable kappa mascots Ka-kun and Pakko-chan, was definitely due a makeover as it's been on the kaitenzushi market for 45 years.
To read: The kappa
Kappa Sushi's two mascots
A Kappa Sushi restaurant
To maintain its position among other major Japanese chains, Kappa Sushi often collaborates with other brands for various events throughout the year. For example, there's usually a special Halloween menu. Also be aware that this is one of the few kaitenzushi restaurants available on UberEats!
Sushiro loves to promote its menu. With its innovative and original new dishes, the chain appears regularly on Japanese television in variety shows. It's the most successful kaitenzushi chain in Japan, although far from the most recent, as it was founded in 1984. Its founding chef simply wanted the greatest number of people to enjoy good sushi in a friendly atmosphere, and ever since Sushiro has continued to grow.
Like most chains, the plates of two pieces of sushi cost 108 yen. The menu also offers seasonal dishes, and you can also order your meal on UberEats! Menus are available in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean in all of the 500 or so Sushiro restaurants throughout Japan.