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Sakura & Ichiro

November: Sushi-Go-Round

Hashimoto Miki

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(Cooperation by Kappa Create Co.)

At kaiten-zushi (conveyor-belt sushi or sushi-go-round) restaurants, small plates of sushi move past customers’ tables on a conveyor belt, and customers take the ones they want to eat. At a kaiten-zushi restaurant, each plate usually ranges from about ¥100 (less than $1) to ¥500 (about $4), while in a traditional sushi restaurant you must spend at least ¥1,000 ($8) just for a set menu and much more if you order a la carte. Sushi-go-rounds are also great fun for kids, so they're a popular option for families eating out. The first revolving sushi restaurant opened in Osaka in 1958. Now such eateries are becoming familiar around the world.

When you sit down at your table, the first thing to do is pour some tea into your cup and pour a little soy sauce onto the small saucer (for dipping the sushi). The plates going around usually have different patterns depending on the price of the sushi they carry. The bill is calculated at the end by counting the plates stacked up on each table. Recently at some of these restaurants sushi can be ordered using a touch-screen panel. As well as classic sushi dishes like raw tuna and salmon, many sushi-go-round outlets offer innovative dishes with fish that is grilled or topped with onion and mayonnaise. Some places also offer plates with non-sushi treats like fried chicken, tempura, sashimi, cut fruit, and even slices of cake.