Known as Conveyor Belt Sushi, Rolling Sushi (くるくる寿司) or Kaiten Sushi (回転寿司 – pronounced “kaiten zushi” in Japanese) is an incredibly fun spin off of the sushi bar and easier on your wallet too! If you love sushi and can’t get enough of it then Conveyor Belt Sushi is the answer to your wildest sushi dreams. It’s exciting, fresh, fast, delicious and most of all…..FUN! Depending on the restaurant, it feels like visiting an amusement park as these places can give off a festive aura.
The Kaiten Sushi Experience
Imagine walking into this sushi restaurant only to find plates and plates of sushi going around the entire restaurant on a conveyor belt. Once you are seated just grab whatever plate you desire off of there.
Don’t see what you like on the rolling sushi conveyor belt? Take a look at their menu and place your order with the waiter or waitress! They will have it made for you right away! You definitely have got to experience it to know how wonderful a place like this is!
Conveyor Belt Sushi Plates
Depending on the restaurant, the plates are differentiated through patterns, colors, shapes, etc. for different prices. Each kaiten sushi restaurant is different but you should be able to see a chart where you’re sitting at.
Rolling Sushi Prices
This is where is gets REALLY good $$$. Going to a regular sushi restaurant can cost upwards of $4 per 2 pieces of sushi and up! If you eat 10 orders of lower priced sushi at the sushi bar then that’s $40 already but the guys usually go beyond 10 plates! So one meal at a sushi bar can really add up.
Rolling sushi prices focus on value and lower prices and you will find $1-$2-$3 plates. Could be higher depending on the rolling sushi restaurant but that’s the general pricing focus in Japan and in the US. It’s just a phenominal place for sushi lovers all over the world!
Seriously, we’d love to go there every week if we could (actually we can but we’re careful not to have too much of a good thing)!
Kaiten Sushi Locations
Rolling Sushi or Kaiten Sushi restaurants are popular all over Japan. You will find them in almost every city.
There are sushi conveyor belt restaurants all over the US but we have gone to ones in the state of Oregon, California and Washington so far. Check Yelp for locations near you and the reviews too!
We saw one in San Francisco that had boats of sushi plates rotating around on water! Believe it to be near Chinatown but didn’t get a chance to try that place though.
Conveyor Belt Sushi Technological Advancements
One thing that Japan does really well is that they take something and advance it….in this case they have made improvements in the Rolling sushi restaurant technology without increasing the pricing which blew us away when we experienced it:
- Hot Water Dispenser: There are cups and Green Tea Powder made available to you at your seat or table so you don’t even need to ask the waitress to order green tea. It’s free! Just take a cup, add however much green tea powder you would like and the hot water dispenser is there so you can fill your cup and enjoy your hot green tea right away. Hmmm….the US rolling sushi restaurants probably want to make bank from green tea so they probably won’t offer this anytime soon.
- Laser Scanner Checkout: Holy cow! Now this is a major step forward. So you finish your meal but the waiter / waitress has to stop by to count your plates to give you your total for your check…They can count them pretty quick but they need to do it individually so it can take a little time. But don’t worry…just stack your plates that you personally ordered and they can scan it and give you your total in about 2 seconds. Crazy!
- Ordering Via Intercom: Have a certain dish you’d like but it’s not on the sushi conveyor belt and the waiter / waitress isn’t anywhere to be found? Don’t worry! You can use the intercom and place your sushi orders through there! Just press the button to signal them, place your order and your order will be coming right up!
- Orders Delivered To You Via Kaiten Sushi Conveyor Belt: So you’ve placed your order through the intercom but where is the waiter / waitress with your sushi? No need for them because your order will be delivered on the sushi belt to your booth or table. The plate will show your booth / table number OR a bell will ring when the order is about to reach you. Good stuff!
- Welcome To The World Of Touchscreen Ordering:
The most recent kaiten sushi restaurant that we went to we saw the touchscreen for the first time. It’s a full on menu with options! Just choose your category of seafood and the style of sushi, handroll, etc. you’d like. They even have noodles, rice bowls, fried chicken, fried calamari or desserts you can order from there. The order is sent via the kaiten sushi conveyor belt and there’s a soft bell ring tone when your order is near your booth. Really exciting experience!
Love, love, love this place. In Japan you can have fresh sushi for dinner for less than $10+ and you won’t need to pay tip either! It’s more of a rarity to find outside of Japan (for now) so if you’re traveling to Japan and have a limited budget you definitely want to hit up the conveyor belt sushi restaurants you will find all over Japan!