20 Aug Conveyor Belt Sushi in Japan
Small pieces of sushi slowly glided by as my mouth began to water. Wanting to see the choices before snatching up my first pick, I waited, carefully analyzing my options. Almost every piece looked delicious, and finally I plucked a plate from the constantly rotating lineup. It was heaven.
I remember the first time I tried sushi. I had just moved to Minneapolis to start the fall semester at my new college. Growing up in middle of nowhere Minnesota didn’t provide many options to explore exotic cuisines even though our hometown, Pelican Rapids, was a diverse anomaly compared to the typical “midwestern small town”. Minneapolis was different, though, it’s a haven with almost any imaginable cuisine to experiment with. It was a chilly winter night, and my friend Anissa suggested we go out for sushi. Happily agreeing, I tried to prepare myself for what was surely to be one of the most interesting meals I had tried to date.
Well, we ended up ordering a variety of veggie rolls because she doesn’t eat fish and I was a bit reluctant to adventure any further outside my comfort zone. I’m not a picky eater, but in the past, I was less adventurous when it came to the variety of food I would try. Raw fish just sounded a bit too unappetizing, and veggie rolls were the perfect introduction to the world of sushi.
Now, around 10 years later, I have become almost obsessed with sushi, from rolls, to nigiri and sashimi, and I couldn’t wait to get to Japan so I could sample some amazing sushi.
For one reason after another, my sushi plans kept getting pushed aside. I was determined, however, to have at least one sushi meal during our time in Japan. Enter, the conveyer belt sushi restaurant. Now, I know conveyer belt sushi isn’t the best or the most fresh option out there, but we picked it because I read online that a few establishments served other food options besides sushi. I figured it would give Micah a fighting chance to find something he would like as he isn’t particularly fond of sushi. So, in Kyoto we made our way to Musashi Sushi.
There was a wait, but that was a good sign–it meant we would have more opportunity to receive a fresh roll as they wouldn’t have to circle the belt as long. In fact, it looked like most options were picked up after one lap around the restaurant–I only noticed because I had my eye on a few that were grabbed before they came my way.
Every time one of my picks made it to my seat, I silently cheered with excitement. You could also order a specific roll from one of the servers, and you would get two slices of the roll on a plate while the remainder would go on the belt. I enjoyed that option as one of the tempura rolls I liked was a hot commodity. My favorite ended up being the special tuna, and overall, I devoured more pieces than I should admit! Micah even found a few options that he could enjoy: corn sushi and roast beef sushi. Plus, it made us both feel a bit better that he wasn’t just taking up a seat while waiting for me.
The entire process was so much fun, and it was surprisingly affordable, as well. You pay by the plate–each plate cost ¥140 (about $1.15), and the number of plates in front of you would be counted up to get your final total. Some similar restaurants have color coded plates where each color is a different price.
I absolutely loved the quirky conveyor belt sushi experience. It allowed me to try more daring options I may have otherwise avoided, and I found a few new kinds that I ended up adoring! Maybe next time I can snag a coveted reservation at Sukiyabashi Jiro, but until then, I’ll have to settle for drooling over the Jiro Dreams of Sushi documentary and eating at as many delicious sushi restaurants that I can find elsewhere.
Are you a sushi fan as well? What’s your favorite type?