Sushi in Tokyo, Japan

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.

Sushi in Tokyo, Japan

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.

Sushi in Tokyo, Japan

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.

Sushi in Tokyo, Japan

Sushi in Tokyo, Japan

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.

Sushi in Tokyo, Japan

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.

Sushi in Tokyo, Japan

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?


  • Rashaad
    Posted at 11:29h, 25 August Reply

    I can’t say I’m a fan of sushi – I’m a vegetarian. But on my first day in Yamagata Prefecture (I spent two years there as a member of the JET Program), several folks and I went to a conveyor belt sushi place and I thought the concept was quite cool. I just wish there were similar places for foods that I eat.
    Rashaad recently posted…Home Sweet Home – GraduationMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 01:01h, 27 August Reply

      Yeah, I wish they had some more options for those who don’t like sushi! Would make going as a group a bit easier! 🙂
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…In Motion: JapanMy Profile

  • Angela
    Posted at 15:21h, 27 August Reply

    I also didn’t try sushi until college. It is always my date night go to. The conveyor belt option allows you to choose what looks appetizing as a beginner! I recommend this type to anyone venturing new food experiences.
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  • Meg Jerrard
    Posted at 05:59h, 30 August Reply

    LOVE Sushi, though would you believe I’ve never eaten from a conveyor belt! Japan would definitely be the place to do it. We’re actually pretty lucky in Australia to have a wide variety of sushi options, I guess because we have a very large Asian influence. Though I still do want to get to Japan to try it firsthand. I bet nothing beats it!
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  • Ron
    Posted at 10:26h, 03 September Reply

    Oh this reminds me of the very first time I had sushi…actually, it is pretty much exactly the same! Hahaha I was dating down in Arizona where we went to a sushi restaurant that also served sushi on a conveyor belt. It wasn’t nearly as busy as the one you had went to, but at least we got in quickly.

    It was a very interesting first experience and, compared to your typical sushi restaurants, much more affordable then fine dining. Have you ever tried Sea Urchin before? It’s sooo good! 😀
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  • Audrey Blakeney
    Posted at 11:02h, 03 September Reply

    The conveyor belt sushi experience sounds like it would be absolutely amazing. You pointed out that because of it, you were able to try more daring kinds of sushi, and such daring experiences are what traveling is all about, aren’t they? It would likewise just be very fun to see sushi zipping past on a conveyor belt. They say you shouldn’t play with your food, but I think this is one instance when you very much should.

  • Chanel
    Posted at 10:23h, 07 September Reply

    I love conveyor belt sushi – a great affordable and informal dining experience to have in Japan!
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  • Veronica Marks
    Posted at 14:37h, 01 December Reply

    This is such an interesting restaurant concept! I’ve actually never been to a conveyor belt restaurant, but have always wanted to. I was curious about how they charge, whether it’s like a buffet where you pay a flat fee or by the plate. Thanks for letting us in on your experience!

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 04:22h, 09 December Reply

      Hope you get to check one out sometime! We loved it. I was curious about how they would charge as well–it was nice that they charged a flat rate per plate! Made it easy to see how much of a bill we were racking up, lol! Thankfully each plate is priced pretty reasonably!
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  • Phillius Thomas
    Posted at 09:18h, 29 December Reply

    That food looks and sounds absolutely scrumptious, rolling around on the belt, waiting to be grabbed! I haven’t been to a conveyor belt restaurant before, but I have heard that it is an experience to try. Next time my friends want to get sushi, maybe we should look at some different places and see how they are.

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 01:34h, 30 December Reply

      It was indeed delicious! We loved being able to pick from a variety of options–it made it a lot of fun. Hope you find one near you to try out! 🙂
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…6 Self Drive Road Trips in IcelandMy Profile

  • Marcos Yamashita
    Posted at 05:29h, 15 January Reply

    Very interesting, when I go to Japan I will try, thank you

  • Tony Chen
    Posted at 01:19h, 27 January Reply

    Thanks for sharing the awesome post Jenna! There’s so much variety in comparison to American where there’s only a few choice to try out. This not only makes my idea of Japan but more interesting. I would love to pick from the variety, I’m glad you had fun there 🙂

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