Sushi has been exported to and adopted by many countries. It became one of everybody’s favourite dishes due to the variety of toppings and healthy ingredients. Japanese people are still fond of sushi and it has become accessible for all ages with the expansion of kaiten-zushi, a type of affordable sushi restaurant where sushi plates rest on a circulating conveyor belt. Learn all about a popular kaiten-zushi restaurant called Hama-Zushi below!
From northern Hokkaido to southern Okinawa, Hama-Zushi is one of the nationwide franchised kaiten-zushi restaurants in Japan. You’ll know you’ve found the right place when you see the first letter of its name, は (Ha), in black on a blue, square sign. Normally, it has free parking spaces so if you go to the restaurant by car, you won’t have to worry about spending money on parking.
As you enter the restaurant, the first thing you may be required to do is write down your name on a customer list if there are people waiting. Lunch and dinner time are the busiest time slots. Plan to arrive early if you have somewhere to go afterwards. In the waiting area, there is a small aquarium and some Japanese books to read. A waiter or waitress will call your name through a mic as soon as a table is ready.
The tables are set with wooden chopsticks, green tea, and a touch panel screen. There is a tab to run hot water, and you can make green tea by just pouring green tea powder into the mug. You can order everything by operating the panel. Your waiter can help you if you don’t know how to use it. All dishes are shown with pictures, so you will know what you have ordered. However, there is not much English on the panel, so if you are not familiar with the names of Japanese fish, you might want to check before you go.
What is astonishing about this advanced panel-ordering system is that you will hear a notification noise from the panel when your plates are approaching. This way, you won’t miss your plates and won’t take someone else’s plates on the circulating belt by mistake. In addition, there is a small tag in front of the plates to clarify a name of the dish. Therefore, you can double check how the plates look right in front of you compared to the pictures on the panel.
As for price, most sushi plates cost 100 Japanese yen and two pieces of the same sushi are served on a single plate. There are other prices for different toppings but you will be made aware of it by the colour of plate. The colour system is very efficient for calculating the total price. When you finish your meal, all you have to do is call a staff member and he or she will gather all the plates you enjoyed, stack them by colour and add up your total.
You will see why kaiten-zushi is so popular in Japan because of this incredibly organised system in addition to the quality of the sushi. Recently, more and more non-sushi dishes have become available at Hama-Zushi such as small Udon, Ramen, and cakes with coffee. The tables are big enough for six to seven people and with the booth-style seating, small children and seniors can sit comfortably.