If you haven’t tried kaiten sushi, you should. It’s a definitive Japanese experience.
The food comes out on a constantly moving conveyor belt. Custom orders either arrive on plates designated just for your table, or rush out on wicked little shinkansen trains that are on separate belts.
Many Japanese will tell you that this is the ‘fast food’ of sushi (pun!) and that quality suffers in many kaiten restaurants. But unless you’re pretty experienced with sushi and able to discern subtlety in the flavours, you probably won’t notice. Besides, it’s fun, and half the price of gourmet sushi.
Don’t go expecting the types of rolled sushi that are very common outside Japan. That’s maki sushi and it’s not very common in Japan. They serve very few rolls at kaiten sushi in particular. The type served here is nigiri sushi. Pieces of raw fish are laid over a bed of white rice. But don’t worry; if all that raw fish is strange, there are plenty of dishes on the conveyor belt with things like egg, beef and other things.
There are kaiten restaurants everywhere. There are a couple of common options below, but if you walk around any shopping or restaurant area, you’re likely to find one. Be careful though: a cheap place only charges about ¥100/plate, but ‘nicer’ restaurants can charge more than ¥300/plate.