Sushi is thought by many to be a quintessential Japanese food and one of Japan’s most iconic dishes. From grocery store sushi to high-end luxury sushi, there is a large range of sushi experiences in Japan. Today, we will be looking at a few different styles of sushi restaurants in Japan and their unique features!
Conveyor Belt Sushi
Today, a common style of sushi restaurant in Japan is conveyor belt sushi, also known as kaiten zushi (回転寿司). These types of restaurants are typically characterized by a conveyor belt with counter seating surrounding it. Sushi and other food items are placed on the conveyor belt and guests are free to grab the dishes as they please. Behind the conveyor belt there are sushi chefs who make sushi to order for guests.
Recently, a new type of conveyor belt sushi restaurant has become popular throughout Japan. In this style, rather than sushi constantly revolving in front of the guests as they dine, all sushi is made to order. Guests use tablets to order the sushi they want and it gets delivered directly to them using the conveyor belt and a miniature train. This sushi experience is very family-friendly and usually has booths in addition to counter seating to accommodate families.
Standing Sushi Bars
Another type of sushi restaurant in Japan is the standing sushi bar. As the name implies, rather than sitting on chairs at the counter or at a table, guests stand at a counter to enjoy their meal. On the other side of the counter, the sushi chefs take orders and prepare the sushi. This style of sushi restaurant can often be found near large train stations, such as Tokyo Station, so if you are in the area and in need of a quick meal, try it out. By the way if you try Arigato Japan’s Shibuya Street Food Tour you can experience a wonderful standing sushi restaurant!
Although not technically a type of restaurant, take-out sushi is very popular among people in Japan. Throughout the country, in addition to restaurants offering to-go dishes, there are stores dedicated to serving take-out sushi to customers. Grocery stores in Japan also tend to offer take-out sushi to customers. These are ideal for people who are looking to purchase a quick and delicious meal to take home to their families.
For those who are interested in a more luxurious experience, there are many high-end sushi restaurants throughout Japan. These consist of some of the most expensive restaurants in Japan, many holding Michelin star ratings. These restaurants are characterized by high quality ingredients, the most talented chefs and an intimate dining experience. Typically, when visiting a high-end sushi restaurant, guests sit at a counter with the chef across from them. There, the chef personally prepares each piece of sushi for the guest. Many luxury sushi restaurants offer an omakase set that includes various courses that consist of the freshest and highest quality fish of that day.
With all of these different types of sushi restaurants, there seems to be an unlimited amount of choices for a sushi meal in Japan, each with a different style and atmosphere. When in Japan, be sure to try a few out and see which one you like the best!