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Conveyor Belt Sushi Restaurants turn 50!

One of the coolest things that you can do when you come to Tokyo is eat at a Kaitenzushi restaurant.  This month marks the 50th anniversary of this very cool dining experience where your sushi is brought to you on a conveyor belt.  The Daily Yomiuri reports that the first conveyor belt sushi restaurant opened in 1958 in Osaka. 

“Operator Yoshiaki Shiraishi equipped a sushi restaurant counter with a revolving belt after seeing a conveyer belt at a beer factory and thinking that it could reduce the work of waitstaff….Shiraishi dreamed of making sushi, which was once considered a luxury food, affordable for common people.”

Shiraishi-san has succeeded – there are about 4,000 revolving sushi restaurants currently operating in Japan.  You won’t necessarily get the best quality sushi at a Kaitenzushi restuarant but it will likely be better than you are used to at home and the prices are reasonable.   Just take what you want off the conveyor belt and stack up the empty plates for your server to count up when you are done.   The color of the plate determines the price of your selection.

This video of a Kaitenzushi conveyor belt in action will help you identify some of the dishes and is just fun to watch!

Photo Credit: Flickr, IM000394  Video: YouTube, The KAITEN-SUSHI(sushi bar)