5 Facts About Running Sushi in Japan

Posted by Addah Aquino on

Japan - the land of sushi. And what better way to enjoy some raw fish than picking it up from a conveyer belt placed right next to your face? You might think you know everything there is to know about Running Sushi or sushi-go-rounds. After all, they are the same anywhere you go in the world, right? You have your conveyer belt running through the store, your food being served on top of them and an all-you-can-eat experience that will without fail fill your stomach. Well, as it often is the case, things are a little bit different in Japan. To prepare you for your next trip to Japan we have put together five facts about Running Sushi restaurants that are sure to surprise you. Enjoy!

1. You will have to wait - a long time

fact 1 Some of you might consider Running Sushi a fast food option. Not so in Japan. Long queues outside restaurants are not an uncommon sight here and Running Sushi stores are no exception. If you plan on going to a popular location or during peak times be prepared to wait for a long time, depending on your situation. Most stores offer seats in front of their store so that you can at least spend your waiting time sitting down instead of standing for hours at a time.  

2. You will be greeted by a machine

fact 2 So you’ve waited long enough and finally get to enter the store. Now it’s time to be assigned to a seat by a smiling staff member, right? Wrong again, since most popular sushi places ask you to consult a machine first. By pressing a couple of buttons you tell the staff how many people are in your group and whether you want to be seated at a table or the counter. Your robotic server will print a number and kindly ask you to sit down and wait again until your number is called. We warned you would have to wait a long time.  

3. You can order via touchscreen

fact 3 The technology doesn’t stop at the entrance. Once you sit down at your assigned seat you will notice the big tablet-like touchscreen hanging on top of the conveyer belt. That’s right, in Japan you get to order your favorite sushi via buttons on a touchscreen. All your favorite dishes as well as drinks, sides and desserts are displayed and can easily be ordered by pressing on their pictures. Those of you that dislike the spicy taste of wasabi can even tell the chef to leave it out on your order. All meals are brought to your table on a separate conveyer belt to make sure that no one steals your precious sushi.  

4. You get free green tea

fact 4 If you are not an avid tea drinker this fact might not be that interesting for you. For all lovers of matcha and Co., however, this will be great news: every table is equipped with a tin of matcha powder and a tiny tap serving boiling water. Simply take your cup, fill it with a few tablespoons of the green powder and press it against the tap to enjoy a hot refreshment. As mentioned, you can order some additional drinks via touchscreen, but why bother when you get some steaming hot green tea completely for free?  

5. You pay for each plate of food

fact 5 Running Sushi in Japan is fun, delicious and healthy, but there is one part that frustrates most people visiting from abroad: there is no all-you-can-eat option in Japan. This means that you do not pay a certain price upfront, but are charged by each plate of food you’ve consumed. Sounds tough, doesn’t it? But it makes sense for Japan. After all, sushi stores are not meant to be cheap restaurants, but places where you enjoy some high quality sushi. Having to pay for each plate individually not only makes you enjoy each piece much more, but also ensures that the food is of the highest quality.
Running Sushi is definitely an experience no one should miss out on while on a trip to Japan. They might be different from what you’re used to, but they can show you a new side of eating and enjoying fresh sushi. Despite the few inconveniences that you might encounter, sushi places are a great place to bring your family, friends or even a date. What are your experiences with sushi-go-rounds in your country or in Japan? Let us know in the comment section below.

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